Dr Christopher D. Lewis

Lecturer in Music (BMus MM FHEA FRSA HonFGMS)

Dr Lewis is a contemporary harpsichordist and musicologist specialising in twentieth century British music. Trained at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (San Francisco, USA) he is an internationally known authority on the contemporary harpsichord and the role of the instrument in popular culture, popular music, and recorded media. His PhD dissertation explored the musical and cultural associations of the instrument across contemporary British society.

Qualifications

  • 2018: Fellow (FHEA) of the Higher Education Authority
  • 2017:  Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Musicology - University of Southampton (U.K.) Dissertation: The Harpsichord in Twentieth-Century  Britain Funding: Arts and Humanities Research Council and the National Trust
  • 2012:  Master of Music (MM), Music Performance - San Francisco Conservatory of Music (U.S.A.) Funding: San Francisco Conservatory of Music Scholarship
  • 2009:  Bachelor of Music (B.Mus), Music Research - McGill University (Canada)

Overview

Described by Gramophone Magazine as "pioneering", Christopher D. Lewis is a contemporary harpsichordist and a Naxos Records recording artist. Over the past century composers and harpsichordists alike have fought to bring the instrument back to modern music, and Christopher is at the forefront of this movement, working tirelessly to ensure that audiences can once again hear and enjoy the harpsichord in modern music.

His fascination with the instrument began at a young age, and since then he has made it his mission to bring the modern harpsichord and the music written for it to a global audience, intent on sharing its beauty and versatility far and wide. He recently completed an Arts and Humanities Research Council and National Trust funded PhD focused on the modern British harpsichord, and is already internationally known as an authority on harpsichord in both classical contemporary music and in popular culture. Often engaged to speak on modern harpsichord music and its uses, as well as the performers that revived the instrument through the 20th century and into the 21st, his studies are a natural extension of a lifelong passion for introducing people to the contemporary harpsichord for the first time.

He has released four full-length albums that feature both solo and orchestral arrangements. His most recent recording was a collection of works for the harpsichord composed by Vincent Persichetti, which was released in summer 2017.

In 2018 he joined the department of Music at the University of Chester and was recently appointed an Honorary Fellow of The Guild of Musicians and Singers. When he isn’t studying, practicing or enlightening the world to the timeless grace of the harpsichord, Christopher enjoys aviation, British sitcoms, and is one of only a handful of people on the planet to have piloted a winged sports submarine.

Teaching

I joined the University of Chester in 2018 from my lecturing position at Southampton Solent University. At Chester, I teach on a wide variety of units relating to Music performance (classical and popular), Music History, and Arts Management units.

I currently teach across the following units at the University of Chester:

  •  PA 4401: Introduction to Popular Music Studies [Module Leader]
  • PA 4402: Popular Music Practice
  • PA 4410: Performance Practice
  • PA 4414: Historical, Contextual and Analytical Studies [Module Leader]
  • PA4416: Arranging and Ensemble [Module Leader]
  • WB 5101: Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning
  • PA 5401: Genres and Contexts
  • PA 5410: Performance Practice
  • PA 5414: From Gagaku to Gaga and Samba to Satie
  • PA 5416: Music Case Studies [Module Leader]
  • PA 5417: Improvisation, Analysis, and Performance
  • PA 6003: Dissertation (Performing Arts)
  • PA 6410: Performance Practice

Units I have led/taught on at other institutions include:

  • Creative Music Management
  • Film Music
  • Mediating Music
  • Multimedia Promotion
  • Music & Media
  • Digital Design for the Music Industries
  • Understanding the Music Industries
  • Web Design and Social Media Management
  • Instrumental (Piano/Keyboard) Studies
  • Musicianship Skills

Research

My research work focusses strongly on contemporary keyboard music and I am a known as an authority on the harpsichord in both classical contemporary music alongside the role of the instrument in popular culture. As such, I offer extensive experience of both the classical and popular music industries and I have a proven track record of leading higher education units based around a wide range of topics and issues facing the contemporary music industries. Another area my research is expanding into; specifically, how musicians are using digital media to help develop their own brand and identity.

My current research project is a substantial written work on the history of the harpsichord in recorded media across the past century, including the role of the instrument in film and television soundtracks, popular music, and in video game music (ludomusicology). I have recorded a diverse and wide-ranging list of modern compositions, including premiere performances of music by composers such as Francis Poulenc, Jean Françaix, and Vincent Persichetti. Other musicology interests focus on a range of twentieth-century classical and popular music, especially those relating to contemporary performance practice.

Published work

20th Century Harpsichord Music (Poulenc/Françaix/Durey/Martinů), Naxos Records: October 2015, Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord), Norbert Kraft & Bonnie Silver (Producers). Catalogue Number: Naxos 8.573364

Lewis, Christopher, “Mr Berkeley’s Toye” Lennox Berkeley Society Journal, no. 19 (2016): 14-17.

Berkeley, Lennox. Suite for Harpsichord, Edited Christopher D. Lewis. London: Chester Music, 2017.

British Harpsichord Music (Howells/Bryars/Berkeley/Jeffreys), Naxos Records: March 2016, Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord), Norbert Kraft & Bonnie Silver (Producers). Catalogue Number: Naxos 8.573668

"Episode 1.3 – Christopher D. Lewis." Interview. Glissando Podcast (audio blog), September 5, 2017. https://glissando.blubrry.com/2017/09/05/episode-1-3-christopher-d-lewis/.

Harpsichord Concertos (Glass/Rutter/Françaix/Ohana), Naxos Records: March 2013, Kevin Mallon (Conductor), Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord), John McMurtery (Flute), West Side Chamber Orchestra, Norbert Kraft & Bonnie Silver (Producers). Catalogue Number: Naxos 8.573146

The New-Fangled Clavier (Bach, Glass, Einaudi) New Mix Music: January 2010, Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord), Shauna Barravecchio (Producer).

Vincent Persichetti - Harpsichord Music, Naxos Records: July 2017, Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord), Norbert Kraft & Bonnie Silver (Producers). Catalogue Number: Naxos 8.559843.