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Faculty of Music

 Martin  Elek


PhD Student


Martin read musicology at the Liszt Academy of Music (Budapest), receiving highest honours in both his BA and MA degrees. Between 2016 and 2019, he was a member of the Department for Hungarian Music History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In his capacity as a professional staff member, he engaged in the diverse activities of the department, including editing books, source study of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century operatic performance materials, international collaborations, and staging exhibitions.

Martin’s main research interests include historical performance practice (especially of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries), performance analysis, early sound recordings and analysis. His PhD research, supervised by Professor John Rink and funded by the Richard and Annie Greenhalgh Graduate Studentship in Music, focuses on the emergence of musical structure in orchestral performance. To explore that issue, he takes Wilhelm Furtwängler's conducting style as a case study. Drawing on a rich variety of primary sources, Martin’s doctoral project follows a mixed-methods approach: a close examination of Furtwängler’s writings and annotated conducting scores complements a range of computer-based recording analyses. Ultimately, his dissertation will address the following issues: conductors’ approaches to musical structure; the formulation of structural representations and the role of analysis therein; the durability and malleability of such representations; discrepancies between conductors’ verbalised beliefs and their musical practice; conductors’ musical annotations and their relation to structural representation; and mid-twentieth-century orchestral performing styles.

Martin considers outreach an important part of his professional activity and welcomes invitations for pre-concert talks and public presentations on post-1700 music history. Besides his research, Martin also writes concert and opera reviews and programme notes.


Key publications: 


‘Erkel Ferenc első operai hangszerelése: Mercadante Il Giuramentója a Nemzeti Színházban’ [Ferenc Erkel’s First Operatic Orchestration: Mercadante’s Il Giuramento at the National Theatre], Magyar Zene (Journal of the Hungarian Musicological Society), 58/2 (May 2019), 168–97



Book chapters

'Tempóflexibilitás Brahms 4. szimfóniájának előadás-történetében – A korai hangfelvételek tanulságai' [Tempo Flexibility in the Performance History of Brahms’s Fourth Symphony – Lessons from the Early Recordings], in Zenetudományi Dolgozatok 2019–2020 [Musicological Studies], ed. by Katalin Kim (Budapest: ELKH BTK Zenetudományi Intézet, 2021), 221–48


'Intensity Curves: A Technique to Analyze Performances', in Softwaregestützte Interpretationsforschung – Grundlagen, Desiderate, Grenzen, ed. by Julian Caskel, Frithjof Vollmer and Thomas Wozonig (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2022) (forthcoming)


'Karl Böhm and Brahms’s Fourth Symphony: A Structuralist Approach?', in Karl Böhm (1894–1981). Studien zu Biographie, Werk und Rezeption, ed. by Thomas Wozonig (Munich: text+kritik, 2022) (forthcoming)



Assistant Editor

Zenei repertoár és zenei gyakorlat a 18. századi Magyarországon [Polyphonic Music in the Cities, Churches and Aristocratic Courts of Hungary], ed. by Katalin Szacsvai Kim (Budapest: Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2017)


Studia Musicologica, 60.1–4 (2019)