Dr Steve Muir


I was educated at Bradford Grammar School and the University of Birmingham, graduating with a first-class degree (1994) and PhD on Rimsky-Korsakov's operas (2000). I am Assistant Director of The Clothworkers Consort of Leeds, Co-Director of the professional chamber choir Borealis, and a member of Leeds Baroque Choir. He has worked as a professional percussionist and conductor, and is in demand as a tenor soloist throughout the North of England.

My research focusses in two areas:
  • 19th-century Russian and Eastern European music, with a particular emphasis on opera;
  • Jewish musical phenomena in Russia, South Africa and the UK.
Within these two realms, the following topics are of particular interest:
  • Russian music
  • Czech music
  • opera
  • vocal performing practices
  • Jewish liturgical music
  • Jewish music and identity
  • archival recovery of music
My PhD thesis (The Operas of Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov from 1897 to 1904; Birmingham, 2000) resulted in articles and chapters in Russian and English collections, and presentations at conferences in Russia and elsewhere. I am also interested in vocal performing practices, particularly of the nineteenth century. Alongside this, he has participated in a number of research-led operatic premieres at Bretton Hall and the University of Leeds. More recently, research has turned to Jewish liturgical music, particularly in the South African context, including the migration of Jewish musicians and their music from Eastern Europe and Russia to Southern Africa in the early years of the twentieth century. Between December 2014 and July 2018 I was Principal Investigator on the 1.8m AHRC 'Care for the Future' project Performing the Jewish Archive.

Modules to which I often contribute

  • Music in History and Culture: lectures in Russian and East European Music
  • Performance classes at all levels
  • Music Research Skills: research skills tutorials, lectures
  • Music in Context: Music and National Identity; Music and the Abrahamic Faiths; Music and Drama
  • Analysis
  • Dissertation: supervising Russian/Eastern European topics, Jewish music topics
  • Professional Skills: presentation skills, writing funding applications
  • 2003–2007: School Examinations Officer
  • 2007–11: Director of Learning and Teaching, responsible for all Learning and Teaching activities in the School, chair of School Learning and Teaching Committee, member of School Management Committee and Workload Group
  • 2011–14: Manager, BA Music programme
  • 2011–14: Manager, BA Year in Industry scheme
  • 2011–14: Manager, BA Study Abroad Year
  • 2011–14: School International Officer
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Russian Centre
  • Music as Culture
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>