Nicky Losseff
Senior Lecturer

Profile

Biography

Nicky Losseff spent her early years at the Yehudi Menuhin School, then going on to the Royal Academy of Music. Afterwards, she worked abroad as a school music teacher, first in Iceland and then India. However, the life of the mind called, and she studied at King's College London, first for a BMus and then a PhD in Medieval Musicology. From 1994-97 she was British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of York's music department.

As a musicologist, Nicky continues to be involved in medieval polyphony through her work with Trio Mediaeval - she provides them with editions and programme notes for their recordings. The most recent release is A Worcester Ladymass, a reconstructed mass for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the 13th century Worcester polyphonic repertoire; the trio are now working on her project 'Nocturne', a creative reconstruction of 13th-century Notre Dame matins polyphony and plainsong. She has also made editions for the Hilliard Ensemble.

Nicky has worked on representations of music in 19th-century novels, which resulted in a book co-edited with Sophie Fuller, The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction, as well as the article 'Absent Melody and the Woman in White', which won the Westrup prize for the best article in the journal Music and Letters. Her article in Popular Music, 'Cathy's Homecoming and the Other World', was selected for inclusion in Allan Moore's Critical Essays in Popular Musicology, a collection which contains 'many of the most important and innovative journal articles and papers in the field'. A passion for Bartók is also reflected in her writings for the Cambridge Companion to Bartok and Twentieth-Century Music.

An ongoing interest in religion and spirituality bore fruit in the book Nicky co-edited with Jenny Doctor: Silence, Music, Silent Music in which her own chapter contribution focused on the mystic poetry of St John of the Cross.  Her current research examines interfaces between music and psychoanalysis; her partner is a counsellor, and this shared interest has been of much benefit. Work in this area includes "Projective Identification, Musical Interpretation and the Self" and "Casting Beams of Darkness into Bartok's Cantata Profana".At present, she is involved in two projects: one, examining the relationship between interpreting subject and musical object through psychoanalytic Object Relations theory, is part of a larger project being undertaken with members of the Orpheus Institute, Ghent, called 'Who is the "I" that performs?'; the other is considering negative impacts of performing classical music on the internal (mental) world.

Nicky maintained a regular presence on the concert platform until recently. Her recording of contemporary piano music, Pianthology, was released by NMC in summer 2011.  She has appeared with Gamelan Sekar Petak at the Huddersfield and Cheltenham Festivals and on BBC Radio 3. She coaches performance at York and at Capital Normal University, Beijing. She has been awarded the honorary ARAM for distinguished alumni of the Royal Academy of Music.

Departmental roles

  • Chair, MA Board of Examiners
  • Chair, MA in Community Music Board of Examiners
  • Chair, Postgraduate Studies MA Sub-committee
  • Performance supervisor

Research

Overview

  • Psychoanalysis
  • Bartók
  • Performance
  • 13th-Century Polyphony
  • Music and Literature
  • Gender

Publications

Full publications list

Book

The Best Concords: Polyphonic Music in Thirteenth-Century England. New York: Garland, 1994

Edited books

Silence, Music, Silent Music. Ed. Nicky Losseff and Jenny Doctor. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007.

The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction. Ed. Sophie Fuller and Nicky Losseff. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004.

Articles and book chapters

'Projective Identification, Musical Interpretation and the Self', in Music Performance Research, 2011.

'“No delicacies of tone”: Bells and identity in Gissing’s London.' In Writing Otherness: The Pathways of George Gissing’s Imagination, ed. Christine Huguet. Equilibris, 2011.

'Silent music and the eternal silence’, in Silence, Music, Silent Music, ed. Nicky Losseff and Jenny Doctor Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007.

'Mary Losseff and Richard Tauber', in Record Collector 51 (2006), 305-314. 

'Casting beams of darkness into Bartók's Cantata Profana.' Twentieth-Century Music 3 (2006), 221-254 .  Abstract

‘The Voice, the Breath, the Soul: Song and Poverty in Victorian Fiction,’ in The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction, ed. Sophie Fuller and Nicky Losseff. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004.

'The Piano Concertos and the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion,' in The Cambridge Companion to Bartók, ed. Amanda Bayley. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, 118-132.

'Absent Melody and The Woman in White,' Music and Letters 81 (2000), 532-550. Abstract

'Cathy's Homecoming and the other World: Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights,"' Popular Music 18 (1999), 227-240. Reprinted in Critical Essays in Popular Musicology, ed. Allan Moore. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007.

'The Music-Theatre of Erika Fox,' in Reclaiming the Muse, ed. Nicola LeFanu and Sophie Fuller. Contemporary Music Review 11 (1994), 109-122.

Dictionaries and encyclopedias contributions

Medieval England: An Encyclopedia. Garland Encyclopedias of Medieval Europe (New York: Garland, 1998)

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 7th edition, ed. Stanley Sadie (London: Macmillan, 2000)

The New DNB (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

Contemporary Composers, ed. B. Morton and P. Collins (London: St James Press, 1992)

Editions/recordings

Medieval music

Nicky Losseff is the musicologist for the ensemble trio mediaeval. Her editions of 12th and 13th-century music from England and France have been recorded on the CDs Stella Maris (ECM, 2005), and Fragments (ECM, 2011). She was also commissioned by the Hilliard Ensemble to provide a new edition for their recording Guillaume de Machaut: Motets (ECM, 2004).

Contemporary piano music

Pianthology (commercial recording issued by NMC records, 2011; edition published by UYMP, 2008). Seven contemporary piano pieces. 

Reviews

In Early Music, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Notes, Music & Letters.

 

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • Medieval Music
  • The Early Renaissance
  • Beethoven
  • The Romantic Piano
  • Bartók
  • Music and Gender
  • Performing
  • Creative Musicology
Dr Nicky Losseff

Contact details

Dr Nicky Losseff
Department of Music
University of York
Heslington
York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 2443