Music Theory at Columbia

Music Theory Faculty Members

Joseph Dubiel
Professor of Music

Ellie M. Hisama
Professor of Music
Chair, Music Theory Area
Mariusz Kozak
Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Undergraduate Music Theory
Benjamin Steege
Assistant Professor of Music

Programs Offered

MA, PhD, undergraduate courses and lessons


Current Graduate Students in Music Theory

Eamonn Bell

Galen DeGraf (Thesis: "Performing 'Polymeter': Action, Attention, and Modes of Perception")

Anthony Fort

Marc Hannaford

Benjamin Hansberry

Orit Hilewicz

Will Mason

Mark Saccomano

Maeve Sterbenz

Michael Weinstein-Reiman


Recently Defended Dissertations

Caleb Mutch, "Studies in the History of the Cadence" (2015)

Max Schmeder, "Thirty-Three Miniature Dialectics: Hegelian Philosophy vis-a-vis Beethoven's 'Diabelli' Variations, Op. 120" (2014)

Kate Heidemann, "Hearing Women's Voices in Popular Song: Analyzing Sound and Identity in Country and Soul" (2014)

Scott Gleason, "Princeton Theory's Problematics" (2013)

Victoria Tzotzkova, "Theorizing Pianistic Performance: Tradition, Instrument, Performer" (2012)

Justin Hoffman, "Listening with Two Ears: Conflicting Perceptions of Space in Tonal Music" (2011)

Columbia theorists currently hold positions at Washington University (Paul Steinbeck, PhD '08), Rutgers University (Christopher Doll, PhD '07), University of Alberta (Maryam Moshaver, PhD '06), Kunitachi College of Music (Cathy Cox, PhD '06), Carnegie Mellon University (John Ito, PhD '04), University of Arkansas (Elizabeth Margulis, PhD '03), Hong Kong University (Youn Kim, PhD '03), Cleveland Institute of Music (Diane Urista, PhD '01), New York University (Martin Scherzinger, PhD '01, and Marilyn Nonken, PhD '99), Tamagawa University (Akira Takaoka, PhD '99), National Taiwan University (Yuh-Wen Wang, PhD '98), UC Santa Cruz (Paul Nauert, PhD '97), Eastman School of Music (David Temperley, PhD '96), University of Western Ontario (Kevin Mooney, PhD '96), and elsewhere.


Current and Recent Graduate Seminars

Advanced Analysis

Analysis of Popular Music

Debussy and Modernism



Interdisciplinary and Humanistic Approaches to Music Theory: Representations of the Listener

Interdisciplinary and Humanistic Approaches to Music Theory: Semantics and Pragmatics of Analytical Description

Introduction to History of Theory

Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis

Introduction to Set Theory

Proseminar in Music Theory

Ruth Crawford Seeger

Theorizing Musical Temporality


Area News and Events

- Eamonn Bell, a second-year graduate student in music theory, presented a poster (co-authored with Daniel Shanahan) at the 2014 meeting of AMS/SMT in Milwaukee, WI, titled "Examining Stylistic Change Through Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Incipits."

- Maeve Sterbenz presented a paper at the 2014 meeting of AMS/SMT in Milwaukee, WI, titled "Listening Through Movement: An Examination of Lar Lubovitch's Choreography of the Adagio from Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622."

- Prof. Steege's book, Helmholtz and the Modern Listener (Cambridge University Press, 2012) won the Emerging Scholar Award at the 2014 meeting of the Society for Music Theory in Milwaukee, WI.

- Caleb Mutch will have an article titled "Blainville's New Mode, or How the Plagal Cadence Came to be 'Plagal'" appear in the upcoming issue of Eighteenth-Century Music.

- Will Mason, a PhD student in music theory, accepted a competitive Lead Teaching Fellowship (LTF), awarded by the GSAS Teaching Center. The fellowship, in its first year of existence, offers eligible graduate students a stipend in exchange for organizing two pedagogical training events in their departments. More information on LTF can be found here.

