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Royal Musical Association, The University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music logo

Royal Musical Association Annual Conference

The 55th Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association will be hosted jointly by the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester, between 11 and 13 September 2019.

The 2019 Annual Conference seeks to celebrate the interface between performance, musicology and composition, and we, therefore, encourage participants representing the full range of current international scholarly and creative research in music.

Conference programme

The conference will be structured in parallel sessions, which will include individual papers grouped into themed topics, themed panels of 3–4 papers, lecture-recitals, practice-based-research workshops for performance and composition, and poster presentations. There are two keynote events:

  • The Edward Dent medal award lecture will be delivered in the Martin Harris Centre at the University of Manchester on Wednesday, 11 September by the 2018 award winner, Prof. Inga Mai Groote, Professor of Musicology at the Musikwissenschaftliches Institut in the University of Zurich;
  • The Peter le Huray lecture will be delivered in the Concert Hall of the Royal Northern College of Music on Thursday, 12 September by Prof. Tamara Levitz, Professor of Musicology at the Herb Alpert School of Music, UCLA. 

The conference will also afford excellent opportunities for research networking for both established and junior scholars, and delegates will also be offered opportunities to attend a number of events celebrating the diverse musical cultures of the city of Manchester.


The joint hosting of the Annual Conference by the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester is intended to promote the fluid interactions between the creative, practical and intellectual study of music that are at the core of musical research today, and will be facilitated by the use of the resources of both institutions throughout the conference. This allows us the flexibility to host a range of session types, including standard research presentations with full audio-visual facilities, lecture-recitals, and both acoustic and electroacoustic performances and workshops. 

Located at the heart of Manchester’s cultural corridor, just off its spine, Oxford Road, the RNCM and the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama at the University of Manchester are situated one mile south of Manchester city centre, and just five minutes’ walk from one another. In order to allow delegates full access to all parallel sessions, the venues will be used in alternation rather than simultaneously, morning sessions taking place in one venue, and afternoon in the other; lunch will be hosted in the foyer of the RNCM on each day and publishers’ displays will also be located here.

Call for proposals 

The call for proposals for all types of session opens on Thursday, 13 September 2018 and closes at 5pm (GMT) on Thursday, 15 November 2018. Proposals will be selected by the programme committee on the basis of the quality of the research proposals; the committee intends to notify proposal submitters of its decisions by Thursday, 7 February 2019.

Proposals must be submitted via the appropriate online proposal submission form, which can be accessed using one of the links below:  

If you experience problems accessing the appropriate online submissions form, you may complete the Word version of the form below and email to by 5pm (GMT) on Thursday, 15 November 2018.

Programme committee

  • Prof Barbara Kelly (RNCM)
  • Prof Rebecca Herissone (The University of Manchester)
  • Dr Warwick Edwards (RMA)
  • Dr Michelle Assay (RMA)
  • Dr Chloe Zadeh (The University of Manchester)
  • Dr David Horne (RNCM)
  • Dr Tom Perchard (Goldsmiths, University of London)


Registration will open on Monday, 1 April 2019; Early Bird registration (for RMA members only) will close on Wednesday, 3 July 2019. Full details of the online registration process, including registration fees, will be made available on this website in early 2019. 


Full information and advice on national and international travel to Manchester will be provided on this website from 1 April 2019. Until that time it is available from the University of Manchester and RNCM websites. 


Bookings for accommodation for the conference can be arranged via our bespoke Accommodation Booking Service (ABS), provided by Marketing Manchester, allowing delegates to choose from a wide range of city hotels and hostels, ranging from luxury hotels to budget and student accommodation, booked at competitive prices. A dedicated accommodation-booking web page will be available from 1 April 2019, allowing delegates to book accommodation online or via telephone. 

Food and Drink

Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be provided as part of the delegates’ registration package. A buffet lunch will be available on each day of the conference for those delegates who opt to include it in their registration package, at an additional charge. The conference dinner will take place at the RNCM following the Peter le Huray lecture on Thursday, 12 September. 


Manchester’s vibrant and diverse musical culture will be celebrated throughout the conference via a range of planned events available to conference delegates via the registration process. These will include evening concerts on Wednesday 11 and Friday 13 September, as well as interactive sonic events in the city, and social activities. Full details will be available on this website from 1 April 2019.