Dr George Kennaway
Visiting Research Fellow
Ph.D., M.Mus., B.A., A.R.C.M.
Co-principal cello, Orchestra of Opera North, 1980-2008; post-doctoral research assistant, CHASE project, 2008-2012; interests – theory and historiography of performance practice, Baltic music, opera, nationalism, golf, badminton, and cycling.
George Kennaway studied at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Pembroke College Oxford, the Salzburg Mozarteum and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. After a period of freelance work as a cellist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Opera and the Ulster Orchestra, he joined the Orchestra of Opera North as co-principal cello in 1979. He has performed as soloist in recitals and concertos throughout the north of England; his recent recital programmes have included contemporary premières, 20th-century Russian repertoire, 19th-century works played in period style, and baroque concertos. He has conducted orchestras in Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Italy and Lithuania, as well as the UK.
- Historical performance practice, especially concerning 19th-century music; applications of gender studies and theories of discourse to the study of historical performance practices
- Opera, especially analysis
- Music of the Baltic states, in particular the music and art of the Lithuanian M. K. Čiurlionis.
- Nationalism, especially the application of recent theories of nationalism to opera
Leeds University: performance coaching, historical performance practices, music and politics, music and national identity, analysis, dissertation supervision.
Rose Bruford College: distance tutoring of students taking modules in baroque opera, nationalism, post-Wagnerian opera, modernism, Mozart, operatic production and supervision of final-year dissertations.
Pre-performance talks for Opera North, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Leeds Lieder Festival, Glyndebourne Opera
- Research assistant, CHASE project
- Adminstrator, HEFCE-funded LUCHIP concerts
(2012) Playing the Cello 1780-1930. Ashgate. [Accepted]
(2012) “Čiurlionis’s Octatonicism and his Relationship with Emerging Lithuanian Nationalism”, Lithuanian Musicology. 13 [Accepted]
(2012) “Haydn’s(?) Cello Concertos 1860-1930: editions, performance, reception”, Nineteenth-Century Music Review. [Accepted]
(2011) “Bookcases, Fish Pie and My Piñata: Musical Scores Considered as Sets of Instructions”, International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music. 42.2: 355-376.
(2011) “Do as some said, or as most did? – a Foucauldian experiment with nineteenth-century HIP”, Current Musicology. 92: 7-29.
“"Lithuanian Art & Music Abroad: English Reception of the Work of M. K. Čiurlionis, 1912-39"”, Slavonic and East European Review. 83 (2005) pp. 234-253.: 234-253.
“The Phenomenon of the Cellist Auguste van Biene: from the Charing Cross Road to Brighton via Broadway”, In: Hewitt M; Cowgill R (eds.) Victorian Soundscapes Revisited. Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies/Leeds University Centre for English Music. 67-82
Research Projects & Grants
- Frank Howes Award, Royal Musical Association, for conference attendance
- Brotherton Library travel awards for research in Brussels and Budapest
- Music & Letters Trust award for conference attendance
- Performing Right Society Award for enterprising programming
Ph.D. eternal examiner, University of Melbourne.
Cello Techniques and Performing Practices in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth
This thesis comprises a study of cello performance practices throughout the
nineteenth century and into the early decades of the twentieth. It is organised in terms of the increasing complexity of the concepts which it examines, as they are to be found in printed and manuscript music, instrumental methods and larger treatises, early recordings, concert reviews and pictures. Basic posture is considered along with different ways of holding the bow. The development of the tail-pin shows that even when it was widely used, the older posture was still referred to as a model. Some implications for tone quality and tonal projection are considered in the light of the shape of the arms. Some connections between
the cellist’s posture and that recommended by etiquette books are explored. The
functionality of the left hand and arm, and the development of modern scale fingerings, show that there was a considerable period of overlap between newer and older practices, with modern scale fingerings evolving over a long period of time. Similarly, views on the function of the right wrist in bowing are shown to change gradually, moving towards a more active upper arm movement with less extreme flexibility of the wrist. Two central expressive techniques especially associated with string playing are considered in the context of the cello, namely vibrato and portamento. These topics are examined in the light of written indications in music, recommendations in cello treatises, and the practices
evidenced in early recordings. The sources for this study can be brought into an overall framework of a constant dialogue between ‘theory’, as expressed in verbal instructions to the learner, or general a priori reflections about the cello, and ‘practice’, manifested in performing editions and early recordings, or in individual acts of reception. A wide divergence is noted, both between theory and practice in general, and in terms of different styles of playing observable at any one time. It is suggested that tensions between practice and critical disapproval can be resolved in terms of Foucauldian discourse. Several test cases are used in order to compare several different recordings of the same works. The question
of the musical character of the cello is discussed in terms of widespread assumptions about its gendered identity. A wide range of sources suggest that this moved from a straightforwardly ‘masculine’ identity expressed through a controlling, elevated eloquence to a less clearly defined one, incorporating the ‘feminine’, with a greater stress on uninhibited emotional expression. Some performance implications for this change of view are pursued with respect to specific repertoires. Broad conclusions stress the importance of
the diversity of performance practices as opposed to unifying generalisations.
2012 Cello recital, Leeds University (Brahms, Schubert, Popper, Kodaly); string quartet, Huddersfield University (Elgar, Schubert); conducted Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra (Beethoven, Rossini, Weber); soloist, John Garth cello concerto with Leeds Baroque Orchestra (dir. Peter Holman), conductor and Soloist, Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra (Bizet, Bach, Haydn); piano trio, Huddersfield University (Schubert); conducted Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra (Schubert, Brahms, Prokofiev); conducted Leeds University School of Music symphony orchestra for historical project performance of Beethoven Violin Concerto (soloist: Clive Brown);
2011 Ferdinand David Quartet (formerly LUCHIP Ensemble) concerts in Newcastle, Huddersfield, Hull, and Leeds; Ferdinand David Ensemble, University of Leeds, Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall (David’s unpublished edition of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 4, Schumann String Quartet no. 3); conducted Leeds Haydn Players; DeNOTE ensemble, Tudeley Festival and University of Hull, with John Irving (pf) and Jane Booth (cl) (Beethoven); Ripon Cathedral (Bach, and world première, Edward Caine, Theme and Variations for solo cello); conductor, Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra (Beethoven, Stravinsky, Rossini)
2010 and earlier: LUCHIP chamber concerts in universities of Bangor, Cardiff, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle; Mendelssohn Octet, Leeds University, with Eroica Quartet; conducted premières of Laurence Rose, a theory of nothing, for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and Paul Burnell, Three Pieces for Strings, for COMA; conducted Leeds Haydn Orchestra, Northern Baroque orchestra, Kaunas Philharmonic Orchestra (contemporary Lithuanian and Latvian repertoire), Academic Symphony Orchestra of Nizhniy-Novgorod, national orchestras of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Orchestra Sinfonica da Pescara; solo recitals at Leeds University, Wighton Centre (Dundee), Sowerby Music Society, Edinburgh University, Birmingham University; baroque cello continuo for Opera North (Dido, Orfeo); broadcasts on BBC Radio York, RTE Radio (Dublin); Dvorak cello concerto, Edinburgh University; Elgar cello concerto, West Yorkshire Sinfonia; UK première, Kurt Weill Cello Sonata (for Friends of Opera North); conducted Stravinsky The Soldier’s Tale,G. S. Mayr, La Passione (1794), world première William Baines Symphony in C minor (1917), conducted on-screen in scenes for film Hilary and Jackie. Awarded PRS Enterprise Award 1991 for quality of orchestral programming.