Professor Simon McVeigh

Staff details

Position Emeritus Professor of Music
Department Music
Email s.mcveigh (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7446
Professor Simon McVeigh

Simon McVeigh is a musicologist specialising in British musical life 1700-1945, and in violin music and performance practices of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Books include Concert Life in London from Mozart to Haydn (Cambridge University Press) and The Italian Solo Concerto 1700-1760 (Boydell Press), while an edition of Arne’s oratorio Judithforms the 100th volume in the flagship series Musica Britannica.

Currently, his research centres on London concert life 1880-1914, and a book on music in Edwardian London is in preparation. A substantial article on the London Symphony Orchestra appeared in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association in 2013. He was also co-investigator on the digital concert-programme initiative, InConcert, funded through the AHRC’s Transforming Musicology project. He recently initiated a new series of Elements in Music and the City for Cambridge University Press, co-edited with Laudan Nooshin.

Following doctoral studies at Oxford University he took up a lectureship at the University of Aberdeen before joining the Music Department at Goldsmiths in 1980. He was appointed Professor of Music and Head of Department in 1997. From 2001 to 2013 he served as a member of the College’s Senior Management Team, as Pro-Warden (Research and Enterprise) and then as Deputy Warden responsible for both academic development and international strategy. Until his retirement in 2020 he was Academic Director of Research Policy, leading multi-disciplinary projects on practice research, on open access and on research integrity.

From 2018 to 2020 he was President of the Royal Musical Association. For many years he was a Strategic Reviewer for the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and he was Deputy Chair of Sub-panel 35 for the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

In addition, he is a violinist, viola-player and conductor, directing the London Mozart Players and the Hanover Band in concerts and recordings. A governor of Trinity College of Music from 1998 to 2005, and currently of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, he was made an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 2007.

Areas of supervision

Simon McVeigh has supervised a wide range of research topics from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, primarily relating to British musical life and to instrumental music. He is, however, no longer able to take on supervision of new research students.

Awards, grants and media appearances

He is a frequent contributor to radio and TV, advising and appearing on the Haydn programme in the highly regarded BBC2 series ‘The Birth of British Music’, and contributing to the BBC4 series ‘Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century’ and ‘Mozart’s London Odyssey’. He took part in Chi-chi Nwanoku’s Radio 4 series ‘In Search of the Black Mozart’, and also arranged some of the music for the BBC1 period drama series ‘Taboo’.


Research Interests

Following his widely-cited book on London concert life in the late eighteenth century (Concert Life in London from Mozart to Haydn) and the associated Calendar of London Concerts 1750-1800, Simon McVeigh’s research on music in Britain is now largely centred on the period around 1900. The AHRC-funded project ‘The Transformation of London Concert Life, 1880-1914’ (in collaboration with Leanne Langley and the late Cyril Ehrlich) has led to numerous publications, including a major reassessment of the first decade of the London Symphony Orchestra (Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 2013). Recent and forthcoming chapters address Sunday concerts, song recitals, concert series, the middlebrow, the Broadwood concerts and the music profession during the period.  A book on music in Edwardian London is in preparation, exploring in the round the rich diversity of music-making in the capital as well as its relationship with continental Europe and music across the world.

This work is connected to his interest in the collection, curation and analysis of concert programme data, through the Concert Life in 19th-Century London Database and InConcert, an initiative within the AHRC project ‘Transforming Musicology’, which explores the concept of a collaborative digital archive of musical ephemera.  As an extension of his work on urban musicology, he recently initiated a new series of short-form Elements in Music and the City for Cambridge University Press, co-edited with Laudan Nooshin.

The early eighteenth-century Italian concerto was the subject of a large-scale project with Jehoash Hirshberg, resulting in The Italian Solo Concerto 1710-1760: Rhetorical Strategies and Style History, along with an extensive programme of editing of violin concertos by Tessarini, Zani and others. Related publications include contributions to two Cambridge Histories: Eighteenth-Century Music and Musical Performance. An edition of Arne’s oratorio Judith (with Peter Lynan) was selected to mark Vol. 100 in the prestigious series Musica Britannica.

