The Ruskin Songbook

The ruskin Songbook cover


Commissioned to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Anglia Ruskin University, The Ruskin Songbook contains fifteen new compositions inspired by John Ruskin’s writings on education and the power of music as a transformative activity. With works for voice and piano, voice and instruments, choir, electronic media and live algorithmic electronics, the collection seeks to mirror the long tradition of music making at the University, and in its home cities of Cambridge and Chelmsford. The Ruskin Songbook is designed to be both a practical music book, enabling performance of many of the works contained therein, but also a compendium of the composers’ thoughts and reflections on their association with the University, their students and their responses to Ruskin’s ideas. Companion websites provide links to full performance materials and accompanying recordings.


About the editors

Paul Jackson is a pianist, conductor, musicologist and university lecturer, with a particular interest in twentieth-century and contemporary music. He joined Anglia Ruskin University in 1992 and, following a long tenure as Head of Department, became Director of Music and Performance in 2017. Paul has commissioned dozens of new musical works by leading composers, ranging from instrumental and vocal pieces, through music theatre works, to multimedia compositions involving live performers and electronics. He has a particular interest in the life and music of he Australian composer Percy Grainger, and has contributed to the New Percy Grainger Companion, published by Boydell and Brewer. As a companion project to The Ruskin Songbook, he has written about Ruskin’s views on music in Ruskin and Nineteenth-Century Education, published by Anthem Press in 2018.

Jane Boyer is an artist, curator, writer and doctoral candidate at Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University. She is Managing Editor for Ruskin Arts Publications and Postgraduate Coordinator at CSA.

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