Fabrice Fitch

Head of Graduate School

MMus (McGill), Premier Prix de Composition (Conservatoire National de Région, Bordeaux), PhD (Manchester)

Email: fabrice.fitch@rncm.ac.uk

Fabrice Fitch is a composer and a musicologist specializing in the field of late medieval and early Renaissance polyphony. After initial studies at the Conservatoire National de Région of Bordeaux and McGill University followed by two years’ private study in composition with Brian Ferneyhough, he took his PhD on the Masses of Ockeghem at Manchester University under the guidance of David Fallows. His book Johannes Ockeghem: Masses and Models appeared in 1997, and he has since written on Agricola, Obrecht, the Eton Choirbook, and latterly Josquin. He was most recently co-editor of Essays on Renaissance Music in Honour of David Fallows: Bon jour, bon an et bonne estrenne (Woodbridge, 2011). He has served as a guest editor for issues of Early Music (2006/iii, dedicated to Alexander Agricola) and the Journal of the Alamire Foundation (2010/ii and 2011/I, dedicated to Jacob Obrecht), and is on the editorial boards of both journals. A key focus of his research is the investigation of analytical models for (and other forms of reflection on) the music of the early Renaissance, and the pertinence of these repertories to aspects of contemporary culture. He is currently preparing an Introduction to Renaissance Polyphony for Cambridge University Press, and is also planning a monograph on the music of Alexander Agricola. He will give one of the key-note speeches at the forthcoming conference ‘Gaspar van Weerbeke; Works and Contexts’ in Salzburg in June 2017.

As composer he has recently completed the chamber music cycle per serafino calbarsi (based on texts by and around François Rabelais), the final parts of which arose out of a commission from the Manchester-based ensemble Trio Atem, who premiered the completed cycle in Manchester in May 2016. Another long-term project, his agricologies (based on the work of the composer Alexander Agricola), continues through his collaboration with the Manchester-based ensemble Distractfold, who premiered Agricola IX (version for bass clarinet and string trio) in Darmstadt in August 2016. (Previous parts of the cycle have been commissioned and/or performed by Fretwork, Ensemble Leones, the Kreutzer String Quartet, Quatuor Diotima, and the flautist Richie Craig.) The version of Agricola IX for flute and string trio will appear in early 2017 on a solo CD for the Metier label by Richie Craig with the participation of members of Distractfold.

Fabrice has given guest lectures throughout Europe and North-America on topics ranging from Renaissance polyphony and Humour in Music to his own work and various aspects of contemporary music, including his long-standing interest in performer/composer collaboration. His reviews of a similarly wide range of CD recordings have appeared in Gramophone for over twenty years.


Personal Website

Current and Future Research

  • Introduction to Renaissance Polyphony for Cambridge University Press
  • Monograph on Alexander Agricola (c.1456-1506)
  • Articles on various subjects in early Renaissance and Contemporary music
  • Chamber work (diptych) commissioned by Distractfold(Manchester)
  • Solo flute piece for Richard Craig (an offshoot of the recently completed Per Serafino Calbarsi cycle)

College and External Research Roles

  • PhD (composition), Ms Coreen Morsink, Goldsmiths College, University of London (2013)

  • MMus (composition), Dr Colin Tucker, University of Huddersfield (2011)

  • PhD (composition), Dr Adam Ferguson, University of Leeds (2010)
  • PhD (composition), Dr Gavin Wayte, University of Manchester (2006)

  • PhD (musicology), Dr David Walters (‘Pierre Boulez’s Aesethetics of Music’), internal examiner, Durham University (2004)


Research Funding

Award on the AHRC Research leave Scheme (2006) funding the composition of the agricologies cycle. 

Undergraduate Teaching

  • 1st and 2nd-year (cohort lectures, Renaissance year-long strand)
  • Performing Contemporary Music (strand and cohort teaching)
  • Electives, Project supervision

Postgraduate Teaching

  • Repertoire Research module and other
  • MMus projects (supervision)

Research Supervision


  • PHD (musicology), Dr Niels Berentsen, Leiden University (to be conferred December 2016)
  • PhD (composition), Dr David Curington, Royaln Northern College of Music (2015)
  • PhD (composition), Dr John Hails, Durham University (2007)
  • PhD (musicology) Dr Peter J. D. Scott (‘Petrucci’s Lamentation Volumes of 1506’), Durham University (2005)
  • PhD (composition), Dr Anthony Mosakowski, Durham University (2002)
  • MA (musicology), Mr Richard Chivers (‘The Responds of John Sheppard’), Durham University (1996)

