Jonathan Cross


Jonathan Cross joined the Oxford Faculty of Music in 2003, where he is Professor of Musicology, and Student and Tutor in Music at Christ Church. He was previously Lecturer at the University of Sussex and Lecturer, later Reader, at the University of Bristol. He is currently Director and Senior Scholar in Residence at the Oxford Ertegun Humanities Graduate Programme (2023–26).

He has written, lectured and broadcast widely on issues in twentieth-century and contemporary music, and in theory and analysis. His publications include the highly acclaimed The Stravinsky Legacy (1998); a comprehensive study of the work of Harrison Birtwistle (2000); and an edited companion to the music of Stravinsky (2003). His monograph on Birtwistle’s landmark opera The Mask of Orpheus was published in 2009 (p/b edn 2019). He was Associate Editor (1994–99) and Editor (2000–2004) of the journal Music Analysis, and currently serves on the Editorial/Advisory Boards of Music Analysis, Tempo, Analysis in Context (Leuven Studies in Musicology), Circuit–musiques contemporaines and BRAHMS (a French database of contemporary music). He is also an Associate Editor and Member of the Editorial Board of Grove Music Online (Oxford University Press). His biography of Stravinsky (in the ‘Critical Lives’ series of Reaktion Press) appeared in 2015, and has subsequently been translated into Turkish and Chinese. His current work focuses on issues in musical spectralism, which has resulted in, among other things, two international conferences in Oxford and Paris, a series of papers and articles in English and French, and a guest-edited journal issue dedicated to ‘spectral thinking’. He is completing a study of the music of Tristan Murail for Éditions Contrechamps.

He has supervised doctoral projects on, among other topics, modernity and Marxism, minimalism 1960–2001, British music and politics 1930–45, Stravinsky’s pianism, late Stravinsky, Russian émigré musicians in Paris, Shchedrin's operas, music and melancholy, the intersection of popular and modernist musics in Britain, Hindemith’s theory, Webern, and composition. His supervisees have gone on to hold academic positions in the UK, elsewhere in Europe, and further afield.

He speaks frequently at international events, most recently in Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Serbia, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA. Aside from his academic work, he is committed to giving talks on a broad range of musical topics that engage with the interests of the wider public, including recently at English National Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Royal Opera House, BBC Proms, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Aldeburgh Festival, Bath Bach and Mozart Festivals, South Bank Centre, Barbican Centre, Wigmore Hall, New Music Scotland, Gresham College London, and for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Orchestras, and the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France. He was Series Consultant to the Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2016 Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals series (which won the Sky Arts Award for classical music in 2017), and is a frequent presenter and curator of programmes for the London Sinfonietta. In 2021 he produced a series of podcasts with Stravinsky’s publisher Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers to mark the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death. He also appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 programmes, and writes for Opera magazine.

In 2018 he established and co-convenes the Oxford Seminar in Music Theory & Analysis.

He has held visiting positions at the Orpheus Institute Ghent, Cornell University, Ircam, and the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP). He was elected a Member of Academia Europaea (the Academy of Europe) in 2015 and a Fellow of the British Academy in 2023. In 2021–22 he held a British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship.

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