Clare Beesley


Clare Beesley's dissertation examines the nature of becoming a virtuosa during the 18th century through a case study of the British glass armonica player Marianne Davies (1743/44-bur.1819). Clare's research is supervised by Dr. Rebekah Ahrendt and promoted by Prof. dr Emile Wennekes.

Her recent research "Becoming a Virtuosa: Advice from Vienna, 1769" appeared in Eighteenth-Century Music in September 2023 (volume 20, issue 2, 159-178). In December 2023 Clare provided a synopsis of the article for BBC Radio 3 Early Music News. She delivered the article as a paper at the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies 52nd Annual Conference Homecoming, Return, and Recovery in January 2023. Her conference abstract received the Michael Burden Award for Musicology, conferred by the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. In July 2021 Clare delivered her paper "The Art of Persuasion – an entrepreneurial glass harmonica player and her network of eminent influencers" for the Divino Sospiro Centro di Estudos conference Women and Music in the Early Modern Age. Reconstructing Marianne Davies's professional network through examination of the Davies sisters' letter-book of introductions, the paper was first presented at the International Interdisciplinary conference Musical Networking in the 'Long 19th Century' and will appear in its proceedings (forthcoming). 

Clare's current research unpicks the promotional strategies employed by the Davies family in their attempt to jettison Marianne to fame at her Paris debut. Clare's findings will be presented in 2024 at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne conference Strangers and foreigners: hospitality and hostility in Britain, France, and Germany, 1680-1850 and at the University of the Arts History Forum and Sibelius Academy conference Musica Mercata: Finance, commodity and the Music Industry from Antiquity to the Present.