Will also presented a paper titled "Grisey and the Posthuman Voice" at the Gerard Grisey, the spectral moment, and its legacy conference, held on October 19-21, 2014 in Montreal, Canada.

- Marc Hannaford, a second-year graduate student in music theory, presented a paper titled "Black Saturday, Planning and Improvisation" at the Vs. Interpretation Festival and Symposium, held July 16-20, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. His trip was supported by the H.S. Gerstle Travel Fund (GSAS) and by funds from the Music department.



Prof. Hisama became Editor-in-Chief of Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture in 2013.

Prof. Steege's book, Helmholtz and the Modern Listener was published with Cambridge University Press (2012). It won SMT's 2014 Emerging Scholar Award.


News and Events in Music Theory

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska Performs at Reid Hall

MPP Director Magdalena Baczewska performed J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations in Reid Hall's Grande Salle at Columbia Global Centers Europe on June 29th, as part of a European concert tour.  The New York City performance of the Goldberg Variations will take place on 7/21/15 at 8 PM at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. The Variations will be performed on the harpsichord and the piano.

An article on the Columbia Global Centers website described her performance as "virtuoso" and noted that that "her sensitive and compelling interpretation of Bach's technically demanding masterpiece was received with great enthusiasm, marking the successful inauguration of what promises to be an exciting partnership between Reid Hall and the Music Department as they look forward to organizing similar concerts in the upcoming year."

You can read the full article here.

Carmel Raz Appointed to the Society of Fellows

The Department of Music warmly welcomes Carmel Raz, who has been appointed a postdoctoral fellow at the Columbia Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Lecturer in Music begining July 1, 2015. Raz received her Ph.D. in music theory from Yale in May 2015. She holds a Diplom in violin from the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin, and a M.A. in composition from the University of Chicago.  Her primary research interests focus on the music and neuroscience of the early Romantic period, in particular the influence of models of embodied cognition on musical works, instrument design, and aesthetics. Additional interests include Scottish Enlightenment music theory, the interaction between experimental music and phonetics in the early twentieth century, and music in the Middle East. She has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation and the Baden-Wurttemberg Stiftung, as well as the Mellon Graduate Achievement Award. Her articles have appeared in 19th Century Music, the Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fur Musiktheorie, and the Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies. Raz is also active as a violinist, composer, and improviser. For more information go to

2015: An Incredible Year for the Department of Music!

Columbia University Music Department graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, and faculty had an incredible year in 2015! Below is a partial listing of some of the highlights of the year. 


Congratulations to everyone!






Nili Belkind (PhD, Ethnomusicology, 2014)  was appointed to a two-year Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities-Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Eric Chasalow (Composition DMA alumnus) is Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Brandeis University


Alessandra Ciucci (GS alumna and former Mellon postdoctoral fellow in Music) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Columbia.


Natacha Diels (current DMA student) has been appointed Assistant Professor at the University of California at San Diego. 


Luke Dubois (DMA composition, 2003) was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure at NYU, where he directs the NYU/Poly media lab


Jason Eckardt (DMA, composition,1998), Associate Professor of composition at the Graduate Center and Brooklyn College, CUNY,  was awarded the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His new CD, "Subject," will be released by the Tzadik label on 26 May (cover image attached).  In 2015-16 he will be a Visiting Professor of composition at the Peabody Conservatory.


Andrew Eisenberg (PhD, Ethnomusicology, 2009) appointed Assistant Professor of Music (Tenure Track) at NYU/Abu Dhabi


Juliet Forshaw (PhD, Historical Musicology, 2014) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music (tenure track) at the State University of New York, Oswego.


David Gutkin (PhD Historical Musicology, 2015)  has been appointed to the Columbia Society of Fellows


Kate Heidemann (PhD, Music Theory, 2014) has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Colby College for 2015-16.


Niko Higgins (PhD, Ethnomusicology, 2013) Appointed to a Guest Faculty position at Sarah Lawrence College (renewable one year position)


Velia Ivanova (current PhD student) has been appointed the Archival Assistant for the Serge Prokofiev Archive.


