Philip Bullock

senior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2016/2017
discipline Literature and Music
Professor of Russian Literature and Music, University of Oxford

Research project

The Poet’s Echo: Art Song in Russia, 1730-2000


"The Poet’s Echo: Art Song in Russia, 1730-2000" will be the first study of Russian art song to be written in English, and the first to move beyond Russian-language works dating from the Soviet era. Its approach is explicitly interdisciplinary, bringing together elements of musical analysis, literary criticism and cultural history, and drawing on the methodologies of reception studies, gender studies, translation studies, the history of emotions, history of the book and performance studies. It takes as its basis not only the vast number of scores that are held in the main Russian libraries, but also sources such as memoirs, diaries, letters, publishers’ catalogues, and concert programmes that are invaluable in charting the reception of poetry in musical composition and performance.


The ambitions of my study are fourfold. First, it establishes an overarching narrative of a form in which almost all Russian composers have expressed themselves since its emergence in the Europeanised context of early eighteenth-century culture. Secondly, it shows how song participates in the literary process, helping to establish, shape and disseminate Russia’s evolving canon of poetry beyond the confines of the page. Thirdly, because the rise of art song is dependent on changes in publishing, my book traces how print culture was instrumental in shaping Russia’s social and cultural self-image. Finally, it illustrates how song can be used to reconstitute something of the interior emotional world of Russian audiences by shedding light on the reception of poetry and music by a wide range of performers and listeners.


Moreover, my work on Russian song is not just the result of scholarly interest: as an active pianist with a particular commitment to the song repertoire, I know these works from the inside too, and my interpretations of song’s historical function are profoundly shaped by an awareness of its performing traditions.




Philip Bullock is Professor of Russian Literature and Music, Fellow of Wadham College and Lecturer at Worcester College at the University of Oxford. He holds a DPhil in Medieval and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford. His principal research interests are in 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature and music, translation and reception studies, comparative literature, and theories of gender and sexuality. In 2015, he was elected to serve a three-year term as a member of the Wissenschaftlicher Beirat of the Tschaikowsky-Gesellschaft.


Selected publications


Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Reaktion, London, 2016.


Russia in Britain, 1880-1940: From Melodrama to Modernism, with R. Beasley (eds), Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013.


The Correspondence of Jean Sibelius and Rosa Newmarch, 1906-1939, Boydell, Woodbridge, 2011.


Rosa Newmarch and Russian Music in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century England, Royal Musical Association Monographs, vol. 18, Ashgate, Farnham, 2009.


'Ambiguous Speech and Eloquent Silence: The Queerness of Tchaikovsky’s Songs', 19th-Century Music, vol. 32, 2008, pp. 94-128.


The Feminine in the Prose of Andrey Platonov, Legenda, London, 2005.



junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2015/2016
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Literature
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Political Philosophy
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Cognition