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Akvile Stuart

Music, Birmingham City University

Thesis title:

Musical Modernism�s Missing Link? An Examination of the Music Style, Life and Legacy of Alexei Stanchinsky (1888-1914)

My PhD thesis is an extended monograph on the Russian composer Alexei Stanchinsky (1888-1914). I am writing the first primary-source-based biography of the composer, exploring how his upbringing and education shaped his musical style, as well as how his mental illness affected his work and productivity. My work situates Stanchinsky within his social and cultural milieu and explores how his legacy was received and treated during his lifetime and throughout the 20th century. An important part of my thesis is musical analysis of Stanchinsky’s works. I identify and trace the development of the most characteristic traits of Stanchinsky’s compositional style. I am also producing case-study analyses of some of Stanchinsky’s large scale works, as well as contextualising them within the artistic and philosophical ethos of early 20th century Russia. My research will enrich the academic scholarship on late Imperial Russia, as well as provide contextual and analytical insights, enabling Stanchinsky’s significance as a composer to be more widely recognised. 

Research Area

  • Music


Stuart, Akvilė, 'A Sick Genius? The Critical Reception of Alexei Stanchinsky', Musicology, 30 (2021), 19–33



  • 'Scots Poetry in Russian Song: Transnationalism and Translation in Alexei Stanchinsky's 10 Scottish Songs', Lead panelist and panel organiser ('Translation, Transposition and Transnationalism in Russian Music Studies'), 6 August 2021, ICCEES World Congress 2021, Montréal, Canada.


  • 'Research through musical records: preservation, perception and reception of Alexei Stanchinsky's works in the modern day', 23-25 October 2019, Aleksanteri Conference 2019, Helsinki, Finland.
  • 'Undoubtedly gifted with the most genuine talent by God's mercy': The Critical Reception of Alexei Stanchinsky', 12 October 2019, BASEES Russian and Eastern European Music (REEM) Annual Conference 2019, Durham, UK.
  • 'Scots Poetry in Russian Song: A Reading of Alexei Stanchinsky's 10 Scottish Songs to Poems by Robert Burns', 9-12 July 2019, Institute for Russian Music Studies Conference 2019, Vipiteno, Italy.
  • 'An Examination of the Music Style, Life and Legacy of Alexei Stanchinsky (1888-1914)', 23 May 2018, M3C Research Festival, Birmingham, UK.


  • 'The Importance of Social-Artistic Circles in Russian Music Publishing: The Circumstances of Publication and Reception of Alexei Stanchinsky's works, 1913-1928', 13 December 2018, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham, UK.

Public Engagement & Impact

1 February to 30 April 2021: Placement with The Brilliant Club

During the placement I worked on widening access and participation to higher education. I was able to directly engage with schools; I also worked on fundraising and publicity. I gained experience in giving feedback to my peers on their course designs, and I designed a KS2 music course and accompanying teaching resources. My course will be delivered nationally from September 2021, allowing pupils to engage with music as an academic subject from an early age. I also gained experience in interviewing prospective tutors and provided feedback to both successful and unsuccessful candidates. Furthermore, I conducted a mini research project on how to better engage with primary education sector, which included running a focus group as well as conducting independent research into the sector. My findings will be used to inform strategy and marketing in the future.

9 March 2021Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Public Research Seminar

I presented my research findings to the public in a 30 minute presentation titled Towards a Rediscovery of Alexei Stanchinsky.

Other Research Interests

  • Music history
  • Music analysis and theory
  • Russian history, politics, society and culture


  • Royal Musical Association (RMA)
  • British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES)
  • Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA)

Prizes and Awards

  • Ernest Newman Prize for the Best Presentation by a Doctoral Researcher, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, June 2019

Teaching Experience

  • 2020 - present PhD Tutor, The Brilliant Club
  • 2019 - 2020 Visiting Lecturer, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • 2019 - 2020 Student Academic Mentor, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • 2011 - 2019 Piano and Music Theory Tutor, Self-employed

Academic Engagement

  • 2020 - 2021 Student Advisory Forum Representative, Midlands 4 Cities
  • 2020 - 2021 PhD Mentor, Birmingham City University