Dr Georgia Volioti

Lecturer in Music

Qualifications: BSc (Hons), ARCS, MMus (Lond), PhD (Lond), LGSMD, AFHEA

Phone: Work: 01483 68 9690
Room no: 37 PA 01

Office hours

Academic tutorials can be booked by signing up on the tutorial schedule advertised on my office door (PA 37) or via email.

Further information


I joined the University of Surrey in 2013 as a full-time lecturer in music. I was educated at Imperial College, London, where I gained a first-class BSc Honours (Biology) and was awarded the Murray Prize in Physiology. Subsequently, I pursued postgraduate studies in Music and completed the MMus at Royal Holloway, University of London, with distinction. I specialised in Performance Studies and the Psychology of Music. I completed my PhD at the same university as an AHRC doctoral studentship holder at the Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM), supervised by Professor Nicholas Cook. My doctoral thesis combined empirical-analytical methods for the study of performance with traditional performance historiography and criticism.

Prior to this appointment at Surrey, I completed a postdoctoral Fellowship at Humboldt University, Berlin, and undertook research at the Centre for Performance Science, Royal College of Music, London. I have lectured on Performance Studies courses (BMus and MMus) at Royal Holloway, University of London. I have also supervised various undergraduate BA Music Tripos courses at the University of Cambridge, including Studying Music as Performance, Introduction to Music and Science, Aesthetics, and Dissertation. I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK), and hold a Licentiate in piano performance from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London.

At the University of Surrey I have designed, developed and delivered a range of modules, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, with a special focus on the performance-oriented study of music. I share a deep-seated commitment to excellence in HE teaching. I am currently working towards Senior Fellow status of the Higher Education Academy, as part of the Surrey Excellence in Teaching Framework. In January 2018 I was awarded a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Innovation Fund to complete my study on music students' perceptions of their transition in and out of musical arts placements.  

Having served as the Music BMus admissions officer (2014-16), I am currently the Senior Professional Placement Tutor for Music, mentoring students who are seeking to secure a placement in the arts, and ensuring students are well supported during their placement in order to achieve their goals. For news, updates, and reflective commentaries on music placements, see my blogs on the Department of Music & Media website. As placement tutor, I oversee the maintenance and expansion of a versatile network of placement providers in the arts, and I foster relations with an array of prestigious organizations and artists, including the English National Opera, London Sinfonietta, London Symphony Orchestra, Faber Music Publishing, internationally renowned composer Michael Price, and many others. I am also acting as the Departmental Disability Liaison Officer, ensuring the implementation of University guidelines for enhancing student learning support and well-being.

Research Interests

My research interests lie at the intersection of historical and cultural musicology, music performance studies, and empirical musicology. Specifically, I investigate the expressive, aesthetic, historical, and cultural reasons underpinning changes in musical interpretation (mainly of Western art music). By merging empirical approaches (e.g., quantitative and computational methods of performance profiling as well as qualitative and ethnographic techniques) with historical contextual study, I seek to interrogate both technical and expressive dimensions of performance, aesthetic responses, and the role of culture in shaping our understanding of music as performance. My research revolves around the following areas:  

  • Performance studies: performance analysis (live and recorded); performance historiography; historical performance practice (especially piano repertoire); historical recordings; the media, materialities and discourses of recording technology; cultural responses to the legacy of recordings; performance as embodied knowledge.  
  • Performance science: psychology of performance; quantitative and qualitative methods (software for data collection, processing and visualization); expressive gesture in performance; listening practices; musicians’ self-regulated learning; creativity, originality, and value in performance; cross-disciplinary theory and methods for performance research, and issues of epistemology.
  • Nineteenth-century music: the music of Edvard Grieg; nationalism and cultural memory in musical performance; identity in performance; landscape theory and music; nineteenth-century visual culture and music.

