John Fallas


My doctoral research, supervised by Prof Martin Iddon and Prof Michael Allis, reads the fate of the requiem after 1965 and of the string quartet after 1979 in light of theories of the decline of genre, countertheories of the persistence of genre, and notions of survival and afterlife which draw on the work of Jacques Derrida, Walter Benjamin and Aby Warburg. I am also particularly interested in the interaction of paratexts (titles and other ‘ways in’ to the work) with generic identity, and in the question of so-called ‘countergenres’ and their titles.

In autumn 2016 I was an invited speaker in the symposium Michael Finnissy: Dialogues (University of Huddersfield) and, co-presenting with Prof Silvina Milstein, in the weekly colloquium series in the Music Department, King’s College London. I also delivered a paper in Lisbon on the string quartets of James Dillon and Salvatore Sciarrino.

In September 2017 I led a convened panel, ‘Expanded Musicologies: Fields and Frames’, at the Royal Musical Association annual conference (University of Liverpool) and participated in a well-received panel discussion on ‘New Music Histories: The Musical Present in Scholarly and Critical Discourse’ at the Tenth International Conference on Music Since 1900 (University of Surrey). In October 2017 I was the co-convenor, with Prof Christopher Dingle, of Heaven is Shy of Earth: Julian Anderson at 50 (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire / Guildhall School of Music & Drama). In July 2019 I was one of three speakers in the session ‘Julian Anderson: Bodies, Voice, Space’ at SotonMAC (University of Southampton), and was also selected to participate in the associated Music Analysis Summer School for postgraduates and early-career researchers.

Between undergraduate and doctoral studies I worked for several years in various branches of the recorded music industry before specialising, from 2008 onwards, as a freelance writer on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. I have written CD booklet essays for labels such as NMC, aeon, Wigmore Hall Live, harmonia mundi, Ondine and Delphian, and for performers including the Arditti and JACK Quartets, BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra, flautist Matteo Cesari, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and cellists Séverine Ballon, Arne Deforce and Seth Parker Woods. I also have extensive experience as a freelance editor and proofreader, working particularly often with non-native writers of English to check and help improve their writing for academic submission (postgraduate work and/or journal articles).

Research interests

  • String quartets (particularly after about 1960)
  • Requiems (particularly after 1965)
  • Afterlives
  • Genre theory
  • Paratexts, metaphor, countergenres
  • Composers’ self-constructions
  • Intentionality
  • Intertextuality
  • Writing about music for non-specialist audiences


  • BA (Hons) (Cantab)
  • MA (Cantab)