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GHIL Lecture

Martina Steber

‘A very English superstar’ :

John Rutter, Popular Classical Music, and Transnational Conservatism since the 1970s

23 January 2022

(0:50 h)



GHIL Lecture

Martina Steber

‘A very English superstar’ :
John Rutter, Popular Classical Music, and Transnational Conservatism since the 1970s

GHIL Lecture, given 24 May 2022

It has gone largely unnoticed by musicologists and historians that the British composer, conductor, and music entrepreneur John Rutter has become a leading figure in popular music since the 1980s. Successful on the global music market, popular in the English-speaking world, and regularly topping the classical music charts with his Christmas carol compositions, Rutter embodies the opposite of commercial pop culture. He is the antitype of a pop star: he succeeds with sacred music, he addresses the middle class, and he personifies family values, community spirit, and the preservation of tradition. Using the example of Rutter, the lecture will demonstrate the importance of conservative pop cultures for the emergence and development of transnational conservatism in Europe and North America since the 1970s.

Martina Steber has been Deputy Head of the Munich Research Department of the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ) since 2017. She was previously a Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute London from 2007 to 2012, a Fellow of the Historisches Kolleg in Munich in 2012/13, a Research Fellow at the IfZ, and Deputy Professor at the Universities of Augsburg, Konstanz, and Wuppertal in 2016–18 and 2020. Her research focuses on modern German and British history, especially the history of the Nazi regime, conservatism, and regional history.

Don't miss the accompanying interview: Go back to the list to listen GHIL Research Fellow for Modern History Ole Münch interiewing Martina Steber, Deputy Director of the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ), about her research on the British composer, conductor, and music entrepreneur John Rutter, Popular Classical Music, and Transnational Conservatism since the 1970s.