Professional & Research Affiliations:
• RMA (Royal Musical Association) – registered member
• SEMPRE (Society for Education and Music Psychology Research) – registered member
• IMR (Institute of Musical Research, London)
• PSN/CMP (Performance Studies Network/Centre for Music Performance, University of Cambridge)
• Centre for Performance Philosophy, University of Surrey
• Screen Studies and Visual Culture Research Group, University of Surrey
• ILLUME: Creativity Research Network, University of Surrey


Other Professional (peer review) activity:
• Reviewer for Empirical Musicology Review Journal (published by Ohio State University, ISSN: 1559-5749)
• Reviewer for Music & Letters (Oxford University Press Journals)
• Member of Committee and reviewing panel for the Tenth Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900 and Surrey Music Analysis Conference (ICMSN/SurreyMAC, University of Surrey, 2017).


Currently in preparation:

(research article). Volioti, G. & Williamon, A. 'The Anxiety of Influence: A Qualitative Analysis of Performers' Discourses on Listening to Recordings' - target SEMPRE/SAGE journal.  

(commissioned - book chapter). Volioti, G. 'Creativity Beyond the Score: Rethinking Classical Sound Recordings', invited for Routledge edited volume. A. Aguilar, E. Clarke, R. Cole & M. Pritchard (eds.), Remixing Sound Studies (Routledge Publications)

(commissioned - book review). Volioti, G. Book review of 'Musicians in the Making: Pathways to Creative Performance', J. Rink, H. Gaunt and A. Williamon (eds.), Oxford University Press, 2017. For Psychology of Music (SEMPRE journals). 

Published research (including accepted articles following peer review):

(forthcoming).Volioti, G. 'Expressive Gesture in Grieg's Recordings of Two Op. 43 Lyric Pieces: An Exploratory Principal Components Analysis'. Music Performance Research ISSN 1755-9219 (status: accepted for publication, peer review completed).

(2018). Volioti, G. 'Landscaping the Gaze in Norwegian Visual Art and Grieg's Op. 66 Folk Songs'. Music & Letters (in press).

(2017). Volioti, G. & Williamon, A. 'Recordings as Learning and Practising Resources for Performance: Exploring Attitudes and Behaviours of Music Students and Professionals'. Musicae Scientiae, 21/4, 499-523. doi:10.1177/1029864916674048 

(2017). Volioti, G. 'Musing on The Past: Historical Recordings as Creative Resources of Piano Performance', in Cristine MacKie (ed.), New Thoughts on Piano Performance: Research at the Interface Between Science and the Art of Piano Performance (A London International Piano Symposium Publication, 2017), 65-86. ISBN: 978-164007055-4

(2015). Volioti, G. 'Reminiscing Grieg: A Study of Technostalgia and Modulating Identities'. The Musical Quarterly, 98/3, 179-211. doi: 10.1093/musqtl/gdv005

(2014). Volioti, G. ‘Performing National-Cultural Identity: Rhythmic Gesture as the Phenomenology of the Folk’, in Nikos Maliaras (ed.), Proceedings of the International Musicological Conference the National Element in Music, 18-20 January 2013 (Faculty of Music Studies, University of Athens), 91-111. ISBN: 978-960-93-5959-7

(2012). Volioti, G. ‘Re-inventing Grieg’s Folk Modernism: An Empirical Investigation of the Performance of the Slåtter op.72, no. 2’. The Journal of Musicological Research, 31/4, 262-296. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01411896.2013.720914

(2010). Volioti, G. ‘Playing with Tradition: Weighing up Similarity and the Buoyancy of the Game’. Musicae Scientiae, 14/2, 85-114. doi:10.1177/102986491001400204 

Academic reviews (in peer-reviewed journals):

(forthcoming). Volioti, G. Book review of 'Staging History: 1780-1840', M. Burden, W. Heller, J. Hicks and E. Lockhart (eds.), Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2016. Nineteenth-Century Music Review (status: accepted for publication, peer review completed).

(forthcoming). Volioti, G. 'Re-imagining Operatic Objects: Commentary on "Phenomena, Poiesis, and Performance Profiling: Temporal-Textual Emphasis and Creative Process analysis in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera"'. Empirical Musicology Review (status: accepted for publication, peer review completed).

