School of Music

Brian Locke

Brian Locke, Ph.D.
Professor, Musicology
Sallee 214

Dr. Brian Locke, a native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, earned an Honours B.Mus. at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1995 and an M.A. in Musicology at the University of Western Ontario in 1997. He pursued doctoral studies in Musicology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, with Dr. Joseph Auner and Dr. Jane Sugarman, graduating with the Ph.D. in 2002. Prior to his arrival at WIU in 2006, Dr. Locke taught at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia). He attained the rank of Professor of Musicology in 2016.

Dr. Locke's research interests span a wide range of topics in the Romantic and Early Modernist eras, most specifically in the time period between the death of Richard Wagner and the end of the Second World War. With notable exceptions, his research has focused on the musical community of Prague (Czech Republic) as a nexus of competing ideologies of nationalism and cosmopolitanism; modernism, anti-modernism, and popular culture; and the social responsibility and political discourses of art. His book, entitled Opera and Ideology in Prague: Polemics and Practice at the National Theater, 1900-1938, appeared 2006 with the University of Rochester Press.

Dr. Locke has published several articles in major journals and books of collected essays. These include “The Wozzeck Affair: Modernism and the Crisis of Audience in Prague” (Journal of Musicological Research), “Novák's Lucerna and the Historiographical Problem of ‘Czech Modernism'” (Intersections: Journal of Canadian Music), and "'The Periphery is Singing Hit Songs': The Globalization of American Jazz and the Interwar Czech Avantgarde” (American Music Research Center Journal, 2002). 2014 saw the completion of a nine-year editing project of the full score of Otakar Zich's quasi-tonal opera, Vina (Guilt, 1922), published by A-R Edition in full score with complete translation. Forthcoming book chapters include historical and analytical studies of Erwin Schulhoff's 1932 opera Flammen/Plameny and the Czech swing community during the Nazi-era Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (“Swing in the Protectorate: Czech Popular Music under the Nazi Occupation, 1938-1945,” in Music in World War II: Confronting and Escaping Wartime in Europe and the United States, eds. Pamela Potter, Christina Baade, and Roberta Marvin, Indiana University Press).

Dr. Locke's research has afforded him the opportunity for ten research trips to the Czech Republic to date. In recent years, this research has also included a variety of new projects of different focal points, most prominently the popular music of the Prague-based music industry in the years 1918-1948. This project has resulted in long-term research on the music of Czech jazz pioneer Jaroslav Ježek and the Czech-Canadian Swing composer Jiří Traxler. Very recently, Dr. Locke has extended the time-frame of his research both back into the early Classical era (Gluck, Mysliveček) and forward into Cold War music studies. He is currently working on the musical estate of Jindřich Feld (1925-2007).

Active as a bass vocalist, Dr. Locke has pursued the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Vocal Performance at WIU, and continues to perform repertoire in Czech and twenty other languages.