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Bernstein at 100: A Colorado College Music Symposium

February 22-24, 2018


Jamie Bernstein is a narrator, writer and broadcaster who has transformed a lifetime of loving music into a career of sharing her knowledge and excitement with others. Jamie grew up in an atmosphere bursting with music, theatre and literature. Her father, composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, together with her mother, the pianist and actress Felicia Montealegre, created a spontaneous, ebullient household that turned Jamie into a lifelong  cultural enthusiast. Replicating her father’s compulsion to share and teach, Jamie has devised several ways of communicating her own excitement about classical music. In addition to “The Bernstein Beat,” a family concert about her father modeled after his own groundbreaking Young People’s Concerts, Jamie has also written and narrated concerts about Mozart and Aaron Copland, among others. Jamie travels the world as a concert narrator, appearing everywhere from Beijing to Caracas to Vancouver. In addition to her own scripted narrations, Jamie also performs standard concert narrations, such as Walton’s “Facade,” Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait” and her father’s Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish.” She is a frequent speaker on musical topics, including in-depth discussions of her father’s works.


Carol J. Oja is William Powell Mason Professor of Music at Harvard University and on the faculty of Harvard’s graduate program in American Studies. Her most recent book, Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War (2014), won the Music in American Culture Award from the American Musicological Society. Her Making Music Modern: New York in the 1920s won the Lowens Book Award from the Society for American Music and an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. Other books include Colin McPhee: Composer in Two Worlds; American Music Recordings: A Discography of 20th-Century U.S. Composers; Crosscurrents: American and European Music in Interaction, 1900-2000 (edited together with Felix Meyer, Wolfgang Rathert, and Anne Shreffler); and Aaron Copland and his World (edited with Judith Tick). Oja has held fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute, ACLS, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College, the National Humanities Center, NEH, and the Mellon Faculty Fellows Program at Harvard. She is past-president of the Society for American Music and has twice chaired the Pulitzer Prize committee in music. She is currently at work on a book about Marian Anderson and the racial desegregation of classical music performance.


Katherine Baber’s scholarship considers the ways in which Leonard Bernstein's compositions, his conducting and educational activities, and his profile as a public figure have shaped definitions of American music, here and abroad. In 2013 she was awarded a Fulbright grant to study Bernstein’s reception in Austria, leading to her essay “Mahler in the Mirror: Bernstein, Mahler, and Music Criticism in the United States and Austria” (Anklänge, 2015) and a chapter on his relationship with Vienna’s public and its musical institutions in Leonard Bernstein und seine Zeit (Laaber Verlag, 2017). Her forthcoming book, Leonard Bernstein’s Jazz (University of Illinois Press), considers Bernstein’s particular understanding of jazz—as a cluster of styles, performers, and cultural associations—and its role in the articulation his own Jewish-American identity, his formulation of American music, and his engagement with American political life during the era of the Cold War and Civil Rights.


Ryan Raul Bañagale is the Crown Family Professor for Innovation in the Arts at Colorado College. As a member of the music department faculty, he offers classes on a range of American music topics, including musical theatre, jazz, popular music, bluegrass, and media studies. His Ph.D. work at Harvard University was supported by the American Musicological Society’s AMS-50 and Howard Mayer Brown fellowships, which formed the foundation of his first book Arranging Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and the Creation of an American Icon (Oxford University Press, 2014). Bañagale sits on the editorial board of the George Gershwin Critical Edition and will be editing at least three separate arrangements of Rhapsody in Blue for the endeavor. A strong proponent of "public musicology," he is a regular contributor to the "A Day in the Life" podcast and organized the first scholarly symposium on the music and lyrics of Billy Joel at Colorado College during the fall of 2016.


Daniel Callahan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at Boston College. He has formerly taught at Columbia University, where he received his PhD, and the University of Chicago, where he was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow. His research explores choreomusicality, or the interrelationship of music and dance. He is currently completing a book, The Dancer from the Music, on the use of pre-existing classical music in American modern dance. This summer his article on the intersection of the personal partnership and creative collaborations of John Cage and Merce Cunningham will appear in the Journal of the American Musicological Society. In May he will give the American Musicological Society Library of Congress Lecture in which he will present his research on Bernstein’s conducting.


Matthew Mugmon is assistant professor of musicology at the University of Arizona, where he holds the Daveen Fox Endowed Chair for Music Studies. He served as the New York Philharmonic’s Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence for the 2015–16 season. His research has appeared in Music & Letters, the Journal of Musicological Research, and the edited collection Rethinking Mahler. Current projects include a monograph focusing on Aaron Copland’s relationship with Gustav Mahler’s music and a chapter on recent American symphonies in a forthcoming volume in the series The Symphonic Repertoire.


Elizabeth A. Wells earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto with a concentration in History and Literature of Music and completed her doctorate in musicology at the Eastman School of Music. Her dissertation, entitled West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical, was supported by the Presser Foundation and the AMS-50 Dissertation Fellowship.  This work was published as a monograph and won the Music in American Culture award of the American Musicological Society. Her work has appeared in Cambridge Opera Journal, The Journal of the American Musicological Society,and Studies in Musical Theatre. She is now Dean of Arts and Pickard-Bell Chair in Music at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. She has won four teaching awards, including the 3M National Teaching Fellowship and the Teaching Award of the American Musicological Society. Her research interests include 20th-Century opera, musical theatre at mid-century, feminism and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

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