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Ariana Phillips-Hutton

Ariana Phillips-Hutton

Research Assistant in Music and Philosophy


Ariana is a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Music currently working on projects related to music and philosophy. Her research and teaching range across historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and performance, with a focus on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Ariana’s doctoral thesis, completed at Cambridge under Professor Nicholas Cook, explores how themes of guilt, forgiveness, and reconciliation are enacted and negotiated in contemporary genres and contexts spanning popular music, Western art music, and multimedia projects from four different continents. In her next project, which takes as its theme musical commemorations of war, genocide, and terror in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, she will be developing ideas about the contingent performance of music and identity to consider how societies mobilise musical narratives of cultural memory and forgetting in the context of historical violence. Other research interests include the piano music of Chopin and the intersection of philosophy and music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Prior to studying at Cambridge, Ariana studied at Baylor University (Texas, USA) receiving a BM (Hons) in Piano Pedagogy and Performance and a double MM in Piano Performance, Music History and Literature. She studied piano with Professor Jane Abbott-Kirk and musicology with Professors Jean Boyd, Robin Wallace, and Laurel Zeiss. Since her graduation in 2012 she has been a contributing editor for several books, including Take Note: An Introduction to Music through Active Listening (Oxford University Press, 2014), the 9th edition of A History of Western Music, and the 5th edition of A Concise History of Western Music (both for W.W. Norton & Co., 2014).

Despite the pleasure that can come from exploring music’s dark sides, when not investigating the intersection of music and traumatic experience she prefers to spend time cultivating interests in happier things like sport, cooking, and coffee. Having rowed for three years for Darwin College, Cambridge, she can occasionally be found wandering the river path watching the VIIIs go by.

Colleges, Departments and Institutes

Darwin College: