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Sophie Redfern

Dr Sophie Redfern

Lecturer in Music

Research interests

  • Arts

Biography

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.

Teaching

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.

Selected publications

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.

News

New season for King's music colloquium 23/24

The weekly series held by the Department of Music returns for the new academic year - representing contemporary research within music.

Picture a day like this thumb

Events

20MarTime and Musical Genre thumbnail

Time and Musical Genre

Musicology has, with a few exceptions, been uninterested in theories of genre.

06MarNaples

Mario Costa, Operetta and Neapolitan Song

This paper explores the crucial contribution of Naples and the Neapolitan song tradition to the development of Italian operetta

13MarSidney_Bechet

Blues of Bechet: Rehearing the One-Man Band Recordings

Sidney Bechet’s One-Man Band (1941) challenged the collaborative spirit of jazz.

28FebZubin Kanga - RAPHAEL NEAL

Cyborg Soloists: Music, Technology and Collaborative Practice

This presentation focuses on Dr Zubin Kanga’s research project, Cyborg Soloists.

27MarAmanda Aldridge

English Art Song and Black Heritage in Early Twentieth-Century London

This talk focuses on a a little-known figure, in the history of English song and London musical life in the early twentieth century: the black British opera...

31JanThe Illusion Of One Hand

The Illusion Of One Hand

A look into left hand only piano with examples from Classical and Jazz/Improv history. Plus a glimpse of an ongoing research project in this area.

Please note: this event has passed.

14FebFluxus Utopia header

Fluxus Utopia

This talk explores the curious intersection of politics and aesthetics in Fluxus by drawing on the work of Jacques Rancière. In its invitation to experience...

Please note: this event has passed.

15FebBallett theatre

(Cancelled) Americans in London: Cultural Exchange and Transnational Identities in Ballet Theatre's 1946 Covent Garden Season

The music department is delighted host a presentation by Sophie Redfern, Lecturer in Music, King’s College London and the University of Nottingham, and...

Please note: this event has passed.

News

New season for King's music colloquium 23/24

The weekly series held by the Department of Music returns for the new academic year - representing contemporary research within music.

Picture a day like this thumb

Events

20MarTime and Musical Genre thumbnail

Time and Musical Genre

Musicology has, with a few exceptions, been uninterested in theories of genre.

06MarNaples

Mario Costa, Operetta and Neapolitan Song

This paper explores the crucial contribution of Naples and the Neapolitan song tradition to the development of Italian operetta

13MarSidney_Bechet

Blues of Bechet: Rehearing the One-Man Band Recordings

Sidney Bechet’s One-Man Band (1941) challenged the collaborative spirit of jazz.

28FebZubin Kanga - RAPHAEL NEAL

Cyborg Soloists: Music, Technology and Collaborative Practice

This presentation focuses on Dr Zubin Kanga’s research project, Cyborg Soloists.

27MarAmanda Aldridge

English Art Song and Black Heritage in Early Twentieth-Century London

This talk focuses on a a little-known figure, in the history of English song and London musical life in the early twentieth century: the black British opera...

31JanThe Illusion Of One Hand

The Illusion Of One Hand

A look into left hand only piano with examples from Classical and Jazz/Improv history. Plus a glimpse of an ongoing research project in this area.

Please note: this event has passed.

14FebFluxus Utopia header

Fluxus Utopia

This talk explores the curious intersection of politics and aesthetics in Fluxus by drawing on the work of Jacques Rancière. In its invitation to experience...

Please note: this event has passed.

15FebBallett theatre

(Cancelled) Americans in London: Cultural Exchange and Transnational Identities in Ballet Theatre's 1946 Covent Garden Season

The music department is delighted host a presentation by Sophie Redfern, Lecturer in Music, King’s College London and the University of Nottingham, and...

Please note: this event has passed.