Briony Cox-Williams is a Kiwi/Irish musician and researcher. She studied first in New Zealand, where she also worked as a free-lance accompanist, before emigrating to the UK in 1994. Since then she has continued a busy concert schedule, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, working with instrumentalists and singers. She has given concerts throughout Britain and Europe, with a particular concentration on Lieder and neglected piano repertoire of the nineteenth century. She has also worked with a number of opera companies as a repetiteur, and has an interest in choral conducting, having conducted such choirs as Wesley Men’s Chorus and Conchordance, in repertoire ranging from big band-style arrangements to Baroque unaccompanied works. She is involved in outreach work, running annual workshops for singers with the singer and music director Pierrette Thomet.
A chance encounter with the music of Fanny Hensel on a library shelf led to a passion and fascination with this repertoire and how it tells stories that are currently seen as missing from the creative canon, and by extension, with the vast body of largely unknown works by women of the past. Briony has had the opportunity to introduce many previously unknown composers to British audiences, such as the songs of Pauline von Decker, Jeannette Bürde and Emilie Goroncy. Salon Without Boundaries is born from this conviction that such works are essential to our understanding of both life and creativity.
As a scholar, she has published articles on women composers and on nineteenth-century performance practice in song. She is currently working on a book about the 19th-century salon, looking at ways in which salon culture offers a unique performance practice rather than a musical language. This highlights the people, places and concepts involved as important factors alongside repertoire. She is also looking at ways in which gendered use of language is reflected in music theory and practice.