Aaron Johnson (PhD, Historical Musicology, 2014) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh.


Yoshi Onishi (DMA, Composition, 2015) has been appointed Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Japan.


Benjamin Piekut (PhD, Historical Musicology, 2008) was promoted to Associate Professor of Music with tenure at Cornell University.


Sam Pluta (DMA composition, 2012) will be teaching at Bennington College in the Fall


Lu Wang (DMA 2012) has been appointed Assistant Professor at Brown University.





Elliott Cairns'  (Historical Musicology) "Rediscovering an American Master: The Ulysses Kay Papers" was recently featured as the cover article in the most recent issue of American Music Review. He has also been awarded a Mellon Humanities International Travel Award for the fall semester.


Cesar Colon-Montijo (Ethnomusicology) recently published the edited volume Cocinando suave: ensayos de salsa en Puerto Rico (Caracas: El Perro y la Rana, 2015). The volume was launched at the Venezuelan Book Fair on March 19, 2015, where the invited country was Puerto Rico. The volume contains essays by highly recognized salsa scholars such as Juan Flores, Chris Washburne, Frances Aparicio, Jairo Moreno, Angel Quintero-Rivera, Juan Otero-Garabis, Licia Fiol-Matta, and Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia, among others, and is a landmark publication on the topic. 


Andres Garcia Molina (Ethnomusicology) received the Institute for Latin American Studies' summer field research grant for preliminary fieldwork in Cuba on topics of sound, media, technology, and circulation during this transformative period in Cuban politics and international relations.


Benjamin Hansberry (Music Theory) has been appointed a Lead Teaching Fellow by the GSAS Teaching Center and the Department of Music for 2015-2016.


Paula Harper (Historical Musicology) has been appointed a Lead Teaching Fellow by the GSAS Teaching Center and the Department of Music for 2015-2016.


Will Mason (Historical Musicology) received a scholarship from the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel, where he will conduct archival research on the manuscripts of Gerard Grisey in the winter of 2016.


Maeve Sterbenz (Music Theory)  was accepted to the Mellon Dance Studies Seminar 2015, an intensive seminar on interdisciplinary research and teaching in dance studies, to be held at Northwestern University, June 21-27, 2015. The seminar is part of a multi-year initiative titled Dance Studies in/and the Humanities and is funded by the Mellon Foundation, which aims to "invest in emerging scholars in a growing field," partnering with Northwestern, Brown, and Stanford Universities.


Didier Sylvain (Ethnomusicology) received a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) summer fellowship to conduct language training and preliminary fieldwork on electronic musical practices in Haiti.


Lucie Vagnerova (Historical Musicology) has been chosen to receive a 2015 Meyerson Award for Excellence in Core Teaching. This award, which carries a stipend, is given annually in Art Humanities, Music Humanities, and Literature Humanities to an outstanding graduate student preceptor in each course.  Lucie was also selected for the 2015-16 GSAS Teaching Scholars Program. With the support from a curriculum development grant awarded by the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality--made possible by the Heyman Center for the Humanities--Lucie will offer the new undergraduate course "Sexing Sound Art" in fall 2015.


Nina Young (Composition DMA) was awarded the Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize in Musical Composition for 2015-16.





Nicholas Chong was invited by the Cecilia Chorus of New York to give its annual David Randolph Lecture on March 22; his talk was entitled "Beethoven, German Catholicism, and His Two Masses."  Nicholas was also invited to give a paper, "The Sources of Beethoven's Religious Views," at a May 1st symposium organized by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, on "Beethoven's Sacred Music in Context."


Lauren Flood presented her paper "Dark Circuits: Technoscience, Sonic Black Boxes, and Modes of Knowledge" at the Stony Brook Music Symposium. This summer, she will present another titled "DIY Music Technology: Underground Scenes of Experimental Instrument Building in New York and Berlin" at the conference "Crossing Borders of Underground Music Scenes" at the University of Porto in Portugal.


