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Morton Wan

Morton Wan

Educational Background

  • PhD, Musicology, Cornell University (in progress)

  • MPhil, Musicology, The University of Hong Kong (2016)

  • Artist Diploma, McGill University (coursework)

  • FRSM, The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (2015)

  • MSt, Performance Practice, University of Oxford (2013)


Morton Wan is a graduate student in the PhD musicology program. His scholarly engagement concentrates on exploring epistemic junctures between music and other disciplines (especially continental philosophy, cultural history, and critical theory) and articulating their ideological meanings. Drawing on his trainings as both a keyboardist and a musicologist, Morton finds himself constantly moving between playing and thinking about music, in an attempt to understand music as an entanglement between performance and discourse.

His current research and performance projects include: Burney’s 1769 doctoral exercise as institutional critique, Mozart’s fantasies and the art of concealment, and Handel’s keyboard music. Besides his primary focus on the history and culture of European music in the long eighteenth century, Morton’s interests also extend to Beethoven’s late style, historical musical exchange between Europe and China, Glenn Gould and the Toronto School, and historically inspired music theory pedagogy.

Prior to coming to Cornell, Morton completed an MPhil at the University of Hong Kong, where his thesis on Beethoven’s late piano sonatas and the phenomenology of embodiment was awarded the Li Ka Shing Prize for the best master’s thesis. Morton also holds an MSt with distinction from the University of Oxford, where he was a Joan Conway scholar in performance studies. He has given lecture recitals and papers in conferences including Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Conference (London, 2015), International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (Seoul, 2014), and IMS East Asian Regional Association Biennial Conferences (Taipei, 2013; Hong Kong, 2015).

Morton studied piano performance with Daniel-Ben Pienaar at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and with Ilya Poletaev at McGill University, where he was the recipient of Dr. Robert H. P. Fung Scholarship, and where he concurrently studied harpsichord under the tutelage of Hank Knox. Other influential mentors in music performance include Laurence Dreyfus, Richard Beauchamp, and John O’Conor. Morton has given performances both as a soloist and chamber musician in countries including the UK, Germany, Sweden, Canada, and Hong Kong; he has participated in such festivals as Aspen, Dartington, Tafelmusik Baroque Institute, Aurora Chamber Music, and International Keyboard Institute and Festival. In 2015, He was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Schools of Music. At Cornell, Morton directs the Cornell Baroque Orchestra and will be leading a working group on historical keyboard performance in 2018-19.

[Updated: May 2018]


  • Music


Spring 2020

Fall 2020


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