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Department News

Professor Roberto Sierra’s Concierto Virtual for Disklavier and Chamber Orchestra will be premiered by the New Juilliard Ensemble on January 20th at NYC Lincoln Center as part of the Focus Festival. More at the Julliard website.

An article by Associate Professor Benjamin Piekut is the subject of a recent episode of the podcast Talking Musicology. The essay, “Indeterminacy, Free Improvisation, and the Mixed Avant-garde,” appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society in December 2014, and analyzes the mixing and mingling of musical discourses in London between 1965 and 1975. The podcast hosts praise the article for its method, tone, and quality of research. Produced by Stephen Graham and Liam Cagney, Talking Musicology can be found at

Associate Professor Alejandro L. Madrid’s most recent book, In Search of Julián Carrillo and Sonido 13 (Oxford University Press, 2015), has won the 2016 Robert M. Stevenson Award from the American Musicological Society. The prize is awarded annually in recognition of outstanding scholarship in Iberian music. This is the second time professor Madrid receives this prestigious award and is this book’s second major prize, having received the Mexico Humanities Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association earlier this year.


Assistant Professor Roger Moseley’s new book, Keys to Play: Music as a Ludic Medium from Apollo to Nintendo, is now available as a free download from the University of California Press’s open-access publishing platform, Luminos. It can download it as a PDF, ePub (for Apple iBooks), or mobi (for Amazon Kindle) file here:

One exciting aspect of the Luminos platform is its capacity to incorporate audio and video materials, which are best integrated in the downloadable ePub version of the book. The multimedia content of Keys to Play includes music by Louis Couperin, d’Anglebert, Mozart, Beethoven, Bizet, and others recorded by Cornell faculty Malcolm Bilson, Ariana Kim, and Moseley himself, as well as graduate students Matthew Hall and Shin Hwang.

The book is also available to purchase from

Click here for the Cornell Chronicle article.

The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies has been published by Oxford University Press. Co-edited by Associate Professor Benjamin Piekut and George E. Lewis (Columbia University), the two-volume collection includes 57 chapters and 64 authors; the project has been in preparation for nearly a decade. Featuring distinguished senior and emerging scholars from across the human, social, and natural sciences, the publication illuminates the processes through which the study of improvisation already informs a vast array of fields of inquiry and areas of practice. Contributing authors represent a dizzying range of academic disciplines, including architecture, American studies, anthropology, art history, computer science, cognitive science, comparative literature, cultural studies, dance, economics, education, English, ethnomusicology, film, gender studies, linguistics, literary theory, musicology, neuroscience, new media, organizational science, performance studies, philosophy, popular music studies, psychology, sociology, theatre studies, theology, and urban planning.

Critical Improvisation

Roberto Sierra’s composition “Beyond the Silence of Sorrow” has been nominated for a 2016 Latin Grammy. The recording features Maximiano Valdés conducting the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, with soprano Martha Guth, and is on the Naxos recording Roberto Sierra: Sinfonía No. 3 “La Salsa”, Borikén, El Baile & Beyond The Silence Of Sorrow.

More at

The inaugural Historical Notation Bootcamp, co-taught by Andrew Hicks (Assistant Professor in the Department of Music and Program for Medieval Studies at Cornell) and Anna Zayaruznaya (Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at Yale), took over the ground floor of Yale’s Department of Music on August 8–12. Over the course of the intensive three-day workshop students explored a range of Western notational systems, from early neumatic notation to the complex “ars subtilior” of the late fourteenth century. A multimodal approach including singing, transcribing, interpreting theory, and practicing practice made for a lively and productive experience for nineteen participants from eleven universities across the US and Canada. Plans are already underway for the second annual Historical Notation Bootcamp to take place in Summer 2017.

The program was made possible through the support of the Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance, Department of Music, and the Carol T. Sienko Memorial Endowment at Cornell University and the Beinecke Library and Department of Music at Yale University. notation boot camp 1-603x250


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The Department of Music is delighted to announce that acclaimed composer and sound artist Marianthi Papalexandri Alexandri has joined our faculty as Assistant Professor of Composition. She begins this Fall semester, teaching Music 2440: Shaping Sound: An Introduction to Musical Composition and Experimentation in Sound, and Music 7430: Rethinking the Instrument.

Papalexandri Alexandri has garnered international critical recognition through commissions, awards and residencies. Her works have been presented and commissioned extensively throughout Europe, as well as in the United States and Japan.

Her working process often encourages intensive collaborations with artists, students and institutions. She has demonstrated outstanding teaching and advising qualities, and her teaching has been awarded and has consistently received outstanding reviews in a wide range of educational settings.

See for her full CV and more information about her works.

At Cornell, Papalexandri Alexandri’s compositional and teaching thrust will continue to rediscover the musical instrument as a resonant body and performance medium through links between sound mechanism, sculpture and installation. All of this will be with an eye toward collaborations with faculty and students across the University.

IBS Classical’s new release of Roberto Sierra’s “Boleros & Montunos,” performed by Juan Carlos Garvayo on the piano, has received the Melómano de Oro.


Amanda Lalonde (PhD Musicology, 2014) has accepted a position as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music History for the 2016-2017 academic year at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada.