Professor Michael Allis


I studied cello and piano at the Royal College of Music with Anna Shuttleworth and Peter Wallfisch, where I graduated with a first-class BMus from the University of London. Postgraduate work at King's College, London included an MMus in Historical Musicology in 1988, and the completion of my PhD thesis ('The Creative Process of Hubert Parry') in 1994. Following a range of teaching and lecturing posts (King's College London, Bedford Modern School, the Oxford Cello School, Charterhouse, Farringdon College), I became a Lecturer in Academic Studies at the Royal Academy of Music in 1994; as Senior Postgraduate Tutor at the RAM, I was responsible for overseeing academic elements of the taught postgraduate programmes. I joined the University of Leeds as a Senior Lecturer in 2006, and was promoted to a Chair in Musicology in 2015.   


  • MMus Performance Programme Manager

Research interests

My research has focused primarily upon British music and musical life in the long nineteenth century. In addition to the monographs Parry's Creative Process (Ashgate 2003) and British Music and Literary Context (The Boydell Press, 2012) - which explored links between British music and literature in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (Parry and Bridges, Stanford and Tennyson, Bantock and Browning, Elgar and Bulwer, Elgar and travel literature) - my 2013 book Temporaries and Eternals reproduced and contextualised the music criticisms of Aldous Huxley, and 2017 saw the publication of Granville Bantock's Letters to William Wallace and Ernest Newman, 1893-1921: 'Our new dawn of modern music' (The Boydell Press). Several of my interdisciplinary articles and book chapters have focused upon the refiguring of poetry and literature in British music, whether in relation to Bantock's refiguring of Robert Southey in Thalaba the Destroyer (Music & Letters, 2014) and The Curse of Kehama (European Romantic Review, 2016) and his orchestral reworking of Shelley's The Witch of Atlas (Journal of Musicological Research, 2017),  narrative issues in the music of Elgar (Music & Letters, 2004; Journal of Musicological Research, 2000) or Joseph Holbrooke's exploration of the uncanny in The Raven, based on Poe's poem (2014). I have also published on music in literature, including topics such as Samuel Butler's obsession with Handel (Handel Jahrbuch, 1998), Aleister Crowley's interest in Wagner (Forum for Modern Language Studies, 2014), and a forthcoming article on the literary representation of Peter Warlock in Robertson Davies' novel A Mixture of Frailties (University of Toronto Quarterly). In addition to studies of quotation and allusion in the music of Bax (JRMA, 2011), Stanford's piano music (Music Review, 1994), and a number of chapters and articles on Walter Bache, The Working Men's Society and Liszt reception in 19th-century Britain, my 2008 article in Cambridge Opera Journal focused on issues of tempo in Wagner's Das Rheingold.  

Future projects include co-edited books The Oxford Handbook of Music and Intellectual Culture in the 19th Century (OUP) and The Symphonic Poem in Britain 1850-1940: Texts and Contexts (which will include my chapter on William Wallace's symphonic poem Villon), plus studies of Parry's Elegy for Brahms, and William Wallace's Sister Helen. I am also a member of the Editorial Boards of The Journal of Victorian Culture and Nineteen.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • MMus
  • BMus
  • DipRCM

Professional memberships

  • British Association of Victorian Studies

Student education

I am Programme Manager for the MMus in Performance, and contribute to teaching in the areas of musicology, analysis and performance. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Music as Culture

Current postgraduate research students

<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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>