Nic Vigilante

Graduate Student in Music


Nic is a current PhD student in Music & Sound Studies, where their ethnographic research revolves around questions of music, sound, performance, and unreality. Trained primarily as an ethnomusicologist, Nic draws from anthropology, sound studies, media studies, Asian American studies, and queer of color performance studies to investigate the performative and affective aspects of spaces outside of “real life.” Their three main areas of focus are queer Asian American nightlife in Los Angeles; music in virtual worlds; and the role of sound and music in e-sports.

Nic is an active violist, violinist, singer, and conductor, specializing in contemporary and baroque performance practices. They have premiered dozens of new works and appeared in venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Beijing Concert Hall. Prior to coming to Cornell, they worked in the music industry and in nonprofit management and were a nationally awarded research chemist, having published and presented widely on topics in physical and computational chemistry. Nic is currently part of the inaugural cohort of Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellows, and they have received awards and fellowships from the Society for Ethnomusicology and Cornell University’s Department of Music, Media Studies Program, Society for Humanities, and Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. Nic holds a BA in Chemistry and a BM in Viola Performance from Oberlin College & Conservatory of Music.

MUSIC Courses - Fall 2024