Dr Adam Behan


Assistant Professor

Logic House
(01) 7086451


I am a musicologist. I work for the most part on western music in the twentieth century, and I'm broadly interested in recordings and cultural history. Much of my research to date has explored ways of studying individual performers by merging critical and empirical approaches. I'm currently writing a book about Irish popular music at the end of the twentieth century, one that brings together musicology, Irish social history and gender studies.

I hold degrees from Trinity College Dublin and the University of Cambridge, where my graduate studies were funded by a Peterhouse Graduate Studentship. I took up a one-year lecturing post in Maynooth University in 2022 and begin a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship here in October 2023.

My research has won awards including the Karl Geiringer Scholarship from the American Brahms Society and the Westrup Prize from the Music & Letters Trust. I have published articles in Music Analysis, Twentieth-Century Music, Quodlibet and Music & Letters, and I have presented papers at multiple international conferences. My latest article, entitled ‘Joni Mitchell’s Urges for Going, 1965–67: Coffeehouses, Counterculture and Care’, appears in the 2023 spring issue of The Journal of the Society for American Music.

All of my publications are open access and can be downloaded from my Academia page.

Research Interests

Some of my main research interests to date include the following:

  • western music and culture in the twentieth century
  • the entangled histories of classical musical performance and recording technology
  • the history of Irish popular music
  • the analysis of musical performances (through, but not limited to, Sonic Visualiser)
  • conceptual approaches to studying individual musical performers
  • ethics of care and musicology

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2025 Adam Behan (2025) 'Music History, the Practice Turn, and Maria Yudina's Journey through the Soviet Thaw, 1959–63'. Journal of the Royal Musical Association, .
2023 Adam Behan (2023) 'Joni Mitchell's Urges for Going, 1965–67: Coffeehouses, Counterculture, and Care'. Journal of the Society for American Music, 17 (1):68-85.
2022 Adam Behan (2022) 'Reading Creativity Forwards and Backwards: Process and Product Revisited with Herbert von Karajan's Legato Aesthetic and Hypermasculinity'. Music and Letters, 103 (4):708-728.
2021 Adam Behan (2021) 'Glenn Gould in Six Scenes: Performance as Self-Care'. Quodlibet, 76 :54-84.
2021 Adam Behan (2021) 'Large-Scale Structure, Performance and Brahms's Op. 119 No. 2'. Music Analysis, 40 (1):104-130. [Link]
2021 Adam Behan (2021) 'The Historiography of the Twentieth-Century Classical Performer: Life, Work, Artistry'. Twentieth-Century Music, 18 (2):161-184. [Link]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2024 Ann-Marie Hanlon; Adam Behan; Judit Csobod; Áine Mangaoang (2024) Joint Annual Conference of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and ICTMD-IE Irish Popular Music Studies Today and into the Future (Roundtable) University College Cork, Ireland, 04/04/2024-07/04/2024.
2023 Adam Behan; Peter Asimov; Jeanice Brooks; Barbara Kelly (2023) 59th Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association Reimagining French Modernist Historiography through Performance University of Nottingham (England), .
2023 Adam Behan (2023) Women at the Piano 1848–1970 Maria Yudina, Igor Stravinsky and the Composer/Performer Hierarchy, 1960–63 University of California, Irvine, USA, .
2022 Adam Behan (2022) Annual Plenary of the Society for Musicology in Ireland Fraught Musical Politics: U2, Aung San Suu Kyi and the Precarity of Protest Song University College Cork, Ireland, .
2022 Adam Behan (2022) 6th International Performance Studies Network Conference Lateness and Introspection in Maria Yudina’s Recordings of Six Brahms Intermezzos University of Surrey, England, .
2022 Georgia Volioti, Adam Behan, Joshua Neumann, Sara McGuinness (2022) 6th International Performance Studies Network Conference Post-Pandemic Performance (Studies) University of Surrey, England, .
2021 Adam Behan (2021) Joni Mitchell’s Blue at 50 ‘Joni’s Urges for Going, 1965–67’ University of Connecticut, USA, .
2021 Adam Behan (2021) 57th Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association Integrating Life and Work: Contemporary Music in Maria Yudina’s Imagination and Artistic Practice Newcastle University, England, .
2021 Adam Behan (2021) SMI/ICTM Annual Plenary Decentring the Studio Recording in Histories of Performance Style Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, .
2019 Adam Behan (2019) Herbert von Karajan and the Interpretation of Music ‘Taking Shape with Karajan’s Legato’ University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, Austria, .
2019 Adam Behan (2019) New Takes on Recorded Music: Performance, Creativity, Technology Large-scale Structure and Performance: A Reassessment with Brahms’s Intermezzo in E minor Op. 119, No. 2’ University of Surrey, England, .
2018 Adam Behan (2018) 16th Annual Plenary of the Society for Musicology in Ireland ‘The Finale of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5: Political Meaning and/through Performance’ CIT Cork School of Music, .
2017 Adam Behan (2017) Society for Music Analysis TAGS Conference 'Gould’s Variations on the Goldberg Variations: An Analysis of Glenn Gould’s Two Recordings of the Goldberg Variations BWV 988' Bangor University, Wales, .

Book Review

Year Publication
2023 Adam Behan (2023) Review: Jean-Pierre Collot (ed.), Maria Youdina, Pierre Souvtchinsky: Correspondance et Documents (1959–1970). Geneva: Contrechamps Éditions, 2020. [Book Review]

Invited Seminars

Year Publication
2023 Adam Behan (2023) Music Theory, Performers and the Limits of Empiricism. Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester (USA): [Invited Seminars]

Magazine Article

Year Publication
2020 Adam Behan (2020) The Pianist Who Killed Stalin: Remembering the Life of Maria Yudina, 50 Years After Her Death. [Magazine Article]
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