Dr Sophie Redfern
Department of Music
Teaching Associate in Musicology
Honorary Research Fellow
Full contact details
Department of Music
A musicologist with a broad specialism in twentieth-century music, I have been Teaching Associate in Musicology and Musical Theatre and an Honorary Research Fellow here at Sheffield since 2019. I also have a research position at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and hold the post of Curator with the European Opera Centre. I was previously Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Music at Liverpool Hope University.
I have a long connection to the Sheffield Department of Music: I completed my BMus here and, after time spent working in marketing and communications for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Music in the Round, I returned for my doctoral studies; my PhD on the ballets of Leonard Bernstein was awarded in 2014. I currently teach general and specialised musicology modules across the BMus and MA Musicology programmes as well as supervising undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations on a wide range of topics including contemporary musicals, jazz, Wagner’s women and Penderecki’s musical language.
Outside of higher education, I lead the European Opera Centre’s new adult opera education series, The Audland Talks, and train animateurs for the Centre's Liverpool-based schools programme in my role as Curator. I am also involved in opera productions, most recently being engaged as a Dramaturg on a Musiksalon production at the Nationaltheater Mannheim in Germany.
A common thread across all my work is a commitment to engaging audiences and sharing knowledge and research. I have given talks for a number of organisations, written programme notes and articles for the BBC, and in August 2018 was the guest Bernstein expert for the West Side Story Proms Plus/Radio 3 talk.
- Research interests
An active researcher, my current interests are in 20th-century ballet, American music and musical theatre, with the work of Leonard Bernstein a focus. I am the author of the forthcoming book, Bernstein and Robbins: The Early Ballets (University of Rochester Press), and over the past year have contributed articles and chapters to The Cambridge History of Music Criticism (CUP, 2019) and The Cambridge Stravinsky Encyclopedia (CUP, due 2020).
- There's a Place for Us: The Musical Theatre Works of Leonard Bernstein. By Helen Smith.. Music and Letters, 95(1), 129-131.
- Professional activities
I am extensively involved in public engagement and education activities through my work with the European Opera Centre, where I lead the adult opera education talk series, The Audland Talks.
Over the past few years I have also given talks for the BBC Proms/BBC Radio 3, Hallé, Sheffield Recorded Music Society, Showroom Cinema and University of the Third Age.