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Prof Marina Frolova-Walker

Prof Marina Frolova-Walker

Professor in Music History

Director of Studies, Clare College

Faculty of Music
11 West Road

Cambridge CB3 9DP
Office Phone: 01223 762550


Marina Frolova-Walker is Reader in Music History and a Fellow of Clare College, where she is also Director of Studies in Music.

I was born and educated in Moscow. My alma mater is the Moscow Conservatoire College (Merzlyakovka), where I was fortunate to study with legendary teachers such as Ekaterina Tsareva and Viktor Frayonov. My education continued at the Moscow Conservatoire proper, where I was an undergraduate and then a graduate student during the exciting times of Gorbachev, perestroika and the demise of the Soviet Union. In 1994 I defended my PhD thesis on Schumann’s symphonies and their influence on Russian music, and in the same year moved to the United Kingdom (for personal, rather than political reasons). Before coming to Cambridge in 2000, I taught at the University of Ulster, Goldsmiths College London and the University of Southampton.

Emigration caused me to shift my interests more firmly onto Russian soil, while the need to convert from a Russian musicologist into a Western one prompted my interest in the historiography of Russian music and the nationalist/exoticist myths perpetuated in it, which eventually resulted in my book Russian Music and Nationalism from Glinka to Stalin. I was also enticed to move away from symphonic music to opera, and I have written several articles on Russian operatic repertoire, as well as contributions to the Cambridge Companion to Grand Opera and the Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Opera; however, one of my recent essays, on the two versions of Prokofiev’s Fourth Symphony saw my return to the exploration of textless music. At the moment, my research interests are primarily in 20th-century cultural history, particularly in the area of Soviet music and musical life. One of my current research strands is focused on the Soviet 1920s, the other on the music of Socialist Realism and its relation to Soviet power structures.

I began teaching when I was 19, and since then it has become one of my passions. I am equally committed to sharing my expertise and recent research findings with a broader public; over the years, I have given over a hundred pre-concert lectures in locations ranging from the Carnegie Hall to the industrial plants of Kazakhstan.

Departments and Institutes

Clare College:
Director of Studies in Music

Key Publications

Russian Music and Nationalism from Glinka to Stalin (Yale University Press, 2007)
Music and Soviet Power, 1917-32 (with Jonathan Walker) (The Boydell Press, 2012)

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