Professor Pauline Fairclough

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

  • BS8 1SA

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Personal profile

Research interests

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.

From 2021-23 I hold a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship and will be writing a monograph on Shostakovich's opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk for Oxford University Press.

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

External positions

Co-editor, Twentieth-Century Music

1 Jan 201831 Dec 2022

External Examiner, Music Tripos Part II, University of Cambridge

1 Jan 20181 Jul 2020

Vice President, Royal Musical Association

1 Jan 20171 Jan 2022

General Editor, Russian and East European Music Series, Routledge

1 Jan 201631 Dec 2026

Editorial Council, Iskusstvo Muziki. Teoriya i Istoriya.


Co-Convenor, International Musicological Society Shostakovich Study Group

2012 → …

Directorium member, BASEES Russian and East European Music Study Group



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