Dr Christopher Wiley contributes to media discourse on the UK centenary of women’s enfranchisement

Leave a comment

Dr Christopher Wiley - photo from Get SurreyDr Christopher Wiley has given expert comment to the media on the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which granted the vote to over 8 million women in the UK for the first time.

Coverage of Dr Wiley focussed on his research on Ethel Smyth, who, in addition to being an internationally successful composer, was active for two years as a leading suffragette in the early 1910s, developing a close friendship with Emmeline Pankhurst.

Together with a University of Surrey colleague, Dr Lucy Ella Rose, a leading expert on the suffragist Mary Watts and author of Suffrage Artists in Partnership: Gender, Word, and Image, Dr Wiley gave a live interview on BBC Radio Surrey for the ‘Breakfast on BBC Surrey’ show hosted by James Cannon and Lesley McCabe on Tuesday 6 February 2018.

Dr Wiley was also featured alongside Dr Rose in an article in Get Surrey, ‘Suffragette Vote 100 anniversary: University celebrates two Surrey women who were highly influential during the suffrage movement’, by Shona Duthie and Hannah Dodd.

The online Get Surrey article includes a video in which both academics give interviews on their respective research subjects, with Dr Wiley performing Smyth’s famous suffragette anthem, ‘The March of the Women’, on piano.

The full Get Surrey article, including video, may be viewed here: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/suffragette-vote-100-anniversary-university-14249832

The BBC Radio Surrey live interview may be heard here: https://mms.tveyes.com/Transcript.asp?StationID=7180&DateTime=2%2F6%2F2018+8%3A52%3A52+AM&Term=University+of+Surrey&PlayClip=TRUE

The live interview is also available on BBC iPlayer (listen from 2:52:11): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05vm2m4

Dr Christopher Wiley co-organizes international multi-disciplinary conference on Writing About Contemporary Artists at the University of Surrey

Leave a comment

Keynote - Annie Yim, Christopher Le Brun, and Christopher WileyDr Christopher Wiley was Chair of the Conference Committee for an international, multi-disciplinary three-day conference entitled Writing About Contemporary Artists: Challenges, Practices, and Complexities’, held at the University of Surrey from 20-22 October 2017.

Hosted and sponsored by the University’s Institute of Advanced Studies, the conference brought together scholars and practitioners in fields including musicology, theatre studies, dance and choreography, literature, film, digital media, and the visual arts. Its 70 participants represented a strongly international delegation drawn from North and South America, Australia, South Africa, and across Europe and the UK.

Dr Wiley compèred and co-authored the event’s central Keynote Concert and Dialogue (pictured above) given by MusicArt London, featuring the distinguished painter Christopher Le Brun (President of the Royal Academy of Arts) and pianist Dr Annie Yim (St John’s Smith Square Young Artist in Residence 2016/17), with additional contributions by composer Richard Birchall.

Dr Wiley also acted as chair and panel member for the final conference session (pictured below), a roundtable on ‘Contemporary artists, contemporary writing: Internet and social media’, at which he spoke about his reviewing activity across the art disciplines for digital magazine Musical Theatre Review as well as his guest-blogging for sites such as the Association of National Teaching Fellows blog and Oxford University Press Blog.

Further information may be found at the conference website: http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/workshops/artistswriting/

The full programme (including abstracts) may be downloaded here: http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/workshops/artistswriting/papers/Writing%20About%20Contemporary%20Artists%20conference%20_%20Proggramme.pdf

Roundtable - Christopher Wiley, Björn Heile, Katie Beswick, and Ian Pace

Update: Online reports on the conference are available at the following links:




Dr Christopher Wiley hosts pre-concert talk for Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert

Leave a comment

Barry WordsworthDr Christopher Wiley acted as host and interviewer for a pre-concert talk for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Glass Room studio theatre at G Live, Guildford on Friday 7 April 2017.

