Dr Richard Gillies

  • Lecturer in Music (Music)

Research interests

Primary Interests

  • Russian and East European Music & Culture
  • Music, Politics, & Society in the Soviet Era (particularly 1953-1991)
  • European Music & Culture of the fin de siècle 
  • Music & National Identity
  • Musical-literary genres (vocal cycles, song, opera)
  • Interdisciplinary approaches (music, literature, art history)


Recent Research

My first book, Singing Soviet Stagnation: Vocal Cycles from the USSR, 1964–1985, explores the intersection between identity, culture, society, and politics during the post-Stalinist period through hermeneutical and structural analyses of vocal cycles by Dmitri Shostakovich, Georgy Sviridov, and Valentin Silvestrov, and was recently published as part of Routledge’s Russian and East European Music and Culture series.

My most recent publication is an article in Tempo entitled 'Valentin Silvestrov and Putin's War in Ukraine'. The article draws on published interviews and personal correspondence with the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov (b. 1937) to situate the development of his musical aesthetics and international reputation within the context of the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, the Russian annexation of Crimea, and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine launched in February 2022.

My current research projects focus respectively on Silvestrov's Symphony No. 5, and on an analysis of the use of sound and musical cues by Alfred Schnittke in Larisa Shepitko's 1977 film The Ascent, for which she won a Golden Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival


Academic Year 2022/23

  • MUSIC1020 Listening in Culture (Convenor)
  • MUSIC4096 Historiography & Criticism (Convenor)
  • MUSIC4073 Film Music 
  • MUSIC4071P Dissertation in Music 
  • MUSIC5060 Introduction to Musicology (Convenor)
  • MUSIC5061 Current Issues in Musicology(Convenor)
  • MUSIC5081P Dissertation in Musicology


Additional information

I am currently the convenor of the MA and MMus Programmes for the 2022/23 academic year