Dr Sophie Redfern
Lecturer in Music
Sophie joined King's in September 2022. She has previously taught at the University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield, and Liverpool Hope University, and for several years was a Research Assistant at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. In addition to her role at King's, she is a tutor for the Open College of the Arts and Curator for the European Opera Centre.
Research interests and PhD supervision
- Twentieth-century music
- North American music, especially Leonard Bernstein
- Ballet and music theatre; Sketch studies; Reception studies.
Sophie’s expertise is in twentieth-century music and dance. She has a particular interest in North American music and ballet, with the nature of theatrical collaboration a focus. Her first book, Bernstein and Robbins: The Early Ballets, was published as part of the Eastman Studies in Music series in 2021. It was named a 2022 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Winner and comes out in paperback in March 2024. Other publications explore Stravinsky’s dancers and choreographers, and American music criticism since the Second World War. She is currently working on an article exploring American Ballet Theatre’s postwar tour to London, and has forthcoming chapters in edited collections on Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein’s relationship, and the musical theatre designs of Oliver Smith and Jo Mielziner.
Sophie is an experienced teacher, having taught on more than 30 modules at five institutions over the past decade. She has convened undergraduate and postgraduate courses on music history, performance, theory, and analysis, and has supervised dissertations on topics related to twentieth-century music and music for the stage. At King's, Sophie teaches musicology modules on opera, ballet, and music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She was nominated for a King's Education Award in 2023 and during her time at the University of Sheffield was nominated for a Vice-Chancellor's Award for Learning and Teaching.
Expertise and public engagement
Sophie writes programme notes and articles on music for leading organisations including the BBC and Wigmore Hall. She regularly gives pre-concert talks and hosts musical events, and has been an invited guest on BBC Radio 3 (Proms and Opera on 3). As Curator for the European Opera Centre, she has led a series of adult opera education talks in Liverpool, and has trained animateurs involved in the Centre’s education programme.
Bernstein and Robbins: The Early Ballets (Rochester University Press, 2021), 323pp.
33 entries on dance, dancers, and choreographers in The Cambridge Stravinsky Encyclopedia, ed. Edward Campbell and Peter O'Hagan (Cambridge University Press, 2021).
'Old Divisions and New Debates: Music Criticism in Postwar America,' in The Cambridge History of Music Criticism, ed. Christopher Dingle (Cambridge University Press, 2019), 671–94.