The University of Western Australia

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David Tunley

E/Prof David Tunley

Senior Honorary Research Fellow
Academic Staff (Music)

Contact details
Academic Staff (Music)
The University of Western Australia (M413)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2051
AM, MMus Dunelm., DLitt Hon.DMus W.Aust., FAHA, DSCM, LTCL, Chevalier de L'Ordre des Palmes Académiques
Emeritus Professor David Tunley was initially trained as a pianist at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but when coming to Perth in 1958 (having gained the degree of Bachelor of Music from the University of Durham as an external stduent) turned his energies more towards choral conducting, composition and research. Commencing as a lecturer in the then newly-fledged Department of Music, he was eventually appointed to a Personal Chair before moving to the Chair of Music after the retirement of Sir Frank Callaway. He is now an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Music at UWA.
Key research
It has been musicology that established his international reputation with the publication of 8 books, 70 articles (in journals, book chapters and in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Oxford History of Music – vols 4 & 6, Die Music in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Kassel etc) as well as editions of 18th and 19th century French music in 23 volumes. (Garland Press , New York). His book The 18th-Century French Cantata (London 1974, Oxford 1997 which earned him the degree of Doctor of Letters (UWA, 1970) is regarded as the classic study of this important form and is constantly cited in French baroque research. He has taken up research fellowships at Oxford (Christ Church and Wolfson) and the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio in Italy. As a composer he studied in Paris – through a French Government Scholarship- under the famous teacher Nadia Boulanger in the 60s. Soon after his appointment as lecturer in music at UWA he founded the University A Capella Choir (later becoming the University Collegium Musicum) which introduced works rarely heard in Perth in those days, and created the much-loved York Winter Music Festival and the Terrace Proms.
The Eighteenth-Century French Cantata (London, Dennis Dobson, 1974; 2nd ed. Oxford, Clarendon Press. 1997)

Australian Composition in the Twentieth Century (edited with Frank Callaway, Melbourne, OUP, 1980)

Couperin (London, BBC Publications, 1982)

Harmony in Action (London, Faber Music, 1984)

The Bel Canto Violin – the life and times of Alfredo Campoli 1906-1991 (Aldershot, Ashgate, 1999)

Salons, Singers and Songs – a background to Romantic French song 1830-1870)

François Couperin and the ‘Perfection of Music’ (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2004)

William James and the Beginnings of Modern Musical Australia (Sydney, Australian Music Centre, 2007

Roles, responsibilities and expertise
National appointments have been as Chairman of the Music Board of the Australia Council, National President of the Musicological Society of Australia, National Chairman of the Australian Music Examinations Board. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, Member of the Order of Australia and was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal. Past membership of various UWA committees include Chairman of the Board and Management of University Radio 6UVSFM (in the 80s), committee member of the Festival of Perth (Board of Management), Research Committee, Honorary Degrees Committee, President of the Friends of the University Library (continuing).
Honours and awards
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 1980
Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques, 1983
Member of the Order of Australia, 1987, Centenary Medal, 2001

lst prize, Competition of Australian Composers,
Wangaratta Arts Festival, Victoria, 1962
Bourse de perfectionnement (for composition studies with Nadia Boulanger 1964/5
Etudiant patronné (French Govt Award), 1968
ARGC & ARC Grants : 1979-84; 1992, 2004-6
Scholar-in-residence, Rockefeller Study Centre, Bellagio, Italy, August 1987
Fowler Hamilton Visiting Research Fellow, Christ Church, Oxford, Jan-March, 1993
Visiting Scholar, Wolfson College, Oxford 1996
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM