Deborah Mawer

Emeritus Professor of Music

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Deborah Mawer was formerly Research Professor of Music and Director of Research at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; across 2016-19 she led a large AHRC-funded project, entitled ‘Accenting the Classics: Durand’s Édition classique (c. 1915 - 25) as a French Prism on the Musical Past’. She joined the Conservatoire in 2013, having previously held chairs at Lancaster University and the University of Huddersfield and been postgraduate external examiner at the University of Oxford (2009 - 12).

Co-Director of the French Music Research Hub, Mawer is an international research specialist in twentieth-century French music, especially Ravel, Les Six and Jolivet, as well as in music-dance and classical-jazz interactions. She studied at King's College London (PhD 1991) and on the Advanced Course at the Royal Academy of Music. As a modern and baroque viola player, she has freelanced with City of London Sinfonia, Vivaldi Concertante and the Avison Ensemble.

Her six books comprise three monographs and three sole-edited books: Historical Interplay in French Music and Culture, 1860 - 1960 (Routledge, 2018); French Music and Jazz in Conversation: From Debussy to Brubeck (CUP, 2014); Ravel Studies (CUP, 2010); The Ballets of Maurice Ravel: Creation and Interpretation (Ashgate, 2006); The Cambridge Companion to Ravel (CUP, 2000); and Darius Milhaud: Modality and Structure in Music of the 1920s (Ashgate, 1997). She has written widely in scholarly journals and other book collections, presented at many international conferences, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Research has been funded by the AHRC (Research Grant, Research Leave), several British Academy Small Grants, Music & Letters Trust, Music Analysis Development Fund, L’Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique (Canada), and the Royal Musical Association.

An Editorial Board member of The British Journal of Music Education (2007 - ) and Senior Academic Adviser for PALATINE (2006 - 8), with a background in instrumental teaching and further education, she has longstanding interests in education and pedagogy, and in 2008 was awarded an individual National Teaching Fellowship.

Mawer acts as a reader and journal manuscript submissions reviewer for a wide range of leading international and UK journals and publishers, and has been an appointed referee for the European Research Council, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4 (with Robert Winston), is in demand for pre-performance talks, including at Glyndebourne, and has produced CD essays for Pentatone, Deutsche Grammophon and Hyperion.

Current Activity
Areas of Expertise
Postgraduate Supervision
Media Work