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Dr Amy Blier-Carruthers

Teaching Fellow in Performance


Dr Amy Blier-Carruthers

Room Room 9B South West Block            Music Department 
King's College London 
Strand Campus 
London WC2R 2LS








Amy is Teaching Fellow in Performance at King's College London, as well as Lecturer in Postgraduate Studies at the Royal Academy of Music. She read music at King’s College London, concurrently undertaking her practical studies in violin at the Royal Academy of Music. She received her PhD from King’s College London, working with Prof. Daniel Leech-Wilkinson (supported by an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award linked to the CHARM project). She went on to lecture at the Royal College of Music for three years, before joining the Academy in 2014 and King's in 2016. 

She is co-investigator on the AHRC Digital Transformations project ‘Classical Music Hyper-Production and Practice-as-Research’,, a core member of the AHRC Research Network ‘Performance in the Studio’, and has collaborated with Aleks Kolkowski (Science Museum) on the AHRC-funded project based around a re-enactment of the Arthur Nikisch 1913 acoustic recording by the Berlin Philharmonic of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

She is a member of the steering committee of the Institute of Musical Research, involved with the Cambridge Centre for Musical Performance Studies working group, and was Impact Fellow at the University of Cambridge whilst researching and writing the impact report for the AHRC Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP).

She has been invited to give colloquia, lectures and workshops at Princeton University, King’s College London, The Institute of Musical Research (CMPCP/IMR Seminars), the Smithsonian Institution (Washington), Goldsmith’s (University of London), the Royal College of Music, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD), the Utrecht Early Music Festival symposium, and the Royal College of Art (AcrossRCA ‘Walkative’).

Research Interests 
  • recording and studio practices
  • live versus recorded performance practices
  • ethnographic methods for studying classical music
  • recording as evidence of performance practice
  • performance analysis

Her research interests revolve around performance practice and recordings, and by definition involve a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries and the cultural contexts of music-making. Her doctoral research, which is currently being prepared for publication, is an ethnographic and analytical study of classical music-making, focused on the conductor Sir Charles Mackerras. She has investigated his recordings and live performances, exploring the issues that arise when comparing these different performance situations. In addition to detailed analysis of the performances, there is a strong contextual aspect to this research which involves interviewing Sir Charles himself, the musicians, producers, and engineers he worked with, and fieldwork observation of the rehearsal, concert, and recording processes. Amy’s interests in both the contextual and practical aspects of music extend beyond her research; she balances her academic work with her career both as a performer and violin teacher.

Selected Publications
  • Blier-Carruthers, Amy, ‘The Problem of Perfection in Classical Recording – The Performer’s Perspective’, Musical Quarterly (OUP), (forthcoming, 2017).
  • Walking Cities: London, (London: Camberwell Press, 2016). Co-editor and contributing author of book ), in collaboration with the Royal College of Art and Camberwell Press (with Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Simon King, and Roberto Bottazzi). The contributed chapter is entitled ‘The Travelling Mindset: A Method for Seeing Everything Anew’; it proposes a model for the use of ethnographic techniques for studying artistic practice.
  • Blier-Carruthers, Amy, Kolkowski, Aleks, and Miller, Duncan, ‘The Art and Science of Acoustic Recording: Re-enacting Arthur Nikisch and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra’s landmark 1913 recording of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony’, in The Science Museum Group Journal, Issue 3: Communications, Spring 2015.

The project was also spotlighted on Radio 3: ‘CD Review’ with Andrew MacGregor, January 9th,2015, 9am, produced and presented by Simon Heighes.


She lectures in subjects involving recording practices, performance style, ethnographic approaches to classical music-making, self-reflection, innovative performer-led concert practices, the history of performance on recordings and the aesthetic and cultural contexts of these. She is also author and course leader of the Academy’s new Professional Diploma in Collaborative Recording Production.

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