Nanette Nielsen

Associate Professor - Department of Musicology
Image of Nanette Nielsen
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22854142
Room 316
Available hours By appointment
Visiting address Sem Sælands vei 2 ZEB-bygningen 0371 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1017 Blindern 0315 OSLO

Expertise summary

I hold a BA in Music and Philosophy from the University of Copenhagen and an MMus and PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London. I joined Oslo in January 2015, after having been Associate Professor and Lecturer at the University of Nottingham (2009-15) and at the University of East Anglia (2005-9). I work on music and philosophy, especially ethics and aesthetics in twentieth-century music, and on opera and music criticism in the Weimar republic. Other interests include film music, pervasive drama, popular music, melodrama, and music in Scandinavia. 

My publications include the article 'Ernst Krenek's "problem of freedom" in Jonny spielt auf' (Twentieth-Century Music, 2013), the co-authored book Music and Ethics (with Marcel Cobussen, 2012), and a co-edited special Opera Quarterly issue on ‘Opera and Philosophy’ (with Tomas McAuley, 2014). Forthcoming publications include the Oxford Handbook of Western Music and Philosophy (OUP, 2017), co-edited with Jerrold Levinson and Tomas McAuley, and the monograph Paul Bekker's Musical Ethics (under contract with Ashgate).

Research collaboration and committee work


  • Jerome Roche Prize (2014) for the article 'Ernst Krenek's "problem of freedom" in Jonny spielt auf' (Twentieth-Century Music, 2013)
  • Lord Dearing Award for Teaching and Learning (2013) This award recognises ‘outstanding achievements of the University of Nottingham staff in enhancing the student learning experience’.
  • Teaching Award, University Staff Oscar winner in the category ‘Most inspiring’ (2013) This award is entirely student-led, and granted to one individual across the whole of the University of Nottingham each year.
  • Vice Chancellor’s Achievement Award (2013) I received this prestigious award for my initiative for the Music Department’s involvement in In Harmony Nottingham, bringing together students, the University, and the local community.

Public engagement (selection)

  • Radikal Operaregi?, discussion panel with Per Boye Hansen and others, arranged by Norsk kritikerlag, Litteraturhuset (Oslo), 29 September 2016. Summary here:
  • 'Is changing the music in an opera allowed?', on The Magic Flute, in discussion with David Levin, Per Boye Hansen, Ståle Wikshåland, and audience members, The Norwegian National Opera, 24 October 2015
  • 'Film Music and Spectator Engagement', Filmens Hus, Oslo, 'The Sound of Movies', 3-4 October 2015
  • 'Film music', interview, Norwegian National Radio (NRK), on the programmes 'Norgesglasset' and 'Brunsj', 12 May and 15 May, 2015
  • 'Danish music and modernism's legacies', talk for the Nielsen Study Day, IMR/Oxford Symposium, The Barbican, London, 11 October 2014
  • 'Music and morality in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel', Glyndebourne Opera Festival, pre-performance talks, 25 July and 1 August 2010

Interviews (selection)

'10 Minutes with... The Jerome Roche Prize Winner', The Royal Musical Association, 2/2/2016

'Kan du endre musikken til Mozart'? Dagsavisen, 24/10/2015


Conference talks and colloquia (selection)

'The work of musicology in the age of cultural reproduction', Jerome Roche keynote talk, University of Bangor, BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference, 6-8 January, 2016

'Music, Freedom, Ethics', research colloquium, Royal Holloway, University of London, 1 December 2015

'Towards an ethics of listening: music, engagement, and subjectivity', keynote talk, Grieg Research School in Interdisciplinary Studies, Bergen, 26 November 2015

'Breaking the waves: Carl Nielsen's yearning for freedom', conference paper, 'Music and the Nordic Breakthrough', Oxford University 31 August-2 September, 2015

'The unbearable lightness of subjectivity', research colloquium at the Department of Musicology, University of Oslo, 19 March 2015

'Towards an ethics of musical experience', keynote talk for a conference on 'Shaped by Beauty' at Heythrop College, University of London, 26-27 June 2014

'Subjectivities merged, ethical responsibilities gained', RMA Annual Conference, IMR London, 19-21 September 2013, paper for panel on ‘Music in films: ethical-aesthetic discursive disruptions’

'Music and Modernism', King's College London, Study Day on Modernism held by the British Association of Modernist Studies (BAMS), 9 May 2013

'Paul Bekker’s musical ethics', Bangor University, 23 April 2013

'On the musically ethical', keynote talk with Marcel Cobussen for the conference 'Arts and Ethics', Trinity Western University, Langley, B.C., Canada, 18-19 October 2012

'Voice and the deconstruction of subjectivity in Krenek’s Jonny spielt auf', paper for the Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Study Group session 'Music, Philosophy and Identity', International Musicological Society Congress, Rome, 1-7 July 2012

'Voice and ethics in Berg's Wozzeck', paper given at the Royal Musical Association Annual Conference, Cardiff, 31 May-3 June 2012

'Ernst Krenek's "Problem of Freedom" in Jonny spielt auf', colloquium given at the Oxford University Faculty of Music, 14 February 2012

‘Paul Bekker’s ambivalent modernism’, lecture given at the Institute for Musical Research (IMR), Stewart House, London, 24 November 2011

'The ethics of musical labor', respondent to a AMS/RMA Music and Philosophy Study Group session, American Musicological Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 10 November 2011

Respondent to the paper 'Jan W. Morthenson: The Reluctant Avant-Gardist?', by Per Broman, Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics, 29 October 2011

'Modernism and the masses: music and social change in the Weimar Republic', University of Surrey, 16 November 2010

'The danger of music criticism and the case for control', given at the SMA/IMR study day 'Performance Criticism', Stewart House, London, 16 December 2009

'Music, Beauty, and Ethics', colloquium paper given at the Music Department, University of Nottingham, 3 November 2009

'Between Politics and Ethics: Paul Bekker's reception of Kurt Weill's Die Bürgschaft (1932)', given at the study day 'Politics of Opera', Taylorian Institute, Oxford, 9 October 2009



Tags: Music and Philosophy, Musicology, Music and Ethics, Aesthetics, Film Music, Music and Society, Opera, Music and Media
Published Jan. 6, 2015 2:25 PM - Last modified Nov. 16, 2017 11:33 AM