Pianist and scholar, Emily Kilpatrick is a graduate of University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music
Here she took First Class Honours in Piano Performance (2003), followed by a doctorate on the music of Ravel (2008). Before joining the teaching staff of the Royal Academy of Music, Emily worked at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester; she held an AHRC-funded research post at the Royal Academy of Music from 2010 to 2013, and previously lectured at the University of Adelaide.
Emily’s research centres on French music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Ranging across opera, song and piano literature, her publications have dealt with performance and staging practice, musical analysis, historic recordings, the critical editing process, text-music interchanges, and documentary and cultural history. An active performer, Emily is particularly interested in the creative exchange between musical practice and documentary research.
Emily’s book The Operas of Maurice Ravel, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. It received a five-star review as the Book Choice for the March 2016 edition of BBC Music Magazine (‘A lucid and deeply researched picture…Kilpatrick understands what made Ravel tick’) and was described in the 10 June 2016 issue of the TLS as ‘an invaluable contribution’. A recent review in Notes concluded, ‘Drawing on a deep well of primary sources and keen interpretive insight, The Operas of Maurice Ravel emerges as a distinguished addition to the literature on modern opera.’ The study entwines analytical, cultural, literary and philosophical approaches, set against a detailed historical-documentary background, and was written with a constant eye to its relevance for performers and listeners as well as scholars.
Since 2009, Emily has worked with the Academy’s Keyboard Research Fellow Roy Howat as co-editors of the first complete critical edition of the songs of Gabriel Fauré for Edition Peters. This five-volume project, funded by a three-year AHRC Project Grant at the Royal Academy of Music (2010‑13), developed through an interactive programme of documentary research, performance and public engagement, has proved a major contribution to the discipline of critical editing. The project’s innovative practice-led methodologies have been acknowledged in various reviews (Notes, Journal of Singing); in April 2015 Volume 1 was awarded a ‘Best Edition’ prize by the German Music Publishers’ Association at the Frankfurt Musikmesse. Four volumes of the edition, including a first publication of some 45 Vocalises, are now in print, in high and medium-low keys; a final volume, comprising Fauré’s late song cycles, is in preparation.
Emily’s other publications include articles and book chapters about composers including Ravel, Fauré and Percy Grainger (see below). She has recently written on questions of musical and poetic form in Ravel’s Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, and is preparing a monograph on French song in the period 1870‑1939. She also enjoys a varied career as soloist, duo player and vocal accompanist, and has given recital performances, radio broadcasts, masterclasses and seminars across the UK and internationally. Her recordings include Fauré’s piano duets, with Roy Howat (Belle Époque: A Portrait of Gabriel Fauré, ABC Classics), and the same composer’s magnificent song cycle La Bonne Chanson, with American tenor Tony Boutté (Peters Sounds, 2017) and two CD recordings of Fauré’s music.
The Operas of Maurice Ravel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Chapters and articles:
‘Quand sonne L’Heure espagnole’, L’Avant-Scène Opéra 299 (June 2017).
(with Roy Howat): ‘Le wagnérisme de Fauré : Pénélope (1913) et les mélodies’, in Le wagnérisme dans tous ses états, 1913–2013, ed. Cécile Leblanc & Danièle Pistone. Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2016.
‘Grainger and the “New Iconoclasts”: Forays in Modernist French Music’, in Grainger the Modernist, ed. Suzanne Robinson and Kay Dreyfus. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2015.
(with Roy Howat): ‘Gabriel Fauré’s Middle-Period Songs, Editorial Quandaries and the Chimera of the “Original Key”’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association 139/2 (Autumn 2014), 303–37.
(with Roy Howat): ‘Editing Fauré: A fresh look at La Bonne Chanson’, The Journal of Singing 70/3 (January/February 2014), 285–300.
(with Roy Howat): ‘Editorial Adventures in the Songs of Gabriel Fauré’. Proceedings of the International Congress of Voice Teachers (2013), in press.
(with Roy Howat): ‘Gabriel Fauré, the Paris Conservatoire and his collected Vocalises’, AOTOS Singing Magazine (Summer 2013).
‘Moot point: Editing poetry and punctuation in Fauré’s early songs’, Nineteenth Century Music Review 9/2 (December 2012), 213–235.
(with Roy Howat): ‘Editorial Challenges in the Early Songs of Gabriel Fauré’, Notes 68/2 (December 2011), 239–283.
‘Enchantments and illusions: Recasting the creation of L’Enfant et les sortilèges’, in Ravel Studies, ed. Deborah Mawer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
‘Therein lies a tale: Musical and literary structure in Ravel’s Ma mère l’Oye’, Context 34 (2009), 45–62.
‘L’Enfant et les sortilèges: Fantasía lírica, poesía musical’ (trans. María Pildain Parra), Quodlibet 45 (Special Ravel issue, 2009).
‘The Carbonne Copy: Tracing the première of L’Heure espagnole’, Revue de musicologie, 95/1 (2009), 97–135.
‘“Jangling in symmetrical sounds”: Maurice Ravel as storyteller and poet’, Journal of Music Research Online 1 (April 2009), http://journal.mca.org.au.
... the Woods”: Retelling the wartime fairytales of Maurice Ravel’, The Musical Times 149/1902 (Spring 2008), 57–66.
(with Roy Howat): Gabriel Fauré, 45 Vocalises. Peters Edition, London (EP11385, 2013) [first publication].
(with Roy Howat): Gabriel Fauré, Collected Songs (4 vols). Peters Edition, London (vol. 1: EP 11391, 2014; vol. 3: EP 11393, 2015; vol. 2: EP11392, 2017; vol. 4: in preparation).
Gabriel Fauré, The Complete Verlaine Settings. Tony Boutté (tenor), Roy Howat (piano), Emily Kilpatrick (piano). Peters Sounds, 2017. [Premiere recording of the complete Howat-Kilpatrick Peters edition of Gabriel Fauré songs vol. 3.]
Belle Époque: A Portrait of Gabriel Fauré. Roy Howat, piano solos and duets, with Emily Kilpatrick. ABC Classics 476 3423 (2009).