Stephen Broad

Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange


Stephen Broad is an islander in exile, researcher, teacher, community conductor and occasional broadcaster. He studied at the Music School of Douglas Academy (Piano with Anne Crawford and composition with William Sweeney) and then at the University of Glasgow, where he won prizes in music and physics. He undertook a DPhil in Historical Musicology at Worcester College, Oxford with the late Robert Sherlaw Johnson and with Annegret Fauser, and is Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Research interests

Stephen's studies were multidisciplinary and his research interests similarly span a number of fields, centred around three broad themes:

  1. Historical musicology, especially Olivier Messiaen and his early career and writings, which have been a particular focus of study and publication; music and ideas in 1930s France, mythologies in biography and autobiography; and problems of musical historiography.
  2. Music education, especially music learning and teaching in diverse contexts (such as community settings and advanced professional training) and a range of applied research and consultancy to support government and other policy development in the arts and education.
  3. The philosophy of practice-based research, with a particular interest in music in the context of other practices in the arts, humanities and sciences, and researcher development in practice-based research.

Stephen is Chair of the European Platform for Artistic Research in Music (EPARM), run under the auspices of the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC)

Teaching commitments

Stephen has a wide teaching experience in higher education, oversees a number of PhD and DPerf students, and has supervised the following completed doctoral projects:

Lori Watson: 'The New Traditional School in Scotland: Innovation, Beyond-tune Composition and a Traditional Musician's Creative Practice' (PhD, 2013).

Bethany Whiteside: 'The Hidden Dancers: A Goffmanian Analysis of Participatory Dance Activity and Practice in Glasgow, Scotland' (PhD, 2017).

Hanna Choi: 'Documenting Developing Performance: Rethinking Nikolai Medtner at the Piano' (PhD, 2017).

Sofia Pyrounaki: 'Transcription, Performance and Recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Works for Lute on a ten-string Guitar' (PhD, 2018).

Raluca Matei: 'Better Practice: Health Promotion in Music Education and the Profession' (PhD, 2019).

Graeme Smillie: 'Pre-tertiary transitions in the performing arts : a qualitative study of the tensions and hierarchies in widening access to a conservatoire's cultural systems' (PhD 2021)

Ralph Strehle: 'A critical investigation of self-determination theory in the context of a music conservatoire : basic needs satisfaction, autonomy support, and motivation of BMus and MMus Performance students' (PhD 2023)

He is also active as an adjudicator and conductor of community and amateur orchestras, and is particularly proud to work with the great family of musicians that is Stirling Orchestra, grand finalists in the BBC programme All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge.


  • DPhil, University of Oxford

    Recontextualising Messiaen's Early Career

    1997 - 2001
  • MA, University of Glasgow

    Joint Hons Music and Physics

    Oct 1993 - Jul 1997

Supervisor for

Beyond the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland...