American pianist Garrett Snedeker has received the 2019/20 Fulbright scholarship to pursue postgraduate study at London’s Creative Conservatoire. His research will involve “harnessing music’s ability for social change”.

Garrett Snedeker, a recent music graduate of Washington State University, has received a grant from the US UK Fulbright Commission to pursue an intensive Masters degree in Piano Performance at Trinity Laban as the recipient of the 2019/20 Fulbright-Trinity Laban Award in Music or Dance.

Garrett will be part of Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Music and study piano with Professor of Piano and Composition Douglas Finch, an award-winning Canadian pianist and composer known for his innovative and imaginative approach to performance, and for helping to revive the lost art of classical improvisation in concert.

The new scholar will also work closely with Dr Sophie Fuller, Programme Leader of Trinity Laban’s Masters programmes and acclaimed author of The Pandora Guide to Women Composers: Britain and the United States. Sophie spearheaded Trinity Laban’s Venus Blazing initiative, an unprecedented commitment to tackling gender parity by celebrating the music of women composers across the 2018/19 academic year.

As part of his Fulbright tenure, Garrett will create a one-hour lecture recital presenting the final Beethoven piano sonatas as examples of progressive 21st-century gender ideologies. This project will demonstrate concepts of modern gender fluidity and gender role flexibility through a performance and discussion of the first movements of three sonatas, using Beethoven’s music as a cultural and educational tool to help others empathise and take action as advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.

This research continues Garrett’s exploration of the intersections between music, gender, sexuality and society begun during his Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance/Pedagogy. His undergraduate studies also saw him undertake personal research in Brazil on the life and music of pioneering pianist and conductor, Chiquinha Gonzaga (1847-1935). He has given lecture recitals and presentations about her life at conferences across the United States, and has written an article that will be featured in an upcoming issue of American Music Teacher.

On receiving the award, Garrett comments – “I’m thrilled to continue my study of music, gender, and social change as an ambassador through the US UK Fulbright programme. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can while in London, and absorbing a new and creative environment. I’m always happy to perform and share music, and I want to introduce listeners to new ways to process and think about what they are hearing. Trinity Laban is the perfect place to challenge social norms, introduce provocative ideas through music and collaborate with other people passionate about music for social justice and change.”

This is the fourth year Trinity Laban has worked with the US UK Fulbright Commission to offer the award, which enables US citizens to study at a UK Higher Education institution. Previous recipients have been University of South Florida alum Madison McGrew, US Marines veteran and Artistic Director of Exit12 Dance Company (New York) Roman Baca, and Nigerian-American choreographer and performer Oluwaseun Olayiwola.

Maria Balinska, US UK Fulbright Commission Executive Director, comments – “As a champion of cultural exchange between the UK and the US, we at the Fulbright Commission are thrilled to be partnering with Trinity Laban for a fourth year. After three outstanding dancers, Garrett is the first musician to receive the Fulbright-Trinity Laban Award. We are very much looking forward to hearing the results of his interactions with his new colleagues at Trinity Laban and with his new neighbours from the exhilarating melting pot that is London.”

Trinity Laban Principal, Professor Anthony Bowne comments – “Trinity Laban is a world leading conservatoire, and we are proud to be a partner of the renowned Fulbright Scholarship Programme. Fulbright Scholarships are highly sought after and greatly extend the financial support Trinity Laban is able to offer the world’s best prospective postgraduate students. Garrett will be immersed in high-quality teaching and a diverse and international student community, in the world’s most vibrant and exciting city."


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