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Faculty of Music

 Adam  Behan


PhD Student


I am a musicologist who works for the most part on music in the twentieth century, classical and popular. I completed a joint honours BA (hons) in Music and History at Trinity College Dublin before undertaking postgraduate study at Cambridge. My research interests centre on performance, its conceptual limits and its cultural/social meanings. I am also interested in, and have published on, performance analysis, the history of recordings, creativity and creative processes, and care ethics. Many of these themes come into play in my doctoral thesis, which brings together computational and critical approaches to studying performers and takes the Russian pianist Maria Yudina as a case study. I am supervised by Prof. John Rink.

My work has been published in Music Analysis, Twentieth-Century Music, Quodlibet and Music & Letters. I have presented papers at conferences in Bangor, Cork, Graz, Surrey and Newcastle, and virtually in Connecticut and Dublin. If you want to read more about any of these, you can do so on my Academia page.

In 2019, I co-organised a conference entitled ‘The Classical Musician in the 21st Century’ at the Faculty of Music in Cambridge. In 2019-2020, I was a member of the Faculty of Music Research Colloquium Committee.

My studies at Cambridge are funded by a Peterhouse Graduate Studentship.


Key publications: 

'Joni Mitchell's Urges for Going, 1965-67: Coffeehouses, Counterculture and Care', Journal of the Society for American Music 17/1 (Forthcoming: February 2023).

'Product and Process Revisited: Reading Creativity Forwards and Backwards with Herbert von Karajan's Legato Aesthetic and Hypermasculinity', Music & Letters (Advance Article: Spring 2022).

'Glenn Gould in Six Scenes: Performance as Self-Care'Quodlibet 76 (December 2021), 54-84. [In English - title and abstract available in Spanish]

‘The Historiography of the Twentieth-Century Classical Performer: Life, Work, Artistry’, Twentieth-Century Music 18/2 (June 2021), 161-184.

‘Large-Scale Structure, Performance and Brahms’s Op. 119 No. 2’, Music Analysis 40/1 (March 2021), 104-130.

Teaching and Supervisions


In 2021-22, I supervise on the following courses:

  • IB Historical Studies (Western Art Music Since 1900)
  • Part II Pop, Politics and Protest
  • Part II Dissertation

In previous years, I have supervised:

•    IA Music and Musicology Today

•    IB Introduction to Performance Studies



Contact Details