Publications and research outputs


McVeigh, Simon and Hirshberg, J.. 2004. The Italian Solo Concerto, 1700-1760: Rhetorical Strategies and Style History. Boydell Press. ISBN 1843830922

McVeigh, Simon. 1993. Concert Life in London from Mozart to Haydn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521413532

McVeigh, Simon. 1989. The Violinist in London’s Concert Life, 1750-1784: Felice Giardini and his Contemporaries. New York: Garland. ISBN 0824020189

Edited Book

McVeigh, Simon and Lynan, Peter, eds. 2016. Thomas Arne, Judith: an Oratorio. London: The Musica Britannica Trust and Stainer & Bell Ltd. ISBN 9780852499474

Wollenberg, Susan and McVeigh, Simon, eds. 2004. Concert Life in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 0754638685

Book Section

McVeigh, Simon. 2020. The Nineteenth-Century Concert Series: a Contested Space. In: Paul Watt; Sarah Collins and Michael Allis, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Music and Intellectual Culture in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190616922

McVeigh, Simon and Weber, William. 2020. From the Benefit Concert to the Solo Song Recital in London, 1870-1914. In: Natasha Loges and Laura Tunbridge, eds. German Song Onstage: Lieder Performance in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, pp. 179-202. ISBN 9780253047007

McVeigh, Simon. 2019. “Brightening the lives of the people on Sunday”: the National Sunday League and Liberal Attitudes towards Concert Promotion in Victorian Britain. In: Sarah Collins, ed. Music and Victorian Liberalism: Composing the Liberal Subject. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 37-59. ISBN 9781108628778

McVeigh, Simon. 2018. Building a Concert Career in Edwardian London. In: Rosemary Golding, ed. The Music Profession in Britain, 1780-1920: New Perspectives on Status and Identity. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 189-219. ISBN 9781138291867

McVeigh, Simon. 2018. Britain and Europe in the Time of Clementi: Cosmopolitanism and Perceptions of National Culture. In: Luca Lévi Sala and Rohan H. Stewart-MacDonald, eds. Muzio Clementi and British Musical Culture: Sources, Performance Practice and Style. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 10-31. ISBN 9781138633896

McVeigh, Simon. 2018. Academy of Ancient Music (Eighteenth Century); Programmes (of Concerts), Tartini (Giuseppe). In: Colin Lawson and Robin Stowell, eds. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Historical Performance in Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107108080

McVeigh, Simon. 2016. The Prince of Wales, Giardini and Pleyel: Searching for the Source of the Public String Quartet in London Concert Life. In: Christian Speck, ed. The String Quartet: From the Private to the Public Sphere. 27 Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 165-197. ISBN 9782503568003

McVeigh, Simon. 2014. Handel in Concert: Social, National and Cultural Roles in Later Eighteenth-Century Britain. In: Laurenz Lütteken and Wolfgang Sandberger, eds. Göttinger Händel-Beiträge 15. Göttingen: Vanderkoeck & Ruprecht, pp. 161-176. ISBN 9783525278321

McVeigh, Simon. 2012. The Symphony in Britain. In: Mary Sue Morrow and Bathia Churgin, eds. The Symphonic Repertoire: The Eighteenth-Century Symphony. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 629-661. ISBN 9780253356406

McVeigh, Simon. 2012. Performance in the 'Long Eighteenth Century': an Overview. In: Colin Lawson and Robin Stowell, eds. The Cambridge History of Musical Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 473-505. ISBN 9780521896115

McVeigh, Simon. 2012. Trial by Dining Club: the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Clementi and Mozart at London's Anacreontic Society. In: Bennett Zon, ed. Music and Performance Culture in Nineteenth-Century Britain: Essays in Honour of Nicholas Temperley. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 105-138. ISBN 9781409495536

McVeigh, Simon. 2010. Industrial and Consumer Revolutions in Instrumental Music: Markets, Efficiency, Demand. In: Roberto Illiano and Luca Sala, eds. Instrumental Music and the Industrial Revolution. Bologna: Ut Orpheus, pp. 3-35. ISBN 9788881094684

McVeigh, Simon. 2010. 'As the Sand on the Sea Shore': Women Violinists in London’s Concert Life around 1900. In: Emma Hornby and David Maw, eds. Essays on the History of English Music in Honour of John Caldwell. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, pp. 232-258. ISBN 9781843835356

McVeigh, Simon. 2009. Concerto of the Individual. In: Simon P. Keefe, ed. Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 583-612. ISBN 9780521663199

McVeigh, Simon. 2008. The Constrained Entrepreneur: Concert Promotion in Eighteenth-Century London. In: Hans Erich Bödeker; Patrice Veit and Michael Werner, eds. Organisateurs et formes d’organisation du concert en Europe 1700–1920: Institutionnalisation et pratiques. Berlin: Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, pp. 47-56. ISBN 9783830515517

McVeigh, Simon. 2006. Viotti and London Violinists during the 1790s: A Calendar of Performances. In: Massimiliano Sala, ed. Giovanni Battista Viotti: A Composer between the Two Revolutions. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 87-119. ISBN 8881094576

