Laura Tunbridge receives the Royal Musical Association Dent Medal

Catz Fellow Professor Laura Tunbridge has been awarded the 2021 Dent Medal from the Royal Musical Association (RMA).

The RMA is the foremost society in the UK dedicated to the study of music and its Dent Medal is awarded annually to academics in recognition of their outstanding contribution to musicology. Named after distinguished musician and scholar Edward J Dent, the award is now in its sixtieth year.

Laura’s recognition with this prize comes a year after her critically acclaimed biography of Ludwig van Beethoven, A Life in Nine Pieces, was released, on the year of the 250th anniversary of his birth.

This, her most recent work, follows other books and book chapters on a variety of musical topics. Her research covers a variety of eras and interests, from classical composers like Beethoven and Schumann to London and New York vocal recitals in the 1920s and ‘30s.

Laura has received a number of high profile research grants, including a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, which she is currently using to research the social and sonic history of the string quartet. She was also editor of the Journal of the Royal Musical Association from 2013-18 and features regularly in the media.

‘One of the most significant public musicologists in Britain today’

Given Laura’s varied achievements, the RMA, in their announcement of the prize, concluded that: ‘The widespread success of Beethoven: A Life in Nine Pieces has cemented Tunbridge’s standing as one of the most significant public musicologists in Britain today. It marks a milestone in a career distinguished by collegiality as well as impressive productivity.’

Commenting on being awarded the prize, Laura said: ‘I was surprised and delighted for my work to be recognised by the Royal Musical Association in this way.’

Nominations for the Dent Medal are submitted by fellow scholars and members of the RMA or the Directorium of the International Musicological Society (IMS). A committee then decides on the winner, before it is officially announced at the RMA’s Annual Conference in September.

About Professor Laura Tunbridge

Professor Laura Tunbridge is the Henfrey Fellow and Tutor in Music at St Catherine’s. She teaches 19th- and 20th-century music history and analysis at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Recent undergraduate lecture courses include Richard Strauss and the Representation of Women, The String Quartet after Beethoven, The Art of Song, and Musical Thought and Scholarship.

She read Music as an undergraduate at The Queen’s College, Oxford, before completing an MA at the University of Nottingham, followed by an MFA and then a PhD at Princeton University in the USA.