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Dr Robert Samuels

Robert Samuels photo

Profile summary

  • Senior Lecturer in Music
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • Music
  • robert.samuels

Professional biography

Robert Samuels (b.1962) was educated at Southend High School for Boys and Robinson College, Cambridge. He studied English and Music, graduating with a B.A. in 1985. After a year of voluntary work, he returned to Robinson College in 1986, and graduated with an M.Phil. in Musicology in 1987. He then studied for a Ph.D. in Music from 1987 to 1989, eventually graduating in 1994 with the thesis, Semiotics and Mahler: Analyses of Musical Signification in the Sixth Symphony. In 1989 he was appointed Leverhulme Research Fellow, in the Department of Music at the University of Lancaster, and in 1990 he was appointed Lecturer. In 1995 he was appointed Lecturer in the Music Department of the Open University and in 2011 he was appointed Senior Lecturer. He lives in Oxford with his wife, Alison and children, Anna Maria (b.1999) and Ben (b.2002).

Research interests

Music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly from the perspectives of music analysis, critical theory, aesthetic history and comparative cultural history (principally exploring the relationships between music and literature). Publications have included studies of Schubert, Schumann, Mahler, Cage, Boulez and Birtwistle.

Robert is a convenor of the Literature and Music Research Group.

In 2014-15 Robert  held a twelve-month Leverhulme Research Fellowship with the project title, "Symphony and Novel in the Long Nineteenth Century".



See "Publications" tab above

Dictionary and Encyclopedia entries:

‘Schubert’ and ‘Winterreise’, articles for the Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, ed. C. Murray. Fitzroy Dearborn (2003).

'Musical semiotics', article for the Oxford Companion to Musiced. A. Latham. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2002).

‘Harrison Birtwistle’, article for The Penguin Opera Guide, ed. A. Holden. Penguin Viking, Harmondsworth (1993).

Teaching interests

Robert is a contributing author to module A342, Central Questions in the Study of Music (to be launched in 2015).

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Literature and Music Research GroupGroupFaculty of Arts
Musics and Cultures Research GroupGroupFaculty of Arts