Research Supervisory Interests

Late mediaeval and Early Renaissance polyphony (analysis, historiography, performance practice)




    Authored Books

  • Fabrice Fitch, Johannes Ockeghem: Masses and Models, (Paris: Champion, 1997).
  • Edited Books

  • Essays on Renaissance Music in Honour of David Fallows: Bon jour, bon mois et bonne estrenne, ed. by Fabrice Fitch and Jacobijn Kiel, (Woodbridge: Boydell&Brewer, 2011).
  • Choirbook for Philip the Fair and Juana of Castile, c. 1504–6 Koninklijke Bibliotheek MS. 9126, ed. by Fabrice Fitch, (Brussels: Alamire, 2000).
  • Chapters in Books

  • ”The Renaissance”, in Cambridge Companion to French Music, ed. by Simon Trezise, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp.49–68.
  • ‘Fanfare, Agricola IX: Je n’ay dueil’, in Qui musicam in se habet: Studies in Honor of Alejandro Enrique Planchart, ed. by Anna Zayaruznaya, Bonnie J. Blackburn and Stanley Boorman, ( American Institute of Musicology, Verlag Corpusmusicae GmbH, 2015)
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘Senfl in the Studio’, in Senfl-Studien I, ed. by Stefan Gasch, Birgit Lodes and Sonja Tröster, (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2012), pp.497–510.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘‘Who Really Knows Who Composed Mille regretz?’’, in Essays on Renaissance Music in Honour of David Fallows: Bon jour, bon an, et bonne estrenne, ed. by Fabrice Fitch and Jacobijn Kiel, (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2011), pp.272–278.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘‘Josquin à l’ombre des buissonets’: Arborescent Design and Popular Song in His Four-Voice Secular Music’’, in Josquin and the Sublime: Proceedings of the International Josquin Conference, Middelburg 2009, ed. by Eric Jas and Albert Clement, (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), pp.155–168.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘Towards a Taxonomy of the Eton Style’, in , ed. by M. Jennifer Bloxam, Gioia Filocamo and Leofranc Holford-Strevens, (Turnhout: BREPOLS/Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance, 2009), pp.37–52.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ”Le Codex Chigi et les messes d’Ockeghem”, in Johannes Ockeghem: Actes de XLème Colloque international d’études humanistes, ed. by Philippe Vendrix, (Paris: Klincksieck, 1998), pp.239–252.
  • Journal Articles

  • Fabrice Fitch, ”Antoine Brumel and the Sense of Scale”, Journal of the Alamire Foundation, 7 (2015), 13–21.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘‘Virtual’ Ascriptions in MS. AugS 142a: A Window on Alexander Agricola’s Late Style’’, Journal of the Alamire Foundation, iv/I (2012), 114–138.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘‘Two Fellows from Ghent’: for the Obrecht and Agricola Quincentenaries”, Journal of the Alamire Foundation, ii/2 (2010), 143–155.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘‘Who Cares Who is Speaking?’: An Essay in Style-Criticism’’, Acta Musicologica, 1xxxii (2010), 49–70.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘Hearing John Browne’s Motets : Registral Space in the Music of the Eton Choirbook’’, Early Music, xxxvi/i (2008), 19–40. doi:10.1093/em/cam138
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘Text, Music and Mannerist Aesthetics in Agricola’s Songs’’, Trossinger Jahrbuch für Renaissancemusik, vii (2007), 105–31.
  • Fabrice Fitch and Neil Heyde, ‘‘‘Recercar’: The Collaborative Process As Invention’’, Twentieth Century Music, iv/1 (2007), 71–95.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘Agricola and the Rhizome II: Contrapuntal Ramifications’’, Trossinger Jahrbuch für Renaissancemusik, vii (2006), 19–57.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘‘Agricolesque, ou presque’: for the Agricola Quincentenary’’, Early Music, (2006), 359–373.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘Agricola and the Rhizome : an Aesthetic of the Late Cantus Firmus Mass’’, Revue Belge de Musicologie, lix (2005), 65–92.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘Restoring Ockeghem’s Mort, tu as navré’’, Tijdschrift van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis, (2001), 3–24.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ‘‘”For the Sake of his Honour”: Obrecht Reconsidered”, Tijdschrift van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis, (1998), 150–63.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ”Be in my Video”, Early Music, (1997), 577–583.
  • Fabrice Fitch, ”Down in the Valley”, Musical Times, (1995), 456-464.
  • Review Articles

