Herbert Gussman Professor of Music Emeritus
Neal Zaslaw has taught at Cornell since 1970, where he continues to expound the history of Western music from the 9th to the 21st century. He is the author of more than seventy-five articles on baroque music, historical performance practices, Mozart, and the history of the orchestra. His books include Mozart’s Symphonies: Context, Performance Practice, Reception (1989); The Classical Era from the 1740s to the End of the 18th Century (1989); The Compleat Mozart: A Guide to the Musical Works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1990); The Mozart Repertory: A Guide for Musicians, Programmers and Researchers (1991); W. A. Mozart: Portfolio of a Genius (1991); Mozart’s Piano Concertos: Text, Context, Interpretation (1996), and (with John Spitzer) The Birth of the Orchestra: History of an Institution, 1650-1815 (2004). Der neue Köchel, a thoroughly-revised catalogue of Mozart’s works, is in production.
Zaslaw began his musical career in the 1960s as a flutist in Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra. Between 1978 and 1982 he supervised recordings of all of Mozart’s symphonies by Jaap Schroeder, Christopher Hogwood, and the Academy of Ancient Music. Time called the results “one of the most important projects in the history of recorded sound.” A decade later he was dubbed “Mr. Mozart” by the New York Times for organizing the 1991-92 Mozart Bicentennial at Lincoln Center, which staged performances of all of Mozart’s works.
In addition to hundreds of radio and television broadcasts in a dozen countries, Zaslaw has lectured at more than sixty universities, colleges, museums, and performing arts centers on four continents. His writings have been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, and Japanese. He has served as vice-president of the American Musicological Society and is the recipient of research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music. In 1991 the Austrian government knighted him for his contributions to Mozart performance and research. He has been elected to the Akademie für Mozart-Forschung of the Mozarteum (Salzburg) and of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and named honorary member of the American Musicological Society and of the Mozart Society of America.
- 17th- and 18th-century music
- Historical performance practice
- History of the orchestra
- Der neue Köchel, a revised catalogue of Mozart's works, is in progress
- Mozart's Piano Concertos: Text, Context, Interpretation (1996)
- The Mozart Repertory: A Guide for Musicians, Programmers and Researchers (1991)
- W. A. Mozart: Portfolio of a Genius (1991)
- The Compleat Mozart: A Guide to the Musical Works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1990)
- Mozart's Symphonies: Context, Performance Practice, Reception (1989)
- The Classical Era from the 1740s to the End of the 18th Century (1989)
- (with John Spitzer) The Birth of the Orchestra: History of an Institution, 1650-1815.