Robert Sholl is a Professor of Music at the University of West London and teaches at the Royal Academy of Music

His publications on twentieth-century music include Messiaen Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and Contemporary Music and Spirituality (Routledge, 2017) edited with Sander van Maas. He is editor (with George Parsons) of James MacMillan Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2020), and editor of Olivier Messiaen in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2021). He has forthcoming articles on Messiaen and Jean-Louis Florentz in The Oxford Handbook to Spectralism (2021) and he has written on Stravinsky (Le Sacre du printemps), John Adams, Luciano Berio, Harrison Birtwistle, Brian Ferneyhough, and Arvo Pärt. His research interests include twentieth and twenty-first century music, critical theory and philosophy, musical analysis, performance, improvisation, somatic techniques (especially The Feldenkrais Method), Music and Psychoanalysis, Music and Spirituality, listening, and film music.

Robert has organised four conferences at the Southbank centre and was recently the artistic director for the Royal College of Organists’ London Forum, which was a celebration of Messiaen’s work. He has given papers at the Universities of Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Cambridge, Oxford, London, Amsterdam, Boston, McGill, Fordham, Hong Kong, Melbourne, The Royal Academy of Music, The Royal College of Music, at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama for their conference on The Phantom of the Opera, three times at the American Musicological Society Conferences (Washington, Milwaukee and Boston), twice at EUROMAC (Leuven and Strasbourg), and at IRCAM. Robert has been an academic referee for major University Presses, Trinity Laban, has worked as consultant for the University of Aix-en-Provence, and has tutored for The Royal College of Organists. In 2020 he was an invited jury member for the Fundación BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Awards. He is also a council member of the Guild of Church Musicians and a member of the Academic Board of the Royal College of Organists.

Robert is a trained Feldenkrais Practitioner and in 2019 he published a study of the Method and musical performance in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association entitled: “Feldenkrais’s touch, Ephram’s laughter, Gould’s sensorium: listening and musical practice between thinking and doing.” He is also the editor of The Feldenkrais Method in Creative Practice: Dance, Music and Theatre (Bloomsbury, 2021), which contains a separate study of Feldenkrais’s work, psychoanalysis and Glenn Gould.

Robert studied the organ with Olivier Latry (Notre-Dame de Paris). In 2016-17 he performed all of the organ works of Messiaen at Arundel Cathedral. (see Arundel Cathedral 2016 Messiaen Organ Concerts). In 2021-23 he will play all of the Vierne organ symphonies together with major works of Tournemire and chamber music and songs, as well as the complete organ works of Maurice Duruflé (see Arundel Cathedral Organ Series 2021-23).

Improvisation has become a regular part of Robert’s recitals and he has released improvisations to silent films: James Sibley Watson’s and Melville Webber’s The Fall of the House of Usher (for which he published a companion article in Perspective of New Music in 2020), and Rupert Julian’s The Phantom of the Opera (Unmasking Scene), which was shown at The Barbican Centre in 2017. In 2021 he will be collaborating with Dr. Leslie McMurtry (University of Salford) to create the first radio dramatisation of this book. Improvisation has become a regular part of his recitals, and he teaches an undergraduate year 3/4 elective on improvisation to silent film. He has played at St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St John’s, Smith Square, and twice both at the Madeleine and at Notre-Dame de Paris.

2021

Edited book: Messiaen in Context, Cambridge University Press, Three Articles: “Introduction: Olivier Messiaen as Religious-Modernist Iconographer,” “Oliver Messiaen and Jacques Charpentier,” “Olivier Messiaen: Surrealist.” French - English translations of three other articles. Forthcoming.

2021

Improvisations: “Les Ombres de Phantom”: improvisations on themes from Gaston Leroux’s Phantom de l’Opera. Forthcoming.

2021

Article: “Jean Louis Florentz and Spectralism,” The Oxford Handbook to Music and Spectralism, ed. Amy Bauer, Liam Cagney and and Will Mason. Forthcoming.

2021

Article: “Olivier Messiaen: Spectralist,” The Oxford Handbook to Music and Spectralism, ed. Amy Bauer, Liam Cagney and Will Mason. Forthcoming.

2021

Edited book: The Feldenkrais Method in Creative Practice: Dance, Music and Theatre, Introduction, “Towards an Ability Studies,” 1-14; Article: “Feldenkrais, Freud, Lacan and Gould: How to Love thyself for thy Neighbour,” 38-54 (London: Bloomsbury, 2021).

2020

Article: “James Sibley Watson’s The Fall of the House of Usher: Surrealism - improvisation – complementary serendipities,” Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Winter 2020), 23-69, and based on an Improvisation (recorded at Arundel Cathedral) at: YouTube - The Fall of the House of Usher.

2020

Edited Book: James MacMillan Studies ed. George Parsons and Robert Sholl Introduction (with George Parsons), 1-9, and Article: “Exquisite Violence: Imagery, Embodiment and Transformation in MacMillan” (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 87-110.

2019

Guest Editor: International Feldenkrais Federation Journal of Creative Practice Vol VI, published at Feldenkrais Research Journal

2019

Article: “Feldenkrais’s Touch, Ephram’s Laughter, Gould’s Sensorium: Listening and Musical Practice between Thinking and Doing,” Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Vol. 144, No.2, 397-428.

2019

Article:Inscapes of Musical Listening: Sensing/Feeling/Imagining,”

Published at Naxos Musicology Online.

2017

Article: “Pärt and the sound of one hand clapping,” Arvo Pärt’s White Light: Media, Culture, Politics ed. Laura Dolp (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 47-73.

2017

Edited Book: Contemporary Music and Spirituality, ed. Robert Sholl and Sander van Maas (London and New York: Routledge, 2017). Introduction: (with van Maas): “What is a Contemporary Spiritual Music,” 1-14, and Article: “Searching for the Elusive Obvious: Memory, Forgiveness, Catharsis,and Transcendence in Contemporary Spiritual Music,” 229-57 (on Adams, Birtwistle, and Ferneyhough).

2014

Article: “Stop it, I like it! Stop it, I like it! Masochism, Embodiment, and Listening for Traumatic Pleasure,” Thresholds of Listening, ed. Sander van Maas (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014), 153-74.

2012

Article: “Arvo Pärt and Spirituality,” The Cambridge Companion to Arvo Pärt, ed. Andrew Shenton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 140-58.

2012

Review: Stephen Schloesser, Jazz-Age Catholicism: Mystic Modernism in Postwar Paris 1919-1933, Music and Letters, Vol. 93, No. 1 (February 2012), 106-10.

2012

Review: Marcel Cobussen’s Thresholds: Rethinking Spirituality Through Music, Music and Letters, Vol. 93 No. 1 (February, 2012), 90-3.

2011

Article: “The Shock of the Positive: Olivier Messiaen, St Francis and Redemption through Modernity,” Resonant Witness: Conversations between Music and Theology, ed. Jeremy Begbie and Steve Guthrie (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011), 162-89. (also published in De Gids below).

2010

Article: “Olivier Messiaen and the Avant-garde poetics of the Messe de la Pentecôte,” in Olivier Messiaen The Theologian, ed. Shenton (Ashgate, 2009), 199-222.

2008

Article: “De schok van het positieve,” in Hemel en Aarde: special edition of De Gids (a Dutch culture and literature journal) for the Holland Festival 2008, 640-65.

2007

Editor: Messiaen Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2007),
Article: “Love, Mad Love, and the Point Sublime: The Surrealist Poetics of Messiaen’s Harawi,” 34-62.