Marc Hannaford presented two papers in March 2015: The first entitled "Planning to Improvise and Negotiating Polyrhythm" at The Improvising Brain II: Multiple Perspectives, held at Atlanta State University, Georgia, and the second entitled "Improvisation as Political Power" at Crisis and Critique, a graduate student-run conference at Columbia University. He also released Can You See With Two Sets of Eyes?, an album of original compositions for improvising quartet. This group will tour Australia in May/June 2015.


Benjamin Hansberry presented a paper entitled "Musical Action and Musical Space: A Case for a GIS Attitude" at the annual meeting of the New England Conference of Music Theorists.held at Boston University in March 2015.


Paula Harper will present the paper "Waking Up in a Post-Beyonce World: How Social Media 'Techniques of the Now' Exploded a 2013 Concept Album" at the IASPM-Canada Conference, held at the University of Ottawa, May 27-30, 2015.


Anne Levitsky gave a paper entitled "Song Personified: The Tornadas of Raimon de Miraval" at the 2015 SUNY-Binghamton Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference, Authority and Materiality in the Italian Songbook: From the Medieval Lyric to the Early-Modern Madrigal.


Isabella Livorni (Barnard Undergrad) gave a paper entitled "Tracking the Tenso/Tenzone: Changes in Performance, Composition and Transmission of Debate Poetry and Song in the Occitan and Italian Lyric Traditions, c. 1180-1320" at the 2015 SUNY-Binghamton Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference, Authority and Materiality in the Italian Songbook: From the Medieval Lyric to the Early-Modern Madrigal. Livorni was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


Will Mason presented two papers in the spring of 2015: "Code-switching in Kurtag's Officium Breve in Memoriam Andreae Szervanszky" at the conference "Fostering New Music and Its Audiences: Conference commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Grawemeyer Award" held at the University of Louisville March 2015; and "Some theoretical properties of 72-tone equal temperament and their realization in Georg Friedrich Haas' limited approximations." at the Music Theory Society of New York State conference, held in Binghamton, NY, April 2015.


Yoshi Onishi's Tramespace I for large ensemble, which is an accompanying musical work to his dissertation at Columbia, was reviewed by major music magazine in Germany, "Das Orchester." On May 9, 2015, his Tramespace II for large ensemble (2013~15) was premiered in Cologne, Germany, by Ensemble Intercontemporain, under the direction of Pablo Heras-Casado.


Whitney Slaten organized a panel of Columbians at the 2015 IASPM-US conference, "Representing Labor in Digital Media: Radio, Records and Live Performance" and presented a paper: "Sonic Color and the Transparency of Music Production: Mixing Porgy & Bess on Broadway." He delivered a talk, "Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies" at the Albright College Annual Music Business Studies Conference in April. In June he will present, "Transparency, Color and Liveness: An Ethnographic Study of the Live Sound Engineering of Porgy and Bess on Broadway,"  at the International Musicological Society conference.


Didier Sylvain organized "Tomorrow is the Question: Afrofuturism, Sound, and Spirit," a panel and musical performance sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, & Public Life; Columbia Department of Music; Columbia Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, and Barnard Africana Studies. Didier also presented a paper titled "'Find the Self, Then Kill It': Black Electronic Music and the Metaphysical Labor of Innovation" at the IASPM-US conference in February. Didier will present two additional papers this summer titled "'Reaching Out Inside': A Sonic Cosmology for Spatial Transformation" at the Caribbean Studies Association conference in New Orleans, and "The Cyborg Discourses of 'Afro-Electronica'" at the Caribbean Philosophical Association conference in Mexico.


Lucie Vagnerova presented two papers, one titled "Women's Labor and Video Games in the Work of Electronic Composer Laetitia Sonami" at Harvard's "Work & Play: Economies of Music" conference, and the other titled "Laurie Anderson Has Not Been Listening: The Anti-Mediatory Position as a Sound Technology of Power," at the Stony Brook Graduate Music Symposium organized around the theme "Technologies of Sound: Systems, Networks, Modernities."


