Academic hits the right note with prestigious award

24/05/2024 | 2 mins

An academic from The University of Western Australia has received a prestigious international award for her outstanding contribution to the study of music history.

Professor Sarah Collins, Chair of Musicology at UWA’s Conservatorium of Music, was awarded the 2024 Dent Medal by the Royal Musical Association, the principal disciplinary organisation in the UK and a leader in international music research.

Professor Collins said she was flabbergasted at having received such a high honour.

Professor Sarah Collins

“It was extremely humbling to receive streams of warm messages from colleagues from all over the world when this award was announced,” Professor Collins said.

“Perhaps most rewarding was to have heard from senior elders in musicology in Australia who view this as a moment of collective recognition for the national discipline on the international stage.”

Professor Collins’ research seeks to understand how ideas about value and meaning, especially in the areas of politics and technology, have been shaped, maintained and disrupted by cultural forms.

“I focus on music and literary aesthetics in relation to intellectual and political currents in the late-19th and early-20th centuries,” she said.

“I want to encourage public debate by drawing attention to historical responses in the arts and culture so that we can begin to imagine a better collective future.”

Professor Collins is only the second Australian scholar to have been awarded this honour, the last being Professor Andrew McCredie in 1974.

She will travel to the UK to deliver the Dent Medal address in Southampton, UK, in 2025.

The Dent Medal, in memory of the distinguished scholar and musician Edward J Dent, is awarded on the basis of published scholarship and the outstanding contribution to musicology.

Media references

Annelies Gartner (UWA PR & Media Adviser) 6488 6876

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