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Faculty of Music



Nicholas Ong is a PhD candidate in Music at Clare College, University of Cambridge, where his research focuses on critic-composer Valentina Serova (1846–1924) and, more broadly, on women and music in nineteenth-century Russia. Prior to Cambridge, Nicholas completed a BA (Hons) in Music at the University of Nottingham and a MSt in Music (Musicology) at the University of Oxford. He co-presented Crafting Musical Lives, a six-episode podcast which explores the life-writing process of musical figures, and was involved with the Midlands Music Research Network (MMRN) as Communications Officer and Podcast Organiser, hosting the flagship podcast Midlands Music Musings. Nicholas currently serves as Student Committee Member of the Royal Musical Association (RMA). His music-making experience includes his previous service as a military musician in the Singapore Armed Forces Band and as a current choral scholar in the Choir of Clare College Cambridge.


  • Nineteenth-century Russia
  • Women and music
  • Nationalism
  • Biography


Key publications: 

‘Stand Up for Singapore: Music and National Identity in a Cosmopolitan City-state’. The Cambridge Journal of Law, Politics, and Art 2 (November 2022).

‘“The Victim of Death-Rays from Mars”: An Evaluation of “gap-filling” in Tchaikovsky Biographies’. Slovo 35, no. 1 (Spring 2022). doi:   

Teaching and Supervisions


Undergraduate Supervisor:

  • Western Music History I
  • Western Music History II

Other Professional Activities

Ordinary Member, Student Committee, Royal Musical Association

Co-founder, Women and the Arts in Eastern Europe Network

Contact Details

Clare College
Trinity Lane