Dr Michael Hooper

Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia, School of the Arts & Media


+61 2 9385 5460
114, Level 1 Robert Webster
Kensington Campus
Fields: Music Composition, Music, Music Performance, Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Tags: Music

I am an historical musicologist. My main area of expertise is music of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly in Australia and the UK. I spend most of my research time in archives and undertaking analysis. I also maintain an interest in the scholarship of musical performance.

From 2012 to 2015 I was an ARC DECRA (an ARC-funded Research Fellowship) which investigated music composed in the 1960s and early 1970s, and my focus is on composers such as Richard Meale, Nigel Butterley, Peter Sculthorpe, Don Banks, and David Lumsdiane. I am particularly interested in this period for the international links that these composers maintained. This project emerged from my PhD research into David Lumsdaine's music, from Kelly Ground to Cambewarra, and which was published as a book by Ashgate.

Alongside this strand of my work, I am interested in performance, and in the collaborations between and surrounding performers, composers and instruments. I trained as a mandolinist (BMus Hons, MMus, at The University of Sydney), and I have worked with ensembles and orchestras such as Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Aldeburgh Music, The Renaissance Players, the Sydney Mandolins.

Between 2008 and 2012 I worked as a Research Fellow and Lecturer in Postgraduate Studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London. There I undertook research into the Wardour Castle Summer Schools, interviewing many of those who were there (Birtwistle, Davies, Wood, Holloway, Northcott, Pruslin, Smalley, Gilbert...). I also worked with Christopher Redgate to document and write about the new oboe that he developed with Howarth of London. This involved recording meetings between him and the composers writing for the new instruments, and interviewing those involved, and it resulted in several publications about collaboration.



    • Hooper M, 2012, The music of David Lumsdaine: Kelly Ground to Cambewarra
    • Hooper M, (ed.), 2011, Songs for the Twenty-First Century, Original, UYMP, York

    Book Chapters

    Journal articles

    Conference Papers

    • Hooper MJ, 2016, 'Elliott Gyger's Fly Away Peter', in Roger Covell at 85, UNSW, UNSW, presented at Roger Covell 85th Celebrations, UNSW, 05 - 05 March 2016

    Music Compositions

    • Hooper M, 2018, The sound of persuasion, Publication: Golden Spike Press, Valencia, California, publication category:


    Conference Presentations

    • Hooper M, 2013, 'The Wardour Castle Summer Schools and the formation of British Music Theatre?', presented at RMA, London, 19 - 21 September 2013
    • Hooper M, 2013, 'Four Technologies in David Lumsdaine’s Aria for Edward John Eyre', presented at Modern Soundscapes, UNSW, 10 - 13 July 2013
    • Hooper M, 2013, 'Richard Meale’s Modernism', presented at ICMSN, Liverpool, UK, 12 - 15 September 2013
    • Hooper M, 2011, 'The Start of Performance', presented at Performa ‘11, Conference on Performance Studies, University of Aveiro, 01 January 2011
    • Hooper M, 2011, 'The Start of Performance', presented at Performance Studies Network International Conference, Cambridge, 01 January 2011
    • Hooper M, 2011, 'Does Collaboration Matter?', presented at International Conference of Music Since Nineteen‐Hundred (ICMSN), Lancaster, 01 January 2011
    • Hooper M, 2010, 'Detailing the Wardour Castle Summer Schools', presented at Royal Musical Association annual conference, IMR, London, 01 January 2010

    Creative Works (non-textual)

    • Hooper MJ, 2016, Unfold, Unfold, 01 - 01 July 2016, medium: CD, online

Honours and prizes

McCredie Musicological Award

Peter Platt Memorial Scholarship

Mellers Scholarship

Vinson Award

Other information

I am interested in supervising research projects in historical musicology and performance. (I am particularly interested in music since 1900; practice-based research; composition; performer/composer/instrument collaborations;British and Australian music since 1960; musical analysis; sketch studies and the archive.)