School of Media and Performing Arts


Photo of Dr George Burrows

Dr George Burrows

  • Qualifications: PhD, PGCert., MLitt, BMus (hons)
  • Role Title: Reader in Performing Arts; Section Leader – Drama and Musical Theatre; Level 5 Tutor (Drama and Musical Theatre)
  • Address: White Swan Building, University of Portsmouth, White Swan Road, Portsmouth PO1 2DJ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 8484
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Media and Performing Arts
  • Faculty: Creative and Cultural Industries


George Burrows is Section Lead and Principal Lecturer for Performing Arts in the School of Media and Performing Arts. In 2017 he served as Interim Associate Dean (Students) in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. Before joining the University of Portsmouth, George worked in the Music Department of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where he also studied for his masters’ degree and his PhD. George read for his first degree in music at the University of Birmingham. He also studied trombone, voice and piano at the Birmingham Conservatoire. After Birmingham, he worked in the Education Department of the Royal Opera House while studying to become a conductor. George maintains his practice as a conductor alongside his academic career and has directed the University of Portsmouth Choirs since 2003 in concerts in Britain and abroad.

Teaching Responsibilities

George leads the dynamic team of academic staff that deliver our degree programmes in Musical Theatre and in Drama and Performance. He lectures across both these programmes but his specialisms are in musical theatre teaching and in choral training. He lectures undergraduates in units of teaching that include, Text and Practice; Music, Practice, Performance and Research; Musical Theatre Skills; Musical Theatre in Context; Studio Project; Applied Theatre and Musical Theatre Dissertation. He is also Unit Coordinator for several of these units and in the past has been Course Leader for the Drama and Performance degree and for the Musical Theatre degree. He has served as an External Examiner at several institutions including the University of Sunderland, the Urdang Academy (UEL) and Goldsmiths. He was part of the validation panel for new musical theatre degrees at the University of Winchester and at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and for the collaborative programmes of the University of Portsmouth that will be delivered by the Management Development Institute of Singapore. George is an award-winning lecturer and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


George’s research focuses on socio-political discourses in musical theatre and jazz of the interwar period but he also has published research outside of this territory. For example, he has written on Monteverdi and edited the first critical edition of the Cello Concerto by Charles Villiers Stanford. More recently George conducted a practice-research project that explored reactions to early-1800s performance conventions in a performance of Handel's Messiah that recreated a distinctive version given in Portsmouth in 1812. George has also developed particular interests in performance cultures aboard ocean liners and cultures of listening that developed with technological developments in sound recording and reproduction.

George is a co-founder of the Song, Stage and Screen international conference and of the peer-reviewed academic journal, Studies in Musical Theatre. The conference now alternates annually between the US and Europe and the journal is one of Intellect’s best-selling publications with world-wide subscriptions.

George leads the Performing Arts Research Group at the University of Portsmouth and leads a team preparing for an entry to Unit of Assessment 35 in the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework.



Research profile

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