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Dr Pauline Fairclough

Dr Pauline Fairclough

Dr Pauline Fairclough
B.A., M.A.(N'cle), Ph.D.(Manc.)

Reader in Music

Research Fellow in Music

Area of research

Soviet music and culture

Victoria Rooms,
Queens Road, Clifton BS8 1SA
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 33 13373


Pauline Fairclough specialises in Soviet musical culture, and has published widely on Shostakovich and musical life under Stalinism. She is the author of two monographs: A Soviet Credo: Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony (Ashgate, 2006) and the prizewinning Classics for the Masses: Shaping Soviet Musical Identity Under Lenin and Stalin (Yale, 2016), which won the BASEES Women's Forum Book Prize in 2018. She is editor of three volumes: The Cambridge Companion to Shostakovich (with David Fanning, Cambridge University Press, 2008), Shostakovich Studies 2 (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Twentieth Century Music and Politics: Essays in memory of Neil Edmunds (Ashgate, 2012).

During her 2018-19 University research Fellowship, Pauline is writing a biography of Shostakovich commissioned by Reaktion Press for their 'Critical Lives' series.

In 2016, Pauline was elected a Vice-President of the Royal Musical Association, a position she will hold until 2021. She is co-editor of the journal Twentieth-Century Music, General Editor of Routledge's Russian and East European Music series and is on the editorial board of the Moscow journal Iskusstvo muzïki. Teoriya i istoriya (The Art of Music. Theory and History).

Research grants obtained:

2005-6: University Research Fellowship

2006: British Academy Conference Grant (Shostakovich Centenary Conference)

2010: University Research Fellowship

2011: AHRC Early Career Research Fellowship (£65,000)

2011: Music and Letters Trust: £1500

2012: British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant: £9000 for creation of the Derek C. Hulme archive

2013-14: British Academy Mid-Career Research Fellowship (£85,000)

2018-19: University Research Fellowship


Conferences organised:

'Russian and Soviet Music: Reappraisal and Rediscovery' with Patrick Zuk, Music Department, University of Durham, 11-14 July 2011.

'Shostakovich 2006: International Centenary Conference'

'1948 and all that: Music, Politics and Power in the Soviet Union' with Marina Frolova-Walker, CRASSH, University of Cambridge, 2009:

'Twentieth-century Music and Politics', Department of Music, University of Bristol, 14-16 April 2010


I obtained my PhD from Manchester University in 2002, spent a year teaching at Keele University and came to Bristol in 2004. In 2006, together with Rosamund Bartlett, I founded the Russian and East European Music study group (REEM) which holds annual study days and panels in Britain and Europe. In 2008 Olga Digonskaya and I founded the IMS study group 'Shostakovich and his Epoch' which holds conferences and panels world-wide, especially in Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Links to both groups can be found here

I was elected an Ordinary member of Council of the Royal Musical Association in 2012 and a Vice-President in 2016 (serving till 2021).

I am founding editor of the Routledge Russian and East European Music and Culture series, which can be viewed here:


I teach music history from the late Classical period to the present day, tonal analysis and twentieth-century Aesthetics. Since 2004 I have run the following units: The Music of Shostakovich; Soviet Music; Russian Opera from Glinka to Prokofiev; 20th-century Opera from Tosca to Turnage.


  • Soviet Music
  • Socialist Realism
  • Cold War Cultural Exchanges
  • Soviet performance practice



Department of Music

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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