McFarlane, Meredith and McVeigh, Simon. 2004. The String Quartet in London Concert Life, 1769–1799. In: Susan Wollenberg and Simon McVeigh, eds. Concert Life in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 161-190. ISBN 0754638685

McVeigh, Simon. 2004. An Audience for High-Class Music: Concert Promoters and Entrepreneurs in Nineteenth-Century London. In: W. Weber, ed. The Musician as Entrepreneur, 1700-1914: Managers, Charlatans and Idealists. Indiana University Press, pp. 162-182. ISBN 0253344565

Hirshberg, Jehoash and McVeigh, Simon. 2004. The 'Virtuosi Instromenti' and the Milanese Concerto in the Early Eighteenth Century. In: Anna Cattoretti, ed. Giovanni Battista Sammartini and his Musical Environment. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 203-244. ISBN 250351233X

McVeigh, Simon and Ehrlich, C.. 2002. The Modernisation of London Concert Life Around 1900. In: M. Talbot, ed. The Business of Music. Liverpool University Press, pp. 96-120. ISBN 0853235287

McVeigh, Simon. 2002. Clementi, Viotti and the London Philharmonic Society. In: Roberto Illiano; Luca Sala and Massimiliano Sala, eds. Muzio Clementi: Studies and Projects. Bologna: Ut Orpheus, pp. 67-80. ISBN 8881094487

McVeigh, Simon. 2002. The Musician as Concert-Promoter in London, 1780-1850. In: Hans-Erich Bödeker; Patrice Veit and Michael Werner, eds. Le concert et son public. Paris: Editions Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, pp. 71-92. ISBN 2735109143

McVeigh, Simon. 2001. Italian Violinists in Eighteenth-Century London. In: Reinhard Strohm, ed. The Eighteenth-Century Diaspora of Italian Music and Musicians. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 139-176. ISBN 2503510205

McVeigh, Simon. 2000. The Society of British Musicians (1834-1865) and the Campaign for Native Talent. In: Christina Bashford and Leanne Langley, eds. Music and British Culture, 1785-1914: Essays in Honour of Cyril Ehrlich. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 145-168. ISBN 019816730

McVeigh, Simon. 2000. Freemasonry and Musical Life in London in the late Eighteenth Century. In: David Wyn Jones, ed. Music in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 72-100. ISBN 1840146885

McVeigh, Simon. 1999. The Benefit Concert in Nineteenth-Century London: From 'tax on the nobility' to 'monstrous nuisance'. In: Bennett Zon, ed. Nineteenth-Century British Music Studies 1. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 242-266. ISBN 1840142596

McVeigh, Simon. 1996. London Newspapers 1750 to 1800: a Checklist and Guide for Musicologists. In: Michael Burden and Irena Cholij, eds. A Handbook for Studies in 18th-Century English Music VI. Oxford: Burden & Cholij, pp. 1-60. ISBN 0951278584

McVeigh, Simon. 1992. The Violinists of the Baroque and Classical Periods. In: Robin Stowell, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Violin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 46-60. ISBN 0521399238


McVeigh, Simon. 2020. Rescuing a Heritage Database: Some Lessons from London Concert Life in the Eighteenth Century. Research Data Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 5(2), pp. 50-61. ISSN 2452-3666

Dix, Alan; Cowgill, Rachel; Bashford, Christina; McVeigh, Simon and Ridgewell, Rupert. 2014. Authority and Judgement in the Digital Archive. The 1st International Digital Libraries for Musicology workshop (DLfM 2014), pp. 1-8.

McVeigh, Simon. 2013. The London Symphony Orchestra: the First Decade Revisited. Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 138(2), pp. 313-376. ISSN 0269-0403

McVeigh, Simon. 2007. A Free Trade in Music: London during the Long 19th Century in a European Perspective. Journal of Modern European History, 5(1), pp. 67-94. ISSN 16118944

Hirshberg, Jehoash and McVeigh, Simon. 2000. The Making of a Ritornello Movement: Compositional Strategy and Selection in Tessarini’s 'Opera prima'. Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani, 21, pp. 35-73. ISSN 0393-2915

McVeigh, Simon. 1989. The Professional Concert and Rival Subscription Series in London, 1783-93. Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 22, pp. 1-135. ISSN 00804460

McVeigh, Simon. 1988. Music and Lock Hospital in the 18th Century. Musical Times, 129, pp. 235-240. ISSN 0027-4666

McVeigh, Simon. 1983. Felice Giardini: a Violinist in Late Eighteenth-Century London. Music and Letters, 64, pp. 162-172. ISSN 0027-4224


McVeigh, Simon. 2014. Calendar of London Concerts 1750-1800.