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Professor Pauline Fairclough

Professor Pauline Fairclough

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

Professor of Music

Area of research

Soviet music and culture

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

+44 (0) 117 33 13373


I am a cultural historian specialising in Soviet music and the music of Dmitri Shostakovich. My first book, A Soviet Credo: Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony (Ashgate, 2006) was an in-depth study of Shostakovich's symphonic masterpiece, which had to wait twenty five years for its premiere in the post-Stalin era. My second monograph, funded by an AHRC Early Career Fellowship and a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, was Classics for the Masses: Shaping Soviet Musical Identity Under Lenin and Stalin (Yale, 2016), which was co-winner of the BASEES Women's Forum Book Prize in 2018. I have edited four volumes: The Cambridge Companion to Shostakovich (with David Fanning, Cambridge University Press, 2008), Shostakovich Studies 2 (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Twentieth Century Music and Politics: Essays in memory of Neil Edmunds (Ashgate, 2012) and 1917 and Beyond: Continuity, Rupture and Memory in Russian Music (MHRA, 2019, with Philip Bullock)

My biography of Shostakovich, written for Reaktion Books' 'Critical Lives' series, was published in 2019.

I am an elected Vice-President of the Royal Musical Association, co-editor of the CUP journal Twentieth-Century Music, General Editor of Routledge's Russian and East European Music series and I am on the editorial board of the Moscow journal Iskusstvo muzïki. Teoriya i istoriya (The Art of Music. Theory and History). Together with Olga Digonskaya of the Shostakovich Archive in Moscow, I run the 'Shostakovich and his Epoch' study group of the International Musicological Society.


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

Academics by department

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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