(2017). Recording review of 'Edvard Grieg, Lyric Pieces, Stephen Hough pf Hyperion 68070, 2015 (1 CD: 73 minutes)', Nineteenth-Century Music Review, 14/2, 275-277. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1479409816000422.

(2016). Book review of 'Expressiveness in Music Performance: Empirical Approaches across Styles and Cultures', D. Fabian, R. Timmers and E. Schubert (eds.), Oxford University Press, 2014. Nineteenth-Century Music Review, 13/2, 335-340. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1479409816000173

(2007). Book review of Adam Ockelford, ‘Repetition in Music: Theoretical and Meta-theoretical Perspectives’, Ashgate (RMA Monographs), 2005. Musicae Scientiae, 11/2, 325-330. doi:10.1177/102986490701100208 

Other (International Symposium Review):

(2007). Review of 4th International CHARM Symposium, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK (12-14 April 2007), 'Methods for Analysing Recordings'. CHARM Newsletter, Issue 3 (2007), 5-8.


Conferences, Research Seminars and Invited Talks

(2018). Volioti, G. Performance Studies Network Fifth International Conference. Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, 5-8 July 2018 (paper accepted).

(2018). Volioti, G. Seeing and Hearing the Beyond: Art, Music, and Mysticism in the Long Nineteenth Century. Annual Conference of the Association of Art History. London, 5-7 April 2018 (paper accepted).

(2018). Volioti, G. & Williamon, A. 'Unlocking the Anxiety of Influence: What Performers' Discourses Reveal about Listening to Recordings'.The Listening Experience Database Project: Methodologies, Identities, Histories. The Open University, Milton Keynes, 6-7 March 2018 (paper accepted).

(2017). Tenth Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900 and Surrey Music Analysis Conference (ICMSN/SurreyMAC), University of Surrey, Guildford, 11-14 September 2017. Member of Conference Committee. Chair for panel sessions on 'Film & Music' (12 Sept. 2017), and 'Music & France' (14 Sept. 2017).  

(2015). Volioti, G. & Williamon, A. 'Listening to Recordings: Perspectives on Practitioners' Habits'. The Listening Experience Database Project, Listening to Music: People, Practices and Experiences, Royal College of Music, London, 24-25 October 2015.

(2015). Volioti, G. 'Three Levels of Vocality in Grieg's Piano Recordings'. PERFORMA'15, International Conference on Musical Performance, University of Aveiro, Portugal, 11-13 June 2015.

(2015). Volioti, G. 'Working with Piano Rolls: A Musicologist's Perspective', presented as part of my collaborative research seminar 'Rollin' On: Pianola Grooves Uncovered', Music Research Seminar Series, School of Arts, PATS Studio 1, University of Surrey, 25 February 2015.

(2014). Volioti, G. 'Who Cares What You Listen: Musical Recordings as Cultural Products of Creativity', invited by Dr. Paul Sowden (Department of Psychology) and presented at the ILLUME Research Seminar Series, Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, University of Surrey, 17 July 2014.

(2014). Volioti, G. Eighteenth Biennial Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, University of Toronto, Canada, 18-20 June 2014.

(2014). Volioti, G. 'Performing Memory and Nostalgia with Grieg's Historical Piano Recordings', Music Research Seminar Series, School of Arts, University of Surrey, 22 January 2014.

(2013). Volioti, G. ‘Historical Recordings and Piano Performance’. The London International Piano Symposium, Royal College of Music, London, 8-10 February 2013 (Recipient of Music & Letters Trust Award, £441).

(2013). Volioti, G. 'Performing Norwegian National-Cultural Identity: Rhythmic Gesture as the Phenomenology of the Folk'. International Musicological Conference, The National Element in Music, University of Athens, Greece, 18-20 January 2013.

(2011). Volioti, G. 'Between Tradition and Innovation - Whose Style Is It Anyway? An Empirical Investigation of the Performance Practice of Grieg's Slatter'. International Performance Studies Conference, PERFORMA'11, University of Aveiro, Portugal, 19-21 May 2011.