  • ‘Reflections on the Reflexe Series’, Early Music, Fabrice Fitch, 2003
  • ‘O tempora! O mores!: a new recording of Obrecht’s Missa Maria zart’, Early Music, Fabrice Fitch, 1996
  • Scholarly Editions

  • , Colinet de Lannoys: Mass and Songs (= ‘Epitome musical’, ii), 1999, Klincksieck, Paris
  • Conference Contributions

  • ‘Agricola vs. Alamire: the Lie of the Sources’ ,  Proceedings of the International Alamire Conference, Leuven 1999, Leuven-Neerpelt 2003
  • Compositions

  • Fabrice Fitch Per Serafino Calbarsi III: Antistrophes, Trio Atem, mezzo-soprano, bass flute, violoncello
  • Fabrice Fitch Agricola IX: Je n’ay dueil, distractfold, bass clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello
  • Fabrice Fitch Per Serafino Calbarsi I: Rondeau de Panurge, Trio Atem, voice, flute, violoncello
  • Fabrice Fitch Per Serafino Calbarsi IIIa: Antistrophes, Nina Whiteman mezzo-soprano
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola VIII: Je n’ay dueil, unspecified instruments including with keyboard, 2013
  • Fitch, Fabrice Rock franglais, clavichord
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola IX: Je n’ay dueil, fl., vl., vla., ’vc
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola IX: Je n’ay dueil, bs. cl.
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola IX: Je n’ay dueil, bs. cl.
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola IXb, for tenor sackbut, Early Music, lx1/1 (2013), 156–7
  • Agricola; Fitch, Fabrice Agricola I, Agricola III/Obrecht Canon III. Alexander Agricola: Chansons, Fretwork, Harmonia Mundi U.S.A, 2006
  • Fabrice Fitch Agricola IX: Je nay dueil, Ensemble Leones, Renaissance Instrumental Ensemble, Christophorus, 2013
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola IX: Je n’ay dueil, fl.
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola IX: Je n’ay dueil, ob.
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola IX: Je n’ay dueil, ten. sackbut
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola IX: Je n’ay dueil, Renaissance instrumental ensemble
  • Fabrice Fitch Agricola VIII / Obrecht Canon III: De tous biens plaine / Tinguely–Brunnen, Ensemble Leones, four unspecified string instruments, Christophorus, 2012
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola IX: Je n’ay dueil, cornetto muto
  • Fitch, Fabrice Agricola VIII / Obrecht Canon III: De tous biens plaine/ Tinguely-Brunnen, four unspecified strings, Basel
  • Fitch, Fabrice Trois Filigrammes, ob.
  • Fitch, Fabrice agricologies (pour quatuor), 22’ Agricola II : Comme femme à 2. Agricola VI/Obrecht Canon II: De tous biens plaine II. Agricola VII : Tout a part moy,
  • Fitch, Fabrice agricologies (pour violes) Agricola I: Comme femme à 1/4 Agricola III/Obrecht Canon I: De tous biens plaine à 4 Agricola IV: Fortuna desperata à 6 Agricola V: Si edero II à 3, violas
  • Fitch, Fabrice Per Serafino Calbarsi II: Le Songe de Panurge, vc.
  • Fitch, Fabrice Per Serafino Calbarsi I: Rondeau de Panurge, Virelai, voice, Renaissance flute, Renaissance lute, Renaissance bass viol, Riverrun, 2002
  • Fitch, Fabrice; Archbold, Paul Structures en Bronze, Filigranes pour les frères Limbourg, Wind-Up., Ensemble Exposé, Peter Hill (pia); Julian Warburton (perc) and Barrie Webb (trb), Metier, 2000
  • Fitch, Fabrice Wind-Up, pia.
  • Fabrice Fitch Cantus cantici canticorum I, The Orlando Consort, Exaudi, Voices (x4)
  • Fitch, Fabrice Cantus cantici canticorum, 4 male voices
  • Fitch, Fabrice Cantus cantici canticorum I,
  • Recordings

  • Agricola, Alexander; Fitch, Fabrice Fitch, Fabrice Agricola VIII (four unspecified strings), Agricola IX (Renaissance instrumental ensemble). Colours in the Dark, Ensemble Leones, Renaissance instrumental ensemble, Christophorus

Professional Activity

Since 1997 Fabrice has been a regular participant in the activities sponsored by the Centre des Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Université François-Rabelais, Tours, France), notably in their Ateliers de Restitution des Poylphonies Lacunaires (2010-12).