David Vickers

Tutor in Academic Studies

BA Hons (Bath Spa), MMus (Leeds), PhD (Open)

Email: David.Vickers@rncm.ac.uk

Academic Tutor

David teaches various undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the RNCM. His main research is Baroque Music, and in particular Handel: he is co-editor of The Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia (2009) and editor of an anthology of Handelian literature (Ashgate’s ‘Baroque Composers’ series, 2011). His doctoral thesis examined the composer’s own different performing versions of Partenope, Arianna in Creta, Esther and Deborah; current projects include a critical edition of Partenope (Hallische Händel-Ausgabe/Bärenreiter), editing a collection of essays New Perspectives on Handel’s Music: Essays in Honour of Donald Burrows (to be published by Boydell & Brewer), and rediscovering the forgotten repertoire of several early eighteenth-century singers.

An author of essays or books about aspects of Purcell, Vivaldi, Mozart and Haydn, David’s other interests include seventeenth-century vocal music, baroque sacred repertoire, eighteenth-century opera and ‘historically-informed’ recordings. He is an essayist for most leading classical record labels (Virgin, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi, Chandos, BIS, etc.) and has been a critic for Gramophone since 2003. 

A council member of the Handel Institute, David serves as a project consultant for many international baroque musicians, appears frequently on BBC Radio 3, and is in demand as a guest lecturer both at home and abroad. He sings in Leeds Baroque (of which he was a founder member) and conducts choirs in the Huddersfield area. He also has an unhealthy interest in Prog Rock and electric guitars.

Current and Future Research

  • Editing Partenope for the Hallische Händel Ausgabe (Bärenreiter)
  • Editing a collection of new essays on Handel (forthcoming, 2016/7)
  • The London career of the soprano Giulia Frasi from the early 1740s until the 1770s
  • The performing versions of Handel’s Ottone (performing edition and musicological consultancy for Il Pomo d’Oro recording project in collaboration with Peter Jones)
  • Investigating the context, repertoire and reception of Porpora’s works for the Opera of the Nobility (particularly the oratorio David e Berseaba)
  • Exploring the relationship between performance practice methodologies and commercial recordings 
  • Approaches to staging baroque music drama in the modern theatre
  • Bilingual performances of oratorios in London during the 1730s
  • Examining the London operas of Giovanni Bononcini and Attilio Ariosti, particularly his opera Coriolano (1723)
  • The London repertoire of the castrato Senesino from 1720 until 1736
  • Reconstructing Handel’s different performing versions of operas and oratorio-style works
  • The classical recording industry and its approaches to ‘early’ music

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Baroque Music contextual history and performance studies (2nd year tutor)
  • Performance Studies (4th year tutor)
  • Exploring Bach (elective)
  • Handel’s music theatre works (elective)
  • Music Drama from Monteverdi to Mozart (elective)
  • Music & Beliefs (elective)
  • Baroque Sacred Music from Monteverdi to Vivaldi (workshop-based elective)

Postgraduate Teaching

  • Repertoire Research (M.Mus seminar leader and research superviser)
  • Lecture Recital (M.Mus tutor and examiner)


    Authored Books

  • David Vickers, Haydn: His Life & Music, (London: Naxos Books, 2008).
  • Edited Books

  • The Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia, ed. by Annette Landgraf and David Vickers, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • The Baroque Composers: Handel, ed. by David Vickers, (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010).
  • The Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia, ed. by Annette Landgraf and David Vickers, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
  • Journal Articles

  • David Vickers, ‘“Handel’s revisions to performing versions of Partenope (HWV 27) and Arianna in Creta (HWV 32), 1730–37”’, Händel Jahrbuch, 62 (2016), 217–236.
  • David Vickers, ””The Musick to be disposed after the Manner of the Coronation Service”: Handel’s use of ceremonial anthems in Esther (HWV 50b) and Deborah (HWV 51), 1732–1757’’, Händel Jahrbuch 2013, (2013).
  • Conference Contributions

  • Handel and Giulia Frasi in context ,  The Handel Institute conference: Handel and his eighteenth-century performers, London 23 November 2016 2016
  • ‘Reassessing the Italians in Esther: Handel’s bilingual versions of his first English oratorio’ ,  American Handel Society conference, Seattle 25 March 201
  • An overview of Handel’s Partenope on the stage (1730–2009) ,  Statue, obelischi, serragli di fiere: Händel in scena tra storia e presente, Siena 10 October 2
  • Recordings

  • Handel Handel’s Finest Arias for Base Voice, Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen, Christopher Purves (bass) Bass voice, baroque orchestra, Hyperion, All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, January 2012
  • Handel Partenope, Il Pomo d’Oro, Riccardo Minasi, Erato, Lonigo (Vicenza)

Professional Activity

  • Council member of The Handel Institute
  • Member of the Georg Friedrich Händel Gesellschaft
  • Lecturer for cultural tour operator Martin Randall Travel, including artistic and musicological consultancy for resident festival of Monteverdi’s music in Venice (November 2015)
  • Performance and musicological consultant for numerous high-impact artistic projects in collaboration with clients including The Academy of Ancient Music, The Dunedin Consort, The English Concert, The King’s Consort, La Nuova Musica, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Sixteen, Göttingen Handel Festival, The Brook Street Band, Christian Curnyn (Early Opera Company), Alan Curtis (Il Complesso Barocco), David Hill (The Bach Choir), Christopher Hogwood, Stephen Layton, Andrew Manze, Nicholas McGegan, Robin Blaze, Max Emanuel Cencic, Danielle de Niese, Mark Padmore, Carolyn Sampson, Lawrence Zazzo, and most major international classical record labels
  • Essayist for opera houses (Glyndebourne, ENO, Drottningholm, Buxton, etc.), concert venues (Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican), artists and festivals
  • Feature articles for Gramophone, including essays on Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, Vivaldi’s Stabat mater, Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Messiah, an overview of liturgical reconstructions, and a guide to the music of Rameau
  • Author of nearly 50 booklet essays for a range of high-impact commercial recordings by leading artists and labels (2002–2016), many of them incorporating original research and related to premiere recordings of major works.

COVID-19 Update: Our venues have reopened to the public and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back this Autumn. Before attending an event at the RNCM, please read our Audience Protocol…