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Heather Wiebe

Dr Heather Wiebe

Heather_WiebeSenior Lecturer in Music

Tel +44 (0) 207 848 1968

Room 2B, South East Block,
Music Department

King's College London
Strand Campus


Heather Wiebe joined the department in 2013. Previously, she was Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia (2008-2012) and a fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows (University of Michigan, 2005-2008). She completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. She is a member of the editorial board of The Opera Quarterly and reviews editor for Twentieth-Century Music.

Research Interests and PhD supervision
  • Modernism; experimental and avant-garde music
  • Opera and film studies
  • 20th-century British musical culture
  • theories of feeling, affect, sentimentality, memory, theatricality and spectatorship
  • Arts institutions, funding and access

Heather Wiebe’s research is broadly concerned with art music in the 20th century. She is currently working on a book called Mobilizing Music in Wartime British Film, as well as several projects related to post-1945 opera and to British avant-garde and experimental music. She is the author of Britten’s Unquiet Pasts: Sound and Memory in Postwar Reconstruction (Cambridge, 2012), which examines music’s role in a project of British cultural renewal after the Second World War by way of Britten’s educational and ‘occasional’ works. She is also the editor of a special issue of The Opera Quarterly on the theme of ‘Opera and Obsolescence’, which explores a tension between liveliness and ossification in the status of musical tradition in the 20th century.

Heather welcomes PhD students in the areas of opera studies, British music, and art music after 1945.

For more details, please see her full research profile.

Selected Publications
  • 'Confronting Opera in the 1960s: Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy', Journal of the Royal Musical Association 142 (2017): 173-204.
  • Britten’s Unquiet Pasts: Sound and Memory in Postwar Reconstruction (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • Guest editor, Opera and Obsolescence, special issue of The Opera Quarterly 25/1-2 (Winter-Spring 2009).
  • The Rake’s Progress as Opera Museum’, The Opera Quarterly 25 (Winter-Spring 2009): 6-27.

For a complete list of publications, please see Heather's full research profile.


Heather mainly teaches modules on 20th-century music and on film. Past modules have included ‘Approaches to Auditory Culture’, ‘Music and Empire’ and ‘Neoclassicism’. 
Upcoming modules at King’s include courses on opera in the 20th century and on Benjamin Britten.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Heather regularly gives public lectures, pre-concert talks and radio presentations on Britten, contemporary British music and 20th-century opera.


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