Jonathan Huff

Jonathan Huff


Jonathan is a first-year Music PhD candidate at King’s College London, supervised by Michael Fend (Music) and Sanja Perovic (French). He joined KCLthis year after winning an AHRC scholarship, awarded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership. His thesis, entitled ‘Music, Enlightenment and Politics: The Idea of ‘Civic Virtue’ in the Aesthetic and Musical Process of the French Revolution, 1789-1800’ explores the relationship between musical aesthetics and its perceived political and social utility during the French Revolution, in particular tracing how  music and emotion continued to shape political discourse on music throughout the Revolutionary period. He is particularly interested in the significance of the French Enlightenment—particularly the writings of Rousseau, Diderot and d’Alembert—as a catalyst for the approach adopted by the French Revolutionary regimes in their use of music as a political tool. At current, Jonathan is focused on the development of the sensualist school of thought in which music was perceived to possess an extraordinary influence over the emotions, and is working on a project examining the Revolutionary works of the composer Jean-François Lesueur.

Before joining King’s College London, Jonathan completed a Masters by research at Durham University supervised by Dr Patrick Zuk and Dr Thomas Stammers, which was also concerned with the relationship between musical thought during the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. His present thesis expands on this project. Whilst at Durham, he was awarded a position as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, helping to teach a module on music in the 20thCentury.

He is also a keen performer, and works as a freelance trumpeter specialising in jazz performance. Recent engagements have taken him across Europe, performing as part of various orchestras and jazz ensembles.


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