Michael Weinstein-Reiman presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association (NCSA) in Boston. The paper was entitled "No Representation Without Fragmentation: The Free Musical Fantasia, Femininity, and the Dissolution of Classical Representation." His review of Carol Oja's Bernstein on Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War was recently published in American Music Review (Vol XLIV, No. 1).


Ralph Whyte gave a paper entitled "Musicality, Respectability, and Profitability: Approaches to Advertising Sound Recording in America (1899--1912)" at the Stony Brook Symposium on "Technologies of Sound" on February 13. He will give the paper  "I Lost It at the Movies: What was the Role of Improvisation in Early Cinematic Sonic Culture?" at the annual Music and Moving Image Conference at NYU Steinhardt, May 29-31





Susan Boynton was selected for the 2014-15 Public Voices Fellowship of the Op Ed Project, and won two Hybrid Learning Grants from the Provost in 2014-15


Deborah Bradley-Kramer's recent concert-lecture activities included presentations on Sergei Slonimsky and Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues at the College Music Society, on American Postmodern Piano Music at the Hartt School of Music, Chopin University of Music and Lodz Academy of Music, and The Music of an American Quilt at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. In the winter she spoke at the United Nations on shared global challenges in contemporary music education, gave chamber music performances at Klavierhaus, Steinway Hall, and the Roerich Museum, and performed solo premieres of works by Columbia composers on the Amphibian Concert series in April. She also gave a lecture titled "Hearing Pushkin Through Music" at NYU's Jordan Center For The Advanced Study of Russia. In May, Deborah presented a week of lectures and performances on contemporary American Music at Taipei National University of The Arts, and with composers and musicians of SPEAKmusic, was featured on a pilot program about classical music pedagogy and performance in New York for NDTV (New Tang Dynasty TV). Along with the Moebius Ensemble, she completed a CD of Jonathan Kramer's late chamber music featuring piano to be released by Leonarda Records in Fall 2015, and recently established a regular broadcast spot for SPEAKmusic on WWFM, highlighting both performers and young composers.  Deborah will inaugurate a new series on contemporary music at the 92nd Street Y next Fall, on which she and members of SPEAKmusic  will discuss and present new works by Columbia and Juilliard composers, among others.


Zosha Di Castri's interdisciplinary piece Phonobellow, co-created with David Adamcyk, was premiered by ICE at the Abrons Arts Center and at Montreal Nouvelles Musiques (link to project page and trailer). Other spring performances included appearances with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, MusicaNova (Helsinki), Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Aventa (Victoria), Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and l'Orchestre symphonique de Montreal. Zosha's music will also be featured this summer at Time Spans Festival in Crested Butte.


Kevin Fellezs was awarded a Center for the Study of Social Difference Grant for a project titled "Pacific Climate Circuits" (with Paige West, Anthropology, and JC Salyer, Law). Prof. Fellezs was also awarded the Tsunoda Fellowship in conjunction with Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. He will be conducting research on contemporary Japanese jazz during AY 2015-16 while on fellowship in Japan.


Brad Garton won the Columbia University Lenfest Award, a Toshiba grant, and a Provost's Hybrid Learning Grant (with Susan Boynton)


Ellie Hisama published "'Diving into the Earth': Julius Eastman's Musical Worlds," in Rethinking Difference in Music Scholarship, ed. Olivia Bloechl, Jeffrey Kallberg, and Melanie Lowe (Cambridge University Press, 2015). She gave four invited lectures: "'A Complex Dissonant Veil of Sound': Ruth Crawford's Chants for Women's Chorus (1930)," 2015 Hartt Music Theory Forum, Hartt School of Music, Hartford, CT, April 2015; "Isaac Julien's Sonic Imaginary" colloquium, Stony Brook University, Department of Music, April 2015; "Graduate Teaching and Feminist Pedagogy," Barnard Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (a national fellowship program designed to support students of color and others with a commitment to diversity to earn PhDs and enter the professoriate), Barnard College, April 2015; and "Blackness in a White Void': Music in the Films of Isaac Julien,"  keynote address for the 2015 Music Graduate Students' Symposium, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, March 2015. She chaired three panels: Critical Approaches to Music and Race, Columbia Music Scholarship Conference, Columbia University, March 2015; Millennial Topics (papers on the postchorus in dance-pop and on cultural space in the Korean American Bay Area community); and a special session on Cambodian American and African American musicians in the Bay Area, the last two at the annual meeting of the Society for American Music, Sacramento, March 2015. She was an invited speaker at the interdisciplinary panel "The Sciences vs. The Humanities," sponsored by The Center for Science and Society and The Columbia Undergraduate Research Journal, May 2015.

