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Norbert has been involved in research at conservatoire level since 2004.

At the Royal College of Music, he has been leading a number of research projects exploring the the legacy of musicians who emigrated from Nazi Europe in the 1930s. The Singing a Song in a Foreign Land project (funded by the EU Culture Programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund) combined practicioner research with oral history interviews and archival work.


In 2016, his Exile-Estates project about the composer Peter Gellhorn received £50K of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Norbert develops and presents regular performances based on this research with his professional Ensemble Emigre. Previous research projects at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama focused on the history of vocal teaching and the performance practice of early German Lieder. 


Together with fellow RCM professor Janis Kelly, Norbert developed the History of Vocal Teaching series of pedagogical films about singing. His research in the performance practice of early German Lieder has lead to a highly acclaimed recording of Spiritual Songs by C.P.E. Bach with RCM colleague Terence Charlston and a Feature Film of the Goethe-Singspiel Erwin und Elmire, broadcast by ZDF TV in Germany. 


Selected Research Projects/Outputs

Norman O’Neill edition and website - and Edition with introductions of 7 previously unpublished works from manuscripts held in RCM Collections, 2018


The English Songs of Austrian Composer Karl Rankl - performing editions and first performances of 20 songs written in the 1940s, introduction and performance (filmed) with RCM students at Austrian Cultural Forum London, Oct 22, 2017


The Barbed Lyre - Music from the Isle of Man

Music from WW2 internment, research based performance project with Ensemble Emigre at Liberal Jewish Synagogue London and on the Isle of Man, April/May 2017


RCM Peter Gellhorn edition, co-author, 16 first editions of songs and chamber music with   introductions by Dr. Terence Curran and Norbert Meyn, 2016


Peter Gellhorn – The Musical Legacy, website and series of first recordings (audio and video) as  coach, producer and conductor, and a 15min video documentary published on Youtube and, 2016 


Singing a Song in a Foreign Land – open access online resource with biographical profiles of musicians who emigrated from Germany and Austria in the 1930s and 40s: 2015/16


Oral History Interviews about the lives, work and influence of Émigré musicians from Germany and Austria (professionally filmed and edited) published open access on RCM Youtube Channel, with Dame Janet Baker, Geraldine Frank, Alexander Goehr, Bernard Keefe, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, Martin Lovett, Andrea Rauter, Laura Sarti and Daniel Snowman, 2014-16



History of Vocal Teaching III, DVD, Lieder Theatre London 2015,

MY BUILDING BLOCKS OF SINGING – Laura Sarti MBE and Norbert Meyn

published by Alexander Street


C. P. E. Bach - Spiritual Songs TOCC0248, with Terence Charlston, clavichord Including first recordings with complete texts, 2014. Research based project with an extensive booklet. "a quiet revelation" Classical Music Magazine. "perfectly balanced, nuanced and persuasive" Tangens, Boston


History of Vocal Teaching II, DVD, Lieder Theatre London, 2012

SINGING IN ENGLISH - A Session with Catherine Lambert, Hon.R.C.M. A second film by Janis Kelly and Norbert Meyn. Profile of Catherine Lambert (born 1918), one of the most inspirational teachers of English Speech and Diction in the UK. Distributed by Insight Media, New York.


German Pronunciation Guide - Brahms Requiem Learning CD and free downloadable guidebook published by Choraline, 2011


German Pronunciation Guide – Beethoven Symphony Nr. 9 and Choral Fantasia, Learning CD and free downloadable guidebook published by Choraline, 2012


History of Vocal Teaching I, DVD, Lieder Theatre London, 2011

AN EXPLORATION OF A VOCAL LINEAGE from the 19th century to today. A film by Janis Kelly and Norbert Meyn, discussing fundamental principles of singing passed down through the generations since the old Italian masters. With Jutta Vulpius and Carola Höhn (Staatsoper Berlin). Giving account of the teaching of F. Martienssen-Lohmann (1887-1971), Elisabeth Grümmer (1911-1985) and others. Distributed by Insight Media, New York.


Acting for Singers, DVD, Lieder Theatre London 2009 

A Workshop with Actors and Singers at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Acting in classical song from a practical and from a historical perspective, focusing on the German poet Goethe and his age. Distributed by Insight Media, New York.


Conference Papers:


2019 'Mendelssohn, Albert and Anglo-German connections in 19th Century Music, V&A London

2019, Kings College London, lecture for combined German and Music Departments

2018 ‘Singing a Song in a Foreign Land’, Association of Anglican Musicians Conference, San Antonio, Texas

2017 ‘Emigres from Nazi Europe in British Opera’ Oberto - Opera sans frontieres, Oxford Brookes University

2017 ‘Researching Forbidden Music Regained, Leo Smit Stichting Amsterdam

2016 Exil Arte conference, Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien​


Convenor of Conferences and Study Days:


Co-Convenor, Exile Estates and Music Restitution, Symposium at RCM Museum of Music May 31, 2015, with International Centre for Suppressed Music


Convenor, International Conference “Singing a Song in a Foreign Land”, Royal College of Music, February 19-21, 2014


Convenor, Study Day, “Uniting the True and the Beautiful”, Music and Text at the Age of Goethe, Nov. 13, 2009, Guildhall School of Music & Drama



Singing a Song in a Foreign Land
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