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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.