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!

Photos coming soon!


Music Majors:
Ziyad Abdelfattah
Stephen 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 
Zaynep 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


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

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.



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. 

Congratulations to Dr. Alexander Rothe!

The Department of Music congratulates Alexander Rothe, who defended his dissertation in Historical Musicology on May 6, 2015. Dr. Rothe works on opera staging in postwar Germany. His dissertation ("Staging the Past: Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle in Divided Germany during the 1970s and 1980s") was advised by Prof. Walter Frisch, and examines how Wagner stagings both reflected and contributed to broader historical debates during this time period, especially debates about the Nazi past. It also investigates how these stagings served to articulate conceptions of national and cultural identity in both German states. Alex has received grants from Fulbright and DAAD.

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.  

Vilde Aaslid and Matthew Goodheart Appointed as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows

The Department has appointed Vilde Aaslid and Matthew Goodheart as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows for 2015-17. 
Vilde Aaslid is an interdisciplinary music scholar with interests in text and improvisation. She completed her PhD in Critical and Comparative Studies in Music at the University of Virginia in 2014, supported by a Jefferson Scholars Foundation fellowship. Her current book project examines the cultural and aesthetic interrelation of improvised music and poetry, building on her dissertation on jazz poetry intersection. Her work on Charles Mingus recently appeared in the Journal of the Society for American Music. She is also an active performer of the Norwegian hardanger fiddle and practitioner of traditional Norwegian singing and dancing.
Matthew Goodheart is a composer, improviser, and sound artist who completed a Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley in 2013. Following an early career as a free-jazz pianist, he has developed a wide body of work that explores the relationships between performer, instrument, and listener. His diverse creations range from large-scale microtonal compositions to open improvisations to immersive sound installations - all unified by the analytic techniques and performative methodologies that bring forth the unique and subtle acoustic properties of individual musical instruments. Goodheart's approach results in a "generative foundation" for exploring issues of perception, technology, cultural ritual, and the psycho-physical impact of acoustic phenomena. He has won numerous awards and honors, including the 2014 Berlin Prize, and a 2013-14 Fulbright Grant to the Czech Republic where he worked with the historic quartertone pianos designed by Alois Haba.

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.

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