Fred Lerdahl's new orchestra piece Time and Again,was premiered byThe Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra on April 23 -25. Listen!


George Lewis was named a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He will be awarded an honorary doctorate at the University of Edinburgh in June 2015.


Jeffrey Milarsky will make his New York Philharmonic debut on on June 5th, 2015, conducting the CONTACT series, a Japanese based program including music of Takemitsu, Messiaen, Fujikura, and Mochizuki. 


Magdalena Stern-Baczewska recently made her San Francisco Symphony debut, stepping in at the last minute for a sold-out performance of Tan Dun's Banquet Concerto. She appeared with Marti Newland and Whitney Slaten in the 'Concert Spirituals and the Black Soprano' recital and panel discussion at Columbia's St. Paul's Chapel. In early May she will conduct piano master classes at Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music. This Summer she will perform for the Music Humanities students in the Paris Global Center's Reid Hall, as a part of her European tour of Bach's Goldberg Variations.


Chris Washburne released his 11th album as a leader, and the 6th with his group, SYOTOS.  It is called "Low Ridin," and was released on the ZOHO record label. 



Courtney Bryan (DMA, 2014) performed original music at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 3, along with musicians Troi Bechet (voice), Brian Quezerque (electric bass), and Miles Labat (drums). Participated in the Harlem Shrines Jazz Festival in a panel and performance at Union Theological Seminary, James Chapel - Jazz and the Spirit: Freedom Now, Again. Courtney is collaborating with artist Steffani Jemison on her new multipart commission Promise Machine at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, in conjunction with the exhibition One Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North! The performance will be June 25-27.


Anthony Cheung (DMA, 2010) will be the Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow with the Cleveland Orchestra.


Ryan Dohoney (PhD, Musicology 2009) and Ryan Skinner (PhD Ethnomusicology 2009), were recently awarded ACLS Fellowships.


Stephen Lehman (DMA, 2012) and Richard Carrick (Columbia BA and former Visiting Professor of Composition) won 2015 Guggenheim awards (as did Prof. George Lewis)


Sophie Lewis (Barnard College), Isabella Livorni  (Barnard College), and Yeanna Lee (Columbia College) were elected to Phi Beta Kappa. 


Rachel Susser (Barnard College 2014) has won a 2015-16 Student Fulbright Award to Bulgaria and Romania and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


Congratulations to our 2015 Graduates!

The Department of Music warmly congratulates our Class of 2015 Graduates! We wish you all every success on the road ahead!


Music Majors:
Ziyad Abdelfattah
Stephan Adamow
Amy Garvey
Samuel Karlinski
Yeana Lee (Departmental Honors)
Robert Lyman
Miles Oliva
Joseph Quintas
Andrew Rodriguez
Mitchell Veith (Departmental Honors)

Music Concentrators: 
Kevin Chen
Devon Mehring
Sonall Mehta
Emma Riley

Audrey Amsellem (Departmental Honors)
Benjamin Loya
Josephine Tang

Courtney Craig (Ethnomusicology)
Katherine Huet
Sophie Lewis (Ethnomusicology)
Isabella Livorni 
Rachel Susser 
Zeynep Toraman
Cecile Urmenyhazi (Ethnomusicology)

Shannon Garland
Melissa Gonzalez
David Gutkin
Jonathan "Toby" King
Ashley Nail
Martha Newland
Alexander Rothe

DMA in Composition
Sophia "Zosha" di Castri
Geoffrey Holbrook
Yoshiaki Onishi


David Gutkin Joins the Columbia Society of Fellows

David Gutkin (Historical Musicology) is one of the three new postdoctoral fellows joining the Columbia Society of Fellows in 2015.  He recently defended his dissertation, "American Opera and the Crisis of History," which explores antinomies of historical representation and national memory attending the resurgence of opera in the United States since the 1970s.  

