The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation
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Ms Sian Derry

Nationality: United Kingdom

Year: 2007

Subject Area: Arts and Humanities

Prior to being awarded a Wingate Scholarship, I trained as a pianist at Birmingham Conservatoire and whilst there developed an interest in early pianos. I explored this interest further in my MMus dissertation which examined Beethoven's Piano Sonatas and the extent to which developments in piano manufacture influenced his writing of them.

The MMus gave me a taste for academic study and a desire to investigate this particular field further. Therefore, my Wingate Scholarship has enabled me to commence a PhD in Musicology at Manchester University under the supervision of Professor Barry Cooper.

At present, I am undertaking preliminary investigations which will form the foundations of my thesis. Given that I wish to discover the extent the piano influenced Beethoven, I am trying to ascertain how much and in what ways he used the piano whilst composing, and whether the onset of deafness initiated a change in his compositional processes.