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Faculty of Music

 Mark  Seow


PhD Student


After graduating in Music from the University of Cambridge in 2013, I returned home to London. I studied for an MA in historical violin performance with Matthew Truscott at the Royal Academy of Music, and soon began to work throughout Europe as an orchestral violinist. Concert highlights include the Leipzig Bachfest with Masaaki Suzuki, Mozart with Robert Levin in Portland, the Edinburgh International Festival under John Butt, a one-to-a-part Bach's St Matthew Passion with Trevor Pinnock, opera at Glyndebourne, and performing with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the Royal Albert Hall and a pub.

Alongside my career as a freelancing violinist, I worked in the commercial music industry as a researcher and writer for Gramophone, Harmonica Mundi, Warner Classics, Delphian Records, Channel Classics Records, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. I was an editorial assistant for the late Christopher Hogwood on the Bärenreiter edition of Brahms Op. 18. It was while working as a consultant at Decca Classics on campaigns for Vladimir Ashkenazy, Cecilia Bartoli and Sheku Kanneh-Mason that I decided to revisit musicology.

In 2017, I returned to Cambridge to complete an M.Phil. My thesis, which was awarded the William Barclay Squire Essay Prize, reconstructed the ‘touches’ of musical listening experiences in Bach’s Leipzig. My doctoral project is supervised by Dr Bettina Varwig and funded by the AHRC DTP. I explore the relationships between musical listening and embodied theology in early modern Lutheran Germany. I use historical metaphors to construct a listeners-oriented analysis of Bach's cantatas. 

Teaching and Supervisions


2021-22: I supervise for the paper 'Music in Contemporary Societies'. In previous years, I have supervised 'Music and Musicology Today', and 'Music History I (Early Modern Period c. 1580– 1750)' as part of the Music Tripos Part IA. 

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