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Centre for Music and Science

Xi Zhang is supervised by Ian Cross, studying the interaction between speech and music in tone languages, focusing specifically on the Chaozhou dialect and Chaozhou songs of South China. Xi completed a BA in Music Education and an MA in Psychology of Music in China. After six years working at Xinghai Conservatory of Music (Guangzhou, China) as a research assistant, a lecturer and an editor of the Journal of Xinghai Conservatory of Music, she came to the UK and studied Ethnomusicology at SOAS, University of London in 2014 and joined the Centre for Music and Science in 2017. Xi’s interdisciplinary research interests were developed during over 10 years fieldwork and empirical studies on the traditional music of South China.
Nicky Swett is supervised by Ian Cross and Nicholas Marston. His doctoral thesis investigates the wordless musical analyses of critic and broadcaster Hans Keller from biographical, analytical, and cognitive perspectives. His research interests include musical pattern learning and pedagogy, analogy and comparison, audiovisual processing, arrangement and transcription, and the relationships between diverse musical styles. He holds previous degrees from Northwestern University (B.M. in Cello Performance and B.A./M.A. in Comparative Literature) and the University of Sheffield (M.A. in Psychology of Music), and he spent two years as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He currently holds a Gates Scholarship.
Huw Cheston is supervised by Peter Harrison and Ian Cross. His PhD research focuses on using empirical and psychological methods to gain insight into the communicative and interactive processes involved in the performance of improvised music, especially jazz. He also performs widely across the UK as a guitarist. He received his Master’s and Undergraduate degrees in Music from Oxford University, graduating from both programmes with the highest overall mark in his cohort. He currently holds a Lewis Research Scholarship in the Humanities and a Vice-Chancellor’s Award.
Sam Leak is supervised by Ian Cross, studying the learnability of absolute pitch by adults. Alongside his PhD he works as a London-based jazz pianist, and is most widely known for his band 'Aquarium', for which he is both pianist and composer.
Chrysi Nanou is supervised by Ian Cross. Alongside her PhD studies she has a career as a performer, curator, lecturer, and teacher of piano performance. Born in Greece, her personal and professional aesthetics were formed in Paris and further shaped in the United States with her studies at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris / Alfred Cortot, The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, and her work and studies at the Stanford University’s CCRMA. As a solo artist, chamber musician and lecturer, Chrysi has given performances and lectures around the globe giving special emphasis to the performance practices necessary to perform today’s acoustic and electro-acoustic contemporary music.
Eden Mikula is supervised by Peter Harrison. Originally from the West of Scotland, Eden completed both her Master’s and Undergraduate degrees at the University of Aberdeen as a Derek Ogston Music Scholar. She has also been involved with Oxford University’s UNIQ+ Research Internship program where she explored the creative correlation between “Music, Algorithms and AI”. She currently holds a Wolfson College and Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.


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