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Dr Uri Smilansky

Lecturer in Music

Tel:  0207 848 1126                                                                                                Address: Room 10 A South West Block                                                                  Music Department
King’s College London 
Strand Campus 
WC2R 2LS  


Born and raised in Israel, I’ve spent 5 years studying at the prestigious Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, then moving to write my Ph.D. and complete a Postdoctoral position at the Centre for Medieval Studies of Exeter University. I have enjoyed teaching spells at the Schola Cantorum, and as part of Shakespeare’s Globe Education, and combine such activities with both research and performing as a professional Medieval Fiddle, Viol and Recorder player.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • 13th-15th Century music, its notation and circulation.
  • Improvisatory, oral and otherwise unwritten traditions.
  • Music in Early Modern and Restoration theatre.

I enjoy interrogating various styles of Late Medieval music from codicological, notational and practical directions, with special interest in questions regarding expression; the interaction between the written documents and performance, and the translation of such notions to modern practitioners and audiences, their parallelisms and the friction between the two traditions. More recently I have been drawn also towards looking at early music for theatre, the way it mediated the theatrical experience, its current use within the industry and the process of replacing it by new compositions for historic materials.

Selected publications
  • With Yolanda Plumley, ‘Béarn’, in David Wallace (ed.), Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418 (Oxford University Press, 2016) vol. 1, pp. 156-71.
  • ‘L’essor du compositeur-célébrité: stratégies et techniques de l’auto-définition musicale au 14e siècle’, Revue Analyse Musicale, lxxvii (2015), pp. 13-21.
  • ‘A Labyrinth of Spaces: Page, Performance and Music in Late Medieval French Culture’, in (ed) Frances Andrews, Ritual and Space in the Middle Ages: Proceedings of the 2009 Harlaxton Symposium (Donington, 2011), pp. 130-147.
  • ‘Western Wind: Mass by John Taverner & Court Music for Henry VIII’, Taverner Consort & Players (AVIE AV2352, 2016).
  • ‘Argentum et Aurum – Musical Treasures from the Early Habsburg Renaissance’, Ensemble Leones (Naxos 8573346, 2015).

I currently teach most aspects of Medieval music, from history, analysis and notation to tuning, improvisation and performance.

Expertise and public engagement

I perform the music I study in festivals throughout Europe engaging with audiences of all levels of musical knowledge and expertise, often combining such activities with explanations or introductions. I also devise and execute teaching programmes geared for all types of audiences, mostly through the Burg Fürsteneck Akademie für berufliche und musisch-kulturelle Weiterbildung. I am happy to talk to the media about any Medieval, musical topic, as well as on their historiography and current trends in their study and performance.

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