Dr Shay Loya has been named as recipient of the prestigious Alan Walker Book Award, a prize funded by the American Liszt Society. Loya’s book Liszt’s Transcultural Modernism and the Hungarian-Gypsy Tradition was chosen from eight monographs submitted for consideration. Michael Short was co-winner of the award for his translation of Correspondence of Franz Liszt and the Comtesse Marie d’Agoult.
Huddled around a table, in the intimate setting of Room C143 at the Tait Building, four students from four different universities spearheaded the first meeting of the Society for Music Analysis (SMA) Postgraduate Writing Club. It was hosted on 1st December, 2012 by Dr Shay Loya on behalf of the Centre for Music Studies at City University London. The organizer was Kirstie Hewlett, a postgraduate student from the University of Southampton, and the idea behind her initiative was simple enough: to form an analysis-centred study group, comprised of postgraduate students from around the country, which will gather periodically to discuss at length extracts from dissertations or complete papers . This first meeting was specifically designed as a ‘dry run’ for the RMA conference this January. And so Becky Thumpston (Keele University), Olga Sologub (University of Manchester) and Jun Zubillaga-Pow (Kings College London), presented one after the other papers that were still in-progress though at an advanced, nearly finished stage. This gave each one of them an opportunity to focus on the delivery. A frank exchange of views about the more memorable as well as problematic aspects of each paper followed. Talking points ranged from pitching the paper to the target audience to the relationship between theory and analysis. (To save time and allow more discussion, Hewlett graciously withdrew her paper.)
One of the admirable qualities of this group is their self-sufficiency. They have corresponded about their research independently of supervision, and have invested their own time and money on a Saturday morning to discuss it in depth. It was an initiative worthy of the Centre for Music Studies’ support.
Shay taught at the University of Durham before joining City. He received his BA (2000) and MA (2001) from Tel Aviv University and a PhD (2006) from King’s College London, plus a few awards that ‘made his life easier’. His PhD thesis, entitled ‘The Verbunkos Idiom in Liszt’s Music of the Future’, was about the modernist and crossover aspects of Liszt’s Hungarian-Gypsy (verbunkos) musical style, as well as its problematic reception history. Several articles, research papers and reviews followed, culminating in the monograph Liszt’s Transcultural Modernism and the Hungarian-Gypsy Tradition (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2011).
Shay’s most recent papers presented in international conferences in England, the US and Canada deal with issues of Gypsy-band transcription as cultural practice (an article version of which is presently being prepared), the paradox of modernist folklorism in late nineteenth-century Hungarian composition, and issues of exoticism and auto-exoticism in Ferenc Erkel’s Hungarian national opera. Apart from Liszt, he is broadly interested in issues of exoticism, nationalism, modernism, transculturation and its application to music analysis, and bridging the knowledge gaps between the musicological disciplines.
Shay’s undergraduate modules at City will include ‘Investigating Western Music 1’, ‘The Classical Style: Music, Aesthetics, Society’, as well as supervision of Major Projects. He is also coordinating the MA module ‘Critical Readings’, contributing to ‘Performance as Research’ and involved in performance (he sometimes plays the piano too).
Shay co-organised the international conference Tonality in Perspective (King’s College London, 27-29 March 2008), which attracted prominent analysts and theorists. He is also the Society for Music Analysis’s information officer, and in that capacity will soon blog about an important SMA event this week (21-22 September).