This week marked the publication of Dr Nick Wilson’s new book The Art of Re-enchantment: Making Early Music in the Modern Age, by Oxford University Press. The book tells the remarkable and revolutionary story of the British early music movement (1960s to the present), which has quite literally changed the way we hear music. While other books have examined the history of early music’s revival, this interdisciplinary study is unique in its focus on how various constituencies actually made their living from the early music business. Through chapters exploring the relationship between historically informed performance (HIP) and the ‘authentic’ musical work, the professionalization of early music, the influence of institutions such as the BBC and record companies, and the entrepreneurial role of leading early music pioneers, the book sheds new light on one of the most fascinating and influential movements in 20th Century art music. In so doing, it also encourages a much-needed public conversation about the true value of art and authenticity in society today.
Dr Nick Wilson (Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries CMCI), has worked as a professional singer since the late-1980s, performing with a number of the early music groups discussed in the book, including the Academy of Ancient Music, The English Concert and The Tallis Scholars. He joined King’s College London in 2009, having previously lectured in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management at Kingston Business School.