Vice Principal (Music)
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Dr Shirley Thompson graduated from the University of Hull in 1987 with a first class BMus degree. Following a PGCE, she spent three years teaching at a Northamptonshire secondary school. She subsequently won a British Academy Major Scholarship to study for a PhD at Hull and was awarded a doctorate in 1998 for a thesis on the music of the French Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier (‘The Autograph Manuscripts of Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Clues to Performance'). In 1996 Shirley was appointed Lecturer (then Senior Lecturer) in Music at the University of Wolverhampton. She moved to Birmingham Conservatoire in 2001, where she is currently Director of Studies (Postgraduate).
Shirley's research has continued to focus on French Baroque music and Charpentier in particular. Since her PhD she has edited a book on Charpentier and published a number of articles and reviews. She has also prepared numerous editions of Charpentier's music for such well respected performers as Emma Kirkby, Ex Cathedra and the St James' Baroque Players, including music for two BBC Promenade Concerts. In 2004, Shirley organised a conference at the Conservatoire, ‘Charpentier and His World', to mark the tercentenary of the composer's death, an event which attracted scholars from all over the world.
Shirley has been the Vice Principal (Music) of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire since October 2018.