Dr Wiley provided a brief introduction to the programme to be performed that evening, before interviewing the conductor, Barry Wordsworth (pictured), whose many career highlights include long-standing associations with the Royal Ballet and the BBC Concert Orchestra, as well as conducting the Last Night of the Proms in 1993.

Over 100 audience members were present for the half-hour talk, which preceded a concert whose programme included Sibelius’s Karelia Suite, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in F# minor (with soloist Natasha Paremski), and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite, the latter specially compiled from the full ballet by Barry Wordsworth himself.

Dr Wiley has previously hosted pre-concert talks for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at G Live in 2015, 2014, and 2013.

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group

Leave a comment

Ethel SmythDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled ‘Ethel Smyth’s (feminist?) opera, The Boatswain’s Mate at the Millmead Centre, Guildford on 27 February 2017, for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group.

The Boatswain’s Mate was the fourth of six operas composed by Smyth (who suffered from distorted hearing and deafness for the last several decades of her life), and was the most popular and most frequently performed during her own lifetime. It was recently released in its first complete modern recording by Retrospect Opera (of which Dr Wiley is a part).

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley provided an outline of the circumstances of the composition of The Boatswain’s Mate, its plot, and interesting features of the music. He also discussed the extent to which the work constitutes a ‘feminist opera’, as has previously been suggested.

This is the second time that Dr Wiley has addressed Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group, having delivered a presentation on Smyth’s life and works two years ago in January 2015. Dr Wiley has also recently given talks on Smyth at The Guildford Institute and at the composer’s childhood home in Frimley Green.

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers talk on Ethel Smyth at The Guildford Institute


Dr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled ‘Dame Ethel Smyth, Groundbreaking Composer, Writer, and Suffragette’ at The Guildford Institute, Guildford on Wednesday 18 January 2017.

Speaking to a capacity audience of 70 in the Institute’s Assembly Room, Dr Wiley outlined Smyth’s significance to music, literature, and women’s suffrage, as well as her local connections to Surrey, illustrating his talk with excerpts from a variety of her works.

An acknowledged expert on the subject, Dr Wiley has recently given several talks on Ethel Smyth in the local area, including one at Smyth’s childhood home in Frimley Green, Surrey last September.

Further information on the event is available on The Guildford Institute’s website: http://guildford-institute.org.uk/whats-on2/dame-ethel-smyth-groundbreaking-composer-writer-and-suffragette/


Dr Christopher Wiley performs works for solo oboe in a recital at Guildford Cathedral

Leave a comment

Dr Christopher Wiley (oboe) performing in Guildford CathedralDr Christopher Wiley performed in a recital at Guildford Cathedral as part of its 2015 series of Summer Coffee Concerts, attended by a diverse audience of around 100.

Dr Wiley played Handel’s oboe sonata in G minor, HW364a and Saint-Saëns’s oboe sonata, Op. 166, as well as Madeleine Dring’s ‘Romance’ from Three-Piece Suite.

The recital was given jointly with Polish clarinettist Łukasz Jakimów, who performed Burgmüller’s Duo, Op. 13 and Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie. Both soloists were accompanied by Margaret Ozanne (piano).

The full schedule for the Cathedral’s 2015 Summer Coffee Concerts is available here: http://www.guildford-cathedral.org/news/2015/free-coffee-concerts

Concert seriesRecital Programme

Dr Christopher Wiley hosts pre-concert talk for Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert


Andrew GreenwoodDr Christopher Wiley hosted a pre-concert talk for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Glass Room at G Live, Guildford on 15 May 2015.

In the half-hour talk, Dr Wiley provided a brief introduction to the works being performed that evening, which he then discussed with the conductor for the concert, Andrew Greenwood (pictured).

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s programme comprised Rossini’s The Barber of Seville Overture; Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467 (with soloist Tom Poster); and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, ‘From the New World’.

With over 90 members in the audience for the talk, G Live’s studio theatre was at capacity. Dr Wiley previously hosted pre-concert talks for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on 23 October 2013 and 7 November 2014.

Older Entries