Public Engagement (miscellaneous)

Student engagement, outreach, and widening participation:

(2017- present). Music Placement Blogs: 'Keeping it Classic with the LSO: Reflections on a Typical Placement Visit' (28 July 2017); 'Moving Back, Moving On: How Music Placements Shape Learning and Future Careers' (28 Sept. 2017); 'Prepping Up, Sparkling Up: Glittering CVs and Cover Letters for Music Placement Applications' (1 December 2017); 'Creativity and the Social Media Side of Composing: Report from Music Placement with Composer Michael Price' (5 February 2018).

(2016). ‘Why Study Music at University: Exploring Creative Careers’. A talk given to upper sixth-form students at the Cambridge College of Visual and Performing Arts (5 February 2016) by invitation of Dr Vivian Choi. Part of student outreach for admissions recruitment.

(2014). 'Hatchlands Visit: Music Students Perform on Historic Instruments'. An event organised as part of widening student engagement and participation in the study of historical keyboard instruments. See The blog of The School of Arts at the University of Surrey, 29 November 2014; blog text by Dr Maureen Bonello and Dr Georgia Volioti.

Public Exhibition:

(2015). 'The Player-Piano and Pianola'. A public exhibition hosted in association with The Guildford International Music Festival. The Lewis Elton Gallery, University of Surrey, 9-18 March 2015. Exhibition curated by Denis Hall and Rex Lawson, and co-presented by Dr. Georgia Volioti and Professor Clive Williamson.

Pre-performance talks & concert reviews:

(2014). 'Verdi's La Traviata: A Pre-Performance Talk of Tom Cairns' Production', by invitation of Glyndebourne's dramaturg Cori Ellison for Glyndebourne Tour 2014, New Victoria Theatre, Woking, 29 October 2014.

(2014). 'International Artist Celebrates 25 Years Association with Surrey'. University of Surrey, School of Arts, Music Concert Series, 11 May 2014. See The blog of The School of Arts at the University of Surrey, 22 May 2014; concert review by Dr. Georgia Volioti.


Undergraduate Teaching:

2016 - present:
Year 1: Encountering Music History (MUS1031)
Year 2: Nineteenth-Century Music (MUS2057), Topic Study 2B (MUS2062) *module convenor for both
Year 3/4: Individual Project (MUS3078), Topic Study 3B (MUS3082) *module convenor for both

2013 - 2015:
Year 1: Understanding Music B (MUS1027),
Year 2: Musicology A (MUS2046), Musicology B (MUS2047) *module convenor for both
Year 3/4: Historical Performance Practice (MUS3072), Opera Studies (MUS3064), Dissertation A, B & C
(MUS3055, 3056 & 3057) *module convenor for all

Postgraduate (Masters) teaching:
2017 - present:
Research Training for Practitioners (MUSM048) - topics taught: Music Performance as Research and Research as Performance

Performance A (MUSM039), Performance B (MUSM040) - topics taught: Introduction to Performance Studies; Tapping into the Psychology of Performance: A Practitioner's Tool-kit; Creativity, Originality, and Value in Music Performance: The Scope for 'Radical' Interpretation

2013 - 2016:
Readings in Musicology (MUSM056), Research Training A (MUSM054) - topics taught: The Nature of Musicological Evidence: Issues in Epistemology; Musicology and Interdisciplinarity; Musicology of Performance and/or Performing Musicology

Performance A (MUSM039), Performance B (MUSM040) - topics as above


Student responses:

Opera Studies

'Module very well organized and prepared, clear structure'. 'Critical thinking was encouraged'. 'An accessible module regardless of one's level of familiarity with opera'.

Historical Performance Practice

'A good classical music module! Becoming increasingly rare'. We were encouraged to think in a different way and it challenged my pre-existing ideas about performance practice'. 'It has encouraged me to become more open-minded as a performer which is really relevant to me'. 

Departmental Duties

2017 - present

HR Excellence in Research Working Group - FASS/DMM Early Career Academic Representative

2016 - present

Department of Music & Media Disability Liaison Officer

Music BMus Professional Training Year Senior Tutor

2014 - 2016

Music BMus Admissions Tutor

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