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Faculty of Music

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker appointed 36th Gresham Professor of Music

Gresham College, London’s oldest Higher Education Institution, is delighted to announce the appointment of Marina Frolova-Walker, Professor of Music History at the University of Cambridge, as the next Gresham Professor of Music.

Past Gresham Professors of Music include John Bull, Iannis Xenakis, John Dankworth, and Christopher Hogwood. Frolova-Walker is the second woman to hold this position in the College’s history (after Joanna MacGregor).

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker is a specialist in the Russian music of the 19th and 20th centuries. She has published extensively on Russian music and is a well-known lecturer and broadcaster for BBC Radio 3. Among her many awards and appointments, she is a Fellow of the British Academy and was awarded the Edward Dent Medal in 2015 by the Royal Musical Association for her achievements in musicology. She was a Visiting Professor of Russian Music at Gresham in 2018-19.

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker said:

“I am honoured and excited to take up the position of 36th Gresham Professor of Music, and I am delighted to have such eminent predecessors as John Bull and Iannis Xenakis. Bringing knowledge about music to a broader public has always been one of my passions, and the work of several recent Professors of Music such as David Owen Norris and Roger Parker has been an inspiration for my own activities as a public lecturer.

“My first lecture series features the artistic project of the Ballets Russes, brainchild of the great impresario Serge Diaghilev. Prior to Diaghilev, no one thought that ballet could be transformed into a provocatively modern art, a platform for cutting-edge experiments in music, choreography and design. The project had its roots in Diaghilev’s inspired marketing of “Russianness” in the Parisian arts world, and he continued to develop his ideas until his circle had become an international hotbed of artistic innovation. “Surprise me!”, Diaghilev would say to anyone with a new proposal, and he did indeed bring about a stream of artworks that still surprise and delight us today.”


As Gresham Professor of Music Professor Frolova-Walker will continue the 421-year-old tradition of delivering free lectures aimed at the public within the City of London and beyond. During the academic year, Gresham College fills lecture halls for its lectures – a total of 130 a year. All Gresham lectures are live-streamed. More than 2,000 past lectures are freely available to view on the College’s website. The Music Professorship is one of the original seven Gresham Professorships established in Sir Thomas Gresham’s will.

Sir Richard Evans, Provost of Gresham College, said:

“We are delighted to welcome such a distinguished Professor of Music to Gresham College and we look forward to Marina Frolova-Walker bringing her expertise as Britain’s leading authority on Russian music to our Music lecture programme”