David's research focuses on technologies of mediating music (from notation to television), processes of canon formation, and temporal dimensions of historical memory. Repertories of particular interest include opera and music theater, experimental improvisation and free jazz, various -isms of postwar composition (serialism, minimalism, spectralism), and American popular music of the last four decades. He has published articles on Robert Ashley's television operas in The Opera Quarterly, graphic notation in Perspectives of New Music, and ludic theory in the edited volume Notation in Creative Processes (forthcoming). David also edited a special issue of Current Musicology featuring "Experimental Writing About Music." As a classical guitarist, he has premiered numerous works and performed at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

At the Columbia Society of Fellows, David plans to revise his dissertation as a monograph as well as undertaking a second project on the role of musical notation in historical formulations of aesthetic autonomy.

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska Teaches Piano Master Classes in Beijing

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska recently conducted Piano Master Classes at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China, at the invitation of the Central Conservatory's Piano Department.

You can find more of her work and accomplishments on her website.

DMA Alumna Wang Lu Appointed Assistant Professor at Brown University

The Department of Music warmly congratulates Wang Lu (DMA 2012) who has been appointed Assistant Professor in Composition and Theory at Brown University.

You can read more about Wang Lu's work and accomplishments on her website.

Alumni Anthony Cheung and Nico Muhly cited in NY Times article on Pierre Boulez

Two Alumni, Anthony Cheung (DMA) and Nico Muhly (Columbia BA), were recently cited in a New York Times article, "Musicians Discuss the Influence of Pierre Boulez" by Zachary Woolfe, written in honor of Boulez's 90th birthday.

On Boulez as a composer, Muhly notes: "His own music has a great amount of surface beauty... That decadence. The Frenchness to it. You can feel the butter swirling in that pan. And when he conducts it, he teases out these luxurious textures."

On Boulez as a "perpetual reviser," Cheung observes: "The quality and care of his work, the craft with which he writes, is something that everyone who cares about composition respects."

Read the full article here.

Current Musicology turns 50: A New Website and Conference! (CDRS Blog)

Cross-posted from the blog of the The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS)



Current Musicology turns 50: A New Website and Conference

The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) is pleased to have partnered with Current Musicology, a leading journal for scholarly research on music, to launch their new website at

Current Musicology, a graduate-run publication founded in 1965 which publishes articles and book reviews in the fields of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory and analysis, and philosophy of music, now benefits from an easily navigable site and a clean new design, and runs onWordPress as well as Open Journal Systems to enable manuscript tracking and peer review management. The journal makes use of the new WordPress journals template developed by CDRS' production team, and is the first project that is integrated via WordPress with Columbia's institutional repository, Academic Commons. The collaborative effort of CDRS' Project Coordinator Kerri O'Connell, Senior Project Manager Eva Cunningham, Junior Web Developer Megan O'Neill, Production Assistant Semhar Woldeyesus, and Digital Repository Coordinator Brian Luna Lucero means that journal content on the site is pulled directly from Academic Commons, enabling the number of times content is downloaded on the journal site to be captured and reported on within the repository.

This weekend (March 28-29), CDRS is co-sponsoring Current Musicology's conference to celebrate their 50th Anniversary, which is free and open to the public and to be held in Columbia University's Butler Library in rooms 522 and 523. CDRS Video Producer, Kristian Portella, will be filming theconference keynote on Saturday by the University of Oxford's Georgina Born, the video for which will be later made available on Youtube. The social media hashtag for the conference - already being well-utilized on Twitter - is #CMTurns50. If you'd like to attend the conference, the Current Musicology team recommend you RSVP.

CMSC Conference Poster



click for full-sized poster