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Philip R. Bullock

University of Oxford
The Poet's Echo: Art Song in Russia, 1730-2000
01 September 2016 -
30 June 2017


Philip Ross Bullock is Professor of Russian Literature and Music at the University of Oxford, and Fellow and Tutor in Russian at Wadham College. He has held teaching positions at University College London and the University of Wales, Bangor, and research fellowships at Wolfson College, Oxford, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, where he was the Edward T. Cone Member in Music Studies. In 2009 he received the Philip Brett Award of the American Musicological Society and a Philip Leverhulme Prize from the Leverhulme Trust.

Research interests

Russian music, in particular the relationship between music and literature in opera and song; Russian prose, especially of the early Soviet period; theories of gender and sexuality, and their application to the study of Russian culture; the theory and practice of reception studies, translation studies and comparative literature.

The Poet's Echo: Art Song in Russia, 1730-2000

My project explores the history of art-song as it has developed in Russia from the early eighteenth century to the present day. Fusing musical analysis, literary criticism and cultural history, it is also informed by reception studies, gender studies, translation studies, the history of emotions, history of the book and performance studies. It takes as its basis the vast number of scores held in Russian libraries, but also uses memoirs, dairies, letters, publishers’ catalogues and concert programmes to chart the reception of poetry through musical composition and performance. Its ambitions are fourfold. Firstly, it will establish a narrative history of a form in which almost all Russian composers have expressed themselves. Secondly, it will illustrate how song participates in the literary process by establishing, shaping and disseminating Russia’s canon of poetry beyond the page. Thirdly, it will trace how print culture was instrumental in shaping Russia’s social and cultural self-image. Finally, it will illustrate something of the emotional world of Russian audiences by shedding light on the reception of poetry and music by a wide range of performers and listeners.

Key publications

Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Islington, Reaktion Books, 2016.

The Correspondence of Jean Sibelius and Rosa Newmarch, 1806-1939, Woodbridge, Boydell and Brewer, 2011.

Rosa Newmarch and the Reception of Russian Music in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century England, Farnham, Ashgate, 2009.

The Feminine in the Prose of Andrey Platonov, Oxford, Legenda, 2005.

10 Feb 2017 17:00 -
10 Feb 2017 19:00,
St Andrews :
An Acoustic Geography of Romanticism: Russian Art-Song in the Early Nineteenth Century
27 Jan 2017 10:00 -
28 Jan 2017 18:00,
London :
“That more liberal mode of life": Aestheticism and Queer Listening in Victorian and Edwardian Music
Talk by P. R. Bullock, Paris IAS fellow
15 Jan 2017 12:15 -
15 Jan 2017 13:30,
Stuttgart :
Das andere Petersburg zur Zeit Tschaikowskys
14 Oct 2016 16:00 -
14 Oct 2016 17:00,
Waltham :
"I almost always know how much money I have": Tchaikovsky and the Market for Classical Music in Nineteenth Century Russia
12 Oct 2016 16:15 -
12 Oct 2016 18:15,
Williamstown :
"That's not the only reason we love him": Queer politics and Chaikovsky reception in post-Soviet Russia
Contemporary period (1789-…)