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Prof Owen Rees

Fellow in Music and College Organist

Professor in Music

Introduction

My undergraduate studies in Music were at Cambridge, where I held an Organ Scholarship. After this, I pursued doctoral research in Portugal, and then moved to Oxford as Lecturer at St Peter’s College and St Edmund Hall. I then spent six years teaching at the University of Surrey, before taking up my post at Queen’s in 1997. As Organist at Queen’s I direct the Chapel Choir, and work with the Organ Scholars in planning the choir’s activities, including thrice-weekly services in term-time, concerts, tours, recordings, and broadcasts. I also organize (with the assistance of the Organ Scholars) a series of weekly organ recitals in term-time on the College’s fine Frobenius organ.

Teaching

My tutorial teaching covers many aspects of the Oxford undergraduate course, including music history from the Middle Ages to the end of the Baroque, and techniques of composition. I supervise postgraduate students in areas related to my own research. I also lecture at the Faculty of Music, particularly in my research field of Renaissance vocal music, and in choral conducting.

Research

My research focuses on sacred music in Spain, Portugal, and England during the Renaissance. I have written about the music of William Byrd, and many of the greatest Spanish and Portuguese composers of the period. As a conductor, I direct the Chapel Choir at Queen’s, as well as the professional vocal consort Contrapunctus (http://www.contrapunctus.org.uk). My conducting work has been nominated for the Gramophone early-music award, and I tour extensively in Europe and beyond with the groups I direct.

Publications

‘Seville Cathedral’s Music in Performance, 1549–1599’, in Colin Lawson & Robin Stowell (eds), The Cambridge History of Musical Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 353–74

Cristóbal de Morales: Sources, Inflences, Reception, co-edited with Bernadette Nelson (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2007)

‘Adventures of Portuguese “Ancient Music” in Oxford, London, and Paris: Duarte Lobo’s Liber missarum and Musical Antiquarianism, 1650–1850’, Music & Letters 86 (2005), 42–73

Polyphony in Portugal c. 1530-c. 1620: Sources from the Monastery of Santa Cruz, Coimbra (New York & London: Garland, 1995)

‘The English Background to Byrd’s Motets: Textual and Stylistic Models for Infelix ego’, in Byrd Studies (Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 24–50