The Dent Medal
The Dent Medal, struck in memory of the distinguished scholar and musician Edward J. Dent (1876-1957), has been awarded by the Royal Musical Association annually since 1961 to recipients selected for their outstanding contribution to musicology.
The Medal is awarded to scholars in mid-career, typically indicated by time from the completion of their PhD or first academic appointment. Candidates are selected on the basis of published scholarship, and the outstanding contribution to musicology may consist of either a single large-scale study or a body of work. Musicology is understood in broad terms, and eligible works may include (but are not limited to) monographs, collections of essays, articles, critical editions, and digital resources.
Nominations may only be made by current members of the RMA or IMS. Self-nominations are not permitted. We strongly encourage nominations that reflect the full diversity of music studies.
Nominators should submit a statement of up to 1200 words to the chair of the Awards committee (see RMA Committees). This statement should indicate the scholar’s career stage; include relevant biographical details or a link to a webpage where such information can be located; and identify the body of work that forms the basis for the nomination and explain why it constitutes an outstanding contribution to musicology. The statement should also include details of any additional published work and activities that have served to further enhance musicological scholarship.
Nominations and supporting documents should be received by 1 April. The Awards Committee’s recommendation will be submitted to the following meeting of Council, and, if approved, the award will be announced at the Annual General Meeting, held each September during the RMA’s Annual Conference.
Full citations are given in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association each year.
- 2021 – Laura Tunbridge (UK)
- 2020 – Eric Drott (US)
- 2019 – Gundula Kreuzer (US)
- 2018 – Inga Mai Groote (Switzerland)
- 2017 – Alejandro L. Madrid (US)
- 2016 – Mark Katz (US)
- 2015 – Marina Frolova-Walker (UK)
- 2014 – Alexander Rehding (US)
- 2013 – Elizabeth Eva Leach (UK)
- 2012 – Michel Duchesneau (Canada)
- 2011 – Annegret Fauser (Germany)
- 2010 – Martin Stokes (UK)
- 2009 – W. Dean Sutcliffe (New Zealand)
- 2008 – Anselm Gerhard (Germany)
- 2007 – Georgina Born (UK)
- 2006 – Mary Ann Smart (USA)
- 2005 – Julian Johnson (UK)
- 2004 – Daniel Chua (UK)
- 2003 – John Butt (UK)
- 2002 – Laurenz Lütteken (Switzerland)
- 2001 – Martha Feldman (USA)
- 2000 – Philippe Vendrix (Belgium)
- 1999 – Gianmario Borio (Italy)
- 1998 – Rob C. Wegman (USA)
- 1997 – Philip V. Bohlman (USA)
- 1996 – Ulrich Konrad (Germany)
- 1995 – Susan Rankin (UK)
- 1994 – Lorenz Welker (Germany)
- 1993 – Carolyn Abbate (USA)
- 1992 – Kofi Agawu (Ghana)
- 1991 – Roger Parker (UK)
- 1990 – Christopher Page (UK)
- 1989 – Paolo Fabbri (Italy)
- 1988 – Jean-Jacques Nattiez (Canada)
- 1987 – Richard F. Taruskin (USA)
- 1986 – Silke Leopold (West Germany)
- 1985 – Curtis A. Price (USA)
- 1984 – Iain Fenlon (UK)
- 1983 – Lorenzo Bianconi (Italy)
- 1982 – David Fallows (UK)
- 1981 – Anthony Newcombe (USA)
- 1980 – Craig Wright (USA)
- 1979 – Margaret Bent (UK)
- 1978 – Christoph Wolff (USA)
- 1977 – Reinhard Strohm (UK)
- 1976 – [No award made]
- 1975 – Martin Staehelin (West Germany)
- 1974 – Andrew McCredie (Australia)
- 1973 – Max Lutolf (Switzerland)
- 1972 – Jozef Robijns (Belgium)
- 1971 – Klaus Wolfgang Niemoller (West Germany)
- 1970 – Daniel Heartz (USA)
- 1969 – Willem Elders (Holland)
- 1968 – Heinrich Huschen (West Germany)
- 1967 – William W. Austin (USA)
- 1966 – F. Alberto Gallo (Italy)
- 1965 – Barry S. Brook (USA)
- 1964 – Pierre Pidoux (Switzerland)
- 1963 – Denes Bartha (Hungary)
- 1962 – Solange Corbin (France)
- 1961 – Gilbert Reaney (UK)
Edward J. Dent
Edward J. Dent (1876-1957) studied music at Cambridge, becoming a fellow of King’s College in 1902 and professor of music in 1926. He made a marked impression with his first monograph on Alessandro Scarlatti (1905), and developed a distinguished career as a musicologist including studies of Mozart operas, English opera, and Ferruccio Busoni.
Dent’s activities extended beyond academia. Dent served as the founding chairman of the International Society for Contemporary Music (1922-1938), and as the president of the International Musicological Society (1932-1949). He was the driving force behind amateur productions of The Magic Flute (in 1911) and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen (in 1920), and continued to be a passionate supporter of opera performances in English, many of which used his own translations.
He was remembered by friends and students as a generous, witty, and enthusiastic character. Dent continued to host meetings of the editorial board of the New Oxford History of Music and Musica Britannica in his London flat, despite badly declining hearing.
See Jack Allan Westrup, ‘Edward Joseph Dent; 16 July, 1876-22 August, 1957’, Acta Musicologica, 29(4) (Oct. – Dec., 1957), 109-110; Harold Rutland, ‘Edward J. Dent’, The Musical Times, 98(1376) (Oct. 1957), 571; Katharine Thomson, ‘Dent’ The Musical Times, 121(1651) (Sep.1980), 549.