Department of Music

Current Graduate Students

Luke Blackburn

Music Composition and Theory (PhD)

BA Music Composition and Theory and Bassoon Performance, University of Florida; MFA Music Composition and Theory, Brandeis University

Performance Activities: Bassoonist; New Philharmonia Orchestra, American Chamber Winds

Instruments: bassoon, piano

Ethan Borshansky

Musicology (PhD)

BM Music Composition, Eastman School of Music; MA Musicology, Utrecht University

Master’s thesis: Agitprop Theater and Kurt Weill’s Collaborations of 1927–1928

Instrument: violin

Alexandra Burkot

Musicology (PhD)

BA (Anthropology/Music) Amherst College; MM (Vocal Performance) University of North Texas

Research interests: Soviet popular music, the relationship between composer and opera diva, aesthetics of kitsch and irony

Performance activities: Opera North, Nashoba Valley Chorale, Vox Futura, et al., Boston Choral Ensemble, Vocal Academy of Orvieto

Instrument: voice (soprano)

Yu-Tung Cheng

Music Composition and Theory (PhD)

BM Composition, National Taipei University of Art (TNUA), Taiwan; MM Composition, Boston University

Performances include: Tak Ensemble, Splinter Reeds, France (