Charles Wiffen

Personal statement

I am the Head of Academic Portfolio Development. I joined Bath Spa University as a lecturer in Music, and subsequently became Head of the Department of Music as well as Associate and Acting Dean for Music and Performing Arts and later Assistant Dean (Learning, Teaching, Quality) in the College of Liberal Arts. I've also been Visiting Professor of Music at Shanghai University and an external examiner for Trinity Laban, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Kingston University. Prior to joining Bath Spa, I lectured at the Royal College of Music where I was Grove Research Fellow from 1998 until 2005. I also taught at Trinity Laban in London. From 2008 and until 2015 I served on the Committee for NAMHE (National Association for Music in Higher Education).

I have performed extensively as a pianist in the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, North America, Israel, Japan, China, Taiwan and Southern Africa. I’ve broadcast for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM and have recorded CDs for the ROSL, Sheldon and Toccata labels. I’m a member of the London Archduke Trio and Contemporary Consort. I regularly perform and teach at summer schools such as the Dartington International Summer School and at Curso Internacional de Musica Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain.

My research work has focused on musical transformation. I give regular pre-concert talks for a number of venues and organisations including the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Wigmore Hall.

Academic qualifications

  • BMus University of the Witwatersrand
  • MMus RCM
  • PG Diploma RCM
  • DMus RCM.

Professional memberships

  • Royal Musical Association
  • Committee member: National Association for Music in Higher Education (NAMHE).

Other external roles

  • Pianist for Contemporary Consort
  • Pianist of London Archduke Trio.

Teaching specialism

  • Nineteenth and twentieth century performance practice
  • Asthetics of performance and reception
  • Transcription, arrangement and appropriation
  • Music of the early twentieth century
  • Film music.

External examiners

  • External examiner for BMus course at Birmingham Conservatoire 
  • External examiner for PG courses at Trinity Laban, London 
  • External examiner for BMus course at Kingston University 
  • PhD examining for University of London
  • PhD examining of Royal College of Music 
  • PhD examining for University of Australia.

Current scholarship

  • Transcription, arrangement and appropriation
  • Gesture in performance.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Eyewitness companions: classical music
book

Wiffen, C and Burrows, J (2005) Eyewitness companions: classical music. Eyewitness companions . Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 9781405306102


Creativity, originality, and value in music performance.
book_section

Wiffen, C, Lisboa, T, Thompson, S and Williamson, A (2005) 'Creativity, originality, and value in music performance.' In: Deliège, I and Wiggins, G, eds. Musical Creativity: Multidisciplinary Research in Theory and Practice. Psychology Press, Taylor and Francis, pp. 161-180. ISBN 1-84169-508-4


Putting the trance into transcendental: a cross-cultural approach to virtuosity in performance
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2016) Putting the trance into transcendental: a cross-cultural approach to virtuosity in performance. In: Performance Studies Network: Fourth International Conference, 14 -17 July 2016, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK.


Vanity or heroism: tracing virtuosity across musical cultures
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2016) Vanity or heroism: tracing virtuosity across musical cultures. In: Virtuosity: Joint Symposium of the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy and ESCOM (European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music), 3 - 6 March 2016, Liszt Academy, Budapest, Hungary.


Towards an understanding of four hands: Joe Duddell’s Vaporize
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2013) Towards an understanding of four hands: Joe Duddell’s Vaporize. In: With Four Hands, 17 September - 19 September 2013, Senate House, Camden, London, England.


Anatomy of a festival: programming, reception and impact of the Bath International Music Festival (1948-2012)
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2013) Anatomy of a festival: programming, reception and impact of the Bath International Music Festival (1948-2012). In: Kingston University Research Seminar, 25 April 2013, Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, London, England.


I Weave for you a Marvellous Web
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Wiffen, C (2009) I Weave for you a Marvellous Web. In: Sixth Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900, 2-5 July 2009, Keele University.


Strauss’s Ständchen: pianistic response and legacy
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2008) Strauss’s Ständchen: pianistic response and legacy. In: Performing Romantic Music, 10-13 July 2008, University of Durham, Durham, UK.


Enesco and the class of 1896
conference_item

Wiffen, C and Vallois, N (2006) Enesco and the class of 1896. In: Music and Ideas, 2 March 2006, Royal College of Music, South Kensington, London, England.


Playing with the alter ego: control, vanity and selflessness in multi-tracking.
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2006) Playing with the alter ego: control, vanity and selflessness in multi-tracking. In: Creative Production for Classical Music.


The reflective conservatoire: teaching, learning, research
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2006) The reflective conservatoire: teaching, learning, research. In: The Reflective Conservatorie Conference, 16 February - 18 February 2006, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Barbican, London, England.


From realism to utopia: Britain expressed in the soundtracks of the GPO Films
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2005) From realism to utopia: Britain expressed in the soundtracks of the GPO Films. In: 2005 Bradford Film Festival Film Music Conference, March 2005, University of Leeds, Leeds, England.


Singing a borrowed song: appropriation and authority in changing media
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2004) Singing a borrowed song: appropriation and authority in changing media. In: Music and its Media Conference, Harvard University.


Composing at the coal face: music's role in the erosion of social idealism in the documentary films of the GPO Film Unit
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2004) Composing at the coal face: music's role in the erosion of social idealism in the documentary films of the GPO Film Unit. In: Royal Musical Association 40th Annual Conference, 12 November - 14 November 2004, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England.


Capturing life and selling the mix: the simulation of live performance in the music video
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2004) Capturing life and selling the mix: the simulation of live performance in the music video. In: Representing Performance: Musical Recordings in Culture, 30 October 2004, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK.


A pianist's Bach book
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2003) A pianist's Bach book. In: Grove Forum, 2003, Royal College of Music, South Kensington, London, England.


Interpreting Gershwin: Grainger, Wild, Finnissy and himself
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2000) Interpreting Gershwin: Grainger, Wild, Finnissy and himself. In: Performance 2000, 26 April - 29 April 2000, University of Southampton, Southampton, England.


"Anarchic glee" : issues of virtuosity and operal identity in Glenn Gould's transcription of the Prelude from Die Meistersinger
conference_item

Wiffen, C (2000) "Anarchic glee" : issues of virtuosity and operal identity in Glenn Gould's transcription of the Prelude from Die Meistersinger. In: 34th Royal Musical Association Research Students' Conference, 13 - 16 December 2000, University of Exeter, UK.


World premiere of new work by Jim Aitchison
performance

Wiffen, C (2011) World premiere of new work by Jim Aitchison. The Barbican Centre, London, UK, 15 June 2011.


World premiere of John Woolrich's Dramolet
performance

Wiffen, C (2008) World premiere of John Woolrich's Dramolet. In: Stratford-upon-Avon Festival: The Contemporary Consort, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, 13 October 2008.


The Chamber Music of Judith Weir
image

Wiffen, C (2003) The Chamber Music of Judith Weir.


Hugh Wood: Chamber Music
audio

Wiffen, C (2009) Hugh Wood: Chamber Music.


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