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The Society for Musicology in Ireland (SMI) was founded in 2003. Since then, the SMI’s Annual Plenary Conference of the Society has become one of the most important events in the musicological calendar for presenting, sharing and discussing musicological research. SMI members have featured prominently as authors and editors of landmark publications such as the Irish Musical Studies series (currently eleven volumes, published by Four Courts Press) and The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (2 volumes; UCD Press, 2013). Music and musical culture in Ireland form part of the SMI’s activities, but its members have research interests in all periods and genres of music, something that is reflected in the breadth of papers at this year’s conference.

Prof Adrienne Scullion, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences)The study of music and music making has been an important part of the scholarly life of Queen's University Belfast for many years.  Through publication and practice our staff and students have shared their work locally, nationally and internationally and have played active roles in a wide range of musical and musicological contexts, including the SMI.  It is, therefore, timely that this year's meeting of the SMI Annual Plenary Conference is happening here in Belfast.  Our School, Faculty and University welcome you to a conference that we hope you will find intellectually rewarding and to a city where we know you will enjoy good and convivial company.

Professor Adrienne Scullion, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences)

It is a pleasure for Queen’s to host the SMI Annual Plenary Conference, for the first time since 2004. The conference programme reflects not only the breadth of musicological interests within Ireland, but also many of the strengths of Music at Queen’s, among them eighteenth-century studies, performance studies, music in Ireland and music technology. It promises to be a memorable occasion.

Dr Simon Mawhinney, Head of Subject Area (Music)






Professor John ButtProfessor John Butt is Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow and musical director of Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort. A graduate of Cambridge University, where he received his PhD in 1987, he worked at the universities of Aberdeen, California Berkeley and Cambridge before being appointed to his current post in October 2001. His books, published by Cambridge University Press, include Bach Interpretation (1990), Bach’s Mass in B Minor (1991), Music Education and the Art of Performance in the German Baroque (1994), Playing with History (2002) and Bach’s Dialogue with Modernity (2010). He is also editor or joint editor of both the Cambridge and Oxford Companions to Bach and of the Cambridge History of Seventeenth Century Music (2005).

John Butt is greatly esteemed as a conductor. Among his achievements with the Dunedin Consort are a Gramophone Award (2007) and the MIDEM award for Baroque Music (2008) for his recording of Messiah in its first performed version (Dublin, 1742), another Gramophone Award (2014) for a reconstruction of the first performance of Mozart’s Requiem, Classic FM Magazine’s Recording of the Month award (March 2008) for his recording of Bach’s Matthew Passion, Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice for Handel’s Acis and Galatea (November 2008) and Bach’s Mass in B Minor (May 2010), and Gramophone Award shortlistings for both Bach’s John Passion and Brandenburg Concertos (2013). He has been guest conductor with many orchestras in Europe and North America. He also continues to be active as a solo organist and harpsichordist. Eleven recordings on organ, harpsichord and clavichord have been released by Harmonia Mundi, and his recording of Bach’s complete Well-Tempered Clavier was released by Linn in November 2014.

In 2003 John Butt was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and received the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association. In 2006 he was elected Fellow of the British Academy. In January 2011 he was the fifth recipient of the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation’s Bach Prize, for his work in the performance and scholarship of Bach, and in 2013 he was awarded the medal of the Royal College of Organists and an OBE.