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  1. Arts and Social Sciences
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About City

Christopher Suckling

DMA student

Department of Music

E: Christopher.Suckling.1@city.ac.uk

Thesis title: Towards a rediscovery of chordal recitative accompaniment by the violoncellist

Supervisor: Alexander Lingas

Overview and research interests

Despite the unequivocal evidence of late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century violoncello methods, the modern role of the cellist in Italianate opera of the eighteenth century has largely remained the simplified form ascribed to it in the formative years of the early music revival.

In recent years, a handful of cellists, including Christopher, have begun to explore the rich musical possibilities offered by the realisation of recitative by the cellist. His thesis will elucidate the origins of this practice in the early eighteenth century, situating it in a wider genealogy of the cello as a harmonising instrument, and offer modern performers the possibilities of expanded techniques and repertoire.

Research interests

  • Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century performance techniques and practices

Christopher read Natural Sciences at Robinson College, Cambridge before undertaking postgraduate studies as a cellist at the Royal Academy of Music. He combined the early part of his performing career with reading for a Masters in Music from the Open University.


Conference papers

  • 2011 - `Performing musicology or performing tradition?' Performing Musicology, City University London, 17 June 2011
  • 2011 - `Towards a rediscovery of chordal recitative accompaniment by the violoncellist', International Orpheus Academy for Music & Theory, Orpheus Institute, Ghent, 4 - 6 April 2011

Recordings (relevant to research)

  • 2012 - Handel, Look Down, Harmonious Saint. Ludus Baroque, Richard Neville-Towle. CD. Delphian Records: Forthcoming
  • 2011 - Handel, Alexander's Feast. Ludus Baroque, Richard Neville-Towle. CD. Delphian Records: DCD34094
  • 2009 - Handel, Tamerlano. Placido Domingo, Teatro Real, Paul McCreesh. DVD. Opus Arte: OA1006D
  • 2009 - Handel, Rolando Villazon - Handel Arias. Gabrieli Players, Paul McCreesh. CD. Deutsche Grammophon: DG 4778056.
  • 2008 - Handel, Acis & Galatea. Dunedin Consort & Players, John Butt. CD. Linn Records: CD 319.


Christopher is a visiting lecturer at City, University of London, teaching materials of tonal music, music skills, and performance. He directs performance projects for the Historical Performance department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and teaches on the Informed Performer course at Trinity Laban. Christopher is a member of the Composition and Musicianship faculty at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and was previously College Musician at Queens' College, Cambridge.


Christopher's ensemble, Abbandonata, regularly acts as a sounding board for ideas developed in the course of his research.