Professor Stephen Downes

Personal profile

Stephen Downes is a musicologist whose interests lie in the analysis, history and aesthetics of music of the nineteenth and twentieth century. His work has focussed on the music of Central and Eastern Europe (especially Poland), but with occasional forays into England (Bridge and Britten) and France (Poulenc), and characteristically addresses repertory or topics marginalised or devalued by dominant historical and critical discourses. His six monographs include major studies of eroticism, decadence and romantic ideas of redemption, and he is currently developing work on notions of the sentimental in romantic and early modernist music. He is also working, with Peter Tregear of ANU, on a study of music and the metropolis in the early twentieth century.

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