SMI Plenary Conference, Dublin, 2020

             SMI2020, hosted by the School of Music, University College Dublin


In light of the continuing uncertainty arising from Covid-19, the organizing committee of the SMI Plenary Conference, which will take place between 29 and 31 October 2020, has decided to host this as a virtual (online) event. We have taken this decision with regret, but restrictions on large gatherings in University College Dublin (which will remain at least until the new year) have made it impossible to do otherwise. Nevertheless, we are confident that SMI2020 will prove to be a stimulating and enjoyable conference, and to that end we would like to bring the following new arrangements to your attention.  


The conference will be hosted in real time, following a standard conference format as closely as possible, from the morning of Thursday 29 October to the late afternoon of Saturday 31 October 2020


The programme will include plenary and parallel sessions, a keynote address by Professor Julian Johnson (Royal Holloway, University of London), and scheduled social gatherings, during which delegates can informally engage with each other.


During the sessions, delegates will deliver live twenty-minute presentations, after which there will be an opportunity for discussion, convened by the chair. Participants will be invited to contribute questions and comments via a chat function.


As a result of these new arrangements, the committee is pleased to confirm that the registration fee will be waived for all delegates.


We hope very much that this decision will encourage participants to support the conference and their fellow delegates as vigorously as possible.



Keynote Speaker: Professor Julian Johnson (Regius Professor of Music, Royal Holloway, University of London).
Julian Johnson joined the Music Department of Royal Holloway in 2007, having previously been Reader in Music and Fellow in Music at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford (2001–7), and Lecturer in Music at the University of Sussex (1992–2001).
He has published widely on issues in music history and the aesthetics of music across the broad period of musical modernity from the late 18th century to the present. His work is always shaped by questions of musical meaning, evident in an engagement with the philosophy of music, ideas of nature and landscape, and the relation of music to literature and visual art.
In addition to articles in academic journals and over twenty chapters in edited volumes, he has written five books and edited two others, on topics including musical aesthetics, music analysis, composition, Adorno, Beethoven, Berg, Delius, Harvey, Hegel, Hoffmann, Klimt, Kraus, Macmillan, Mahler, Modernism, Proust, Schoenberg, Schumann and Webern. His most recent book, Out of Time: Music and the Making of Modernity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015) reads against the grain of style history to propose that the whole of music history, from the late 16th century to the late 20th, might be better understood through the lens of ‘modernity’.
In addition to being a regular invited speaker at international academic conferences, Julian is also committed to fostering a wider public understanding of music. To that end he has been a frequent guest on BBC Radio 3 and on the BBC TV coverage of the Proms, and for the last 20 years has regularly given public talks for leading orchestras and opera companies (including the Royal Opera, English National Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the South Bank Centre, and the London Sinfonietta).
In 2005 he was awarded the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association for ‘outstanding contributions to musicology’ and, in 2013, became the holder of the first Regius Chair in Music established as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In 2017 he was elected to a Fellowship of the British Academy.