Research Statement

Professor Holden’s research interests include the role of the conductor in the 19th and 20th centuries, marked scores and recorded sound documents as historical evidence, Richard Strauss as composer-conductor and performance traditions as pedagogic tools. These interests are an extension of his work with Sir John Pritchard between 1978 and 1989, for whom he acted as associate conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Brussels Opera at the Proms, the Royal Festival Hall, the Salzburg Festival, the Edinburgh Festival and the City of London Festival, and his concerts as a conductor with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the New Symphony Orchestra of London, the Wren Orchestra, the Danish Radio Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Emilia-Romagna.

In recent years, Professor Holden has published extensively with the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Music & Letters, Performance Practice Review, Richard Strauss-Blätter, Studien und Berichte, EMI records and ICA Classics. As music advisor to the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, he has contributed thirty-six signed articles to the Dictionary and, for Cambridge University Press, has written chapters for the firm’s Companion to Conducting and Companion to Richard Strauss. He has also published four major books during the last twelve years: The Virtuoso Conductors and Richard Strauss: a Musical Life, both for Yale University Press, and Glorious John and Barbirolli: a Chronicle of a Career for The Barbirolli Society in association with the Royal Academy of Music. The Virtuoso Conductors was book of the week on RTE Radio 1’s (Ireland) distinguished Off the Shelf programme in April 2006; Richard Strauss: a Musical Life, won the Association for Recorded Sound Collection’s (USA) ‘Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research’ in 2012, and, his most recent book, Barbirolli: a Chronicle of a Career, won the Association for Recorded Sound Collection’s (USA) ‘Best History in the category Best Historical Research in Classical Music’ in 2017. Currently, he is writing a critical history of twentieth century conductors, provisionally entitled The Age of the Maestro, is completing a book of conversations with Sir Mark Elder, entitled Elder on Music: Sir Mark Elder in Conversation with Professor Raymond Holden and is contributing two chapters to Cambridge University Press’s forthcoming book, Richard Strauss in Context. He has appeared on BBC Radio, BBC Television, ABC Radio, Classic FM (South Africa), 3MBS FM (Melbourne), Vision Australia Radio, LBC, Danish Radio and Television, RAI Radio and Television and with the renowned mezzo-soprano, Brigitte Fassbaender, in Eric Schulz’s critically acclaimed documentary on Richard Strauss, At the End of the Rainbow, which received its world premiere at the Salzburg Festival in 2014 and its German premiere at Berlin’s Philharmonie later that year.

Professor Holden regularly lectures on his research interests at, and for, major universities, conservatoires, conferences and arts organisations around the world and, in recent years, has spoken at The Institute of Historical Research (University of London), The Institute for Advanced Musical Studies (King’s College, University of London), Goldsmiths’ College (University of London), The University of Sheffield, The University of Oxford, Monash University (Melbourne), The University of New South Wales, The Australian National University, the Sydney Conservatorium (The University of Sydney), The University of Melbourne, the 16th Congress of the International Musicological Society, the Norwegian State Academy of Music, the Richard Strauss-Institut, The University of Stellenbosch, the Sibelius Academy, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (Singapore), the Austrian Cultural Forum (London), Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Keele University, the Venice Conducting Academy (Florida, USA), the Royal Academy of Music’s Hong Kong Alumni Association and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In 2013, Professor Holden was appointed Professor of the University of London in February 2016.

CoffeeBreak with a Master: Raymond Holden

The Barbirolli Lectures - Conducting at the Academy since 1826 from Royal Academy of Music on Vimeo.

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