Saturday, 22 November 2014

Philip Brett Awards : Part 2

Happy St. Cecilia’s Day all you music-lovers. Today is the feast day of the patron saint of music, and I’m celebrating by concluding my look at the recipients of the Philip Brett Award. Philip Brett was a musicologist and pioneered the study of queer music – the way in which gender and sexuality influences music.

In June I listed the recipients of the award from its origin to 2006. With the announcement last week of the 2014 award the following list completes the recipients. It reveals a wide variety of research into queer music, and covers everything from opera to “Oh! Calcutta!”, and from jazz to Tchaikovsky.

2006    (joint award) Sherry Lee, for “A Florentine Tragedy, or Woman as Mirror” published in “Cambridge Operatic Journal”. Sherry is Associate Professor at the History and Culture Department, University of Toronto. She specialises in music of the 19th and 20th centuries. “A Florentine Tragedy” (or “Eine florentinische Trajödie”) is an opera by Alexander von Zemlinsky written in 1916, based on an unfinished play of the same English title by Oscar Wilde.

2007    Suzanne G. Cusick, for her paper “Music as Torture, Music as a Weapon”, presented to the American Musicological Society, and for her paper “Queer Performativity and the Gender Order in the Global War on Terror”, presented at the Queer Vibrations Conference. Dr. Cusick is Professor of Music at the Faculty of Arts and Science, New York University. The award recognises her work and research into the use of music, noise, acoustemology and “gender coercion” in the detention and interrogation of prisoners held during the global war on terror.

2008    (joint award) George Haggerty, Jenny Doctor, and Susan McClary, for “Music and Sexuality in Britten: Selected Essays”. George Haggerty is now Distinguished Professor at the University of California Riverside where Philip Brett himself was professor. Dr. Haggerty edited this series of essays by Brett which were the catalyst for the study of queer music. Susan McClary (Professor of Musicology, Case Western Reserve University) wrote the introduction, and Jenny Doctor (Research Fellow, University of York) wrote the Afterword.

2008    (joint award) Martin Pénet, for his article ““L’expression homosexuelle dans les chansons françaises de l’entre-deux-guerre: entre derision et ambiguïté” in Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine”. Martin’s in the only non-English work to win this ward so far. Martin is a journalist, broadcaster and historian who specialises in popular French songs of the 19th and 20th centuries. He broadcasts regularly on French songs, performers and their histories on radio, and has written many books and articles.

2009    (joint award) Philip Ross Bullock, for his article “Ambiguous Speech and Eloquent Silence: The Queerness of Tchaikovsky’s Songs”, in “19th Century Music”. He his Professor of Russian Literature and Music at Oxford University and has published many articles in both western and Russian periodicals and has contributed to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Contemporary Russian Culture (2006).

2009    (joint award) Annie Janeiro Randall, for “Dusty! Queen of the Postmods”, a biography of Dusty Springfield. This biography focuses particularly on the early years of Dusty’s fame (1964-8) and Annie looks at how the singer’s performance style, distinctive look and recognisable voice helped to make this UK star a big name in the USA, earning her the name “White Queen of Soul”.

2010    Roger Freitas, for “Portrait of a Castrato: Politics, Patronage, and Music in the Life of Atto Melani”. Roger is Associate Professor of Musicology and Chair of the Music Department at the Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester, New York). Atto Melani (1626-1714) as one of the most famous Italian castrati - singers who chose castration to improve their singing voice. He is also a diplomat and a spy.

2011    (joint award) Emily Wilbourne, for her article “Amor nello specchio (1622): Mirroring, Masturbation, and Same-Sex Love”, in “Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture”. Emily is Assistant Professor at Queen’s College, City University of New York. Her specialist area of research is in the music and sound of opera and commedia dell arte in 17th century Italy.

2011    (joint award) William Cheng, for his article “Acoustemolgies of the Closet” in “The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality”. William is Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. He is one of the pioneers of research into the musicology and technology of computer games. His first book on the subject, “Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination”, is published by Oxford University Press.

2012    (joint award) Mitchell Morris, for his syllabus at the University of California Los Angeles “LBGTQ Perspectives in Popular Music” (course M137). This is the first of these awards to go to an academic course. Mitchell is Associate Professor in the musicology department of the university and has taught on a wide range of musical subject and themes. Mitchell has also published several books on popular music.

2012    (joint award) Christopher Moore, for his article “Camp in Francis Poulenc’s Early Ballets” in “The Musical Quarterly”. Christopher is Associate Professor at the School of Music at the University of Ottawa. French music of the 19th and 20th century is his specialist area, and he won a gold medal in performance (piano) from the Conservatiore National de Versailles.

2013    Elizabeth L. Wollmann, for her book “Hard Times: The Adult Musical in 1970s New York City”, a study of the brief rise of musicals with adult sexual themes following the success of “Hair”, the most famous of which was “Oh! Calcutta!”

2014    Lisa Barg, for her article “Queer Encounters in the Music of Billy Strayhorn”, published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society.  Lisa is Assistant Professor in the Department of Music Research at McGill University.

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