John Rink

Job Title:   Professor of Musical Performance Studies
Affiliation:   University of Cambridge



Why I am supporting the Academic Book of the Future Project:

My experience in directing several online projects on Chopin and in producing a digital edition of his music convinces me that the opportunities to develop ‘musical editions of the future’ – and indeed ‘books of the future’– are seemingly limitless. There nevertheless remain important conceptual as well as practical challenges that must first be addressed. Participating in The Academic Book of the Future project is one way to contribute to that process, and it is enriching and rewarding to collaborate with colleagues committed to what is surely one of the most important humanities initiatives in the UK at present.


Research Interests:

Nineteenth-century music (especially Chopin, Liszt and Brahms), performance studies (especially analysis and performance), improvisation, theory and analysis, and digital applications in musicology


Recent Publications:


Chopin, ed. John Rink (Farnham: Ashgate, forthcoming 2016).

Musicians in the Making: Pathways to Creative Performance, ed. John Rink, Helena Gaunt and Aaron Williamon (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016)

Christophe Grabowski and John Rink, Annotated Catalogue of Chopin’s First Editions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); available in an expanded, revised edition at

Musical Performance: A Guide to Understanding, ed. John Rink (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002; parallel eBooks edition 2005).  


‘Impersonating the Music in Performance’, in The Oxford Handbook to Musical Identities, ed. David Hargreaves, Raymond MacDonald and Dorothy Miell (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016)

‘Making the Music Work: Towards a “Dynamic Edition” of Chopin’, in La génétique musicale, ed. Jean-Louis Lebrave, Almuth Grésillon and Nicolas Donin (forthcoming 2015)

‘Chopin’s Study in Syncopation’, in Bach to Brahms: Essays on Musical Design and Structure, ed. David Beach and Yosef Goldenberg (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2015), 132-42

‘The (F)utility of Performance Analysis’, in Artistic Practice as Research in Music: Theory, Criticism, Practice, ed. Mine Doğantan-Dack (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2015), 127-47


Mirjam James, Karen Wise and John Rink, ‘Exploring Creativity in Musical Performance through Lesson Observation with Video-Recall Interviews’, Scientia Paedagogica Experimentalis, 47/2 ([2012] 2010), 219-50

Neta Spiro, Nicolas Gold and John Rink, ‘The Form of Performance: Analyzing Pattern Distribution in Select Recordings of Chopin’s Mazurka Op. 24 No. 2’, Musicae Scientiae, 14/2 (2010), 23-55


Other Information:

John is Professor of Musical Performance Studies at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow and Director of Studies in Music at St John’s College, Cambridge. He studied at Princeton University, King’s College London, and the University of Cambridge, where his doctoral research was on the evolution of tonal structure in Chopin’s early music and its relation to improvisation. He also holds the Concert Recital Diploma and Premier Prix in piano from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He specialises in the fields of performance studies, theory and analysis, and nineteenth-century studies.

John directs the £2.1 million AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice, which is based at the University of Cambridge in partnership with King’s College London, the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London, and in association with the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He also directs the Centre for Musical Performance Studies, which was launched at the University of Cambridge in 2015. He is one of four Series Editors of The Complete Chopin – A New Critical Edition, and he directs two other research projects: Chopin’s First Editions Online (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) and Online Chopin Variorum Edition (funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation).


See John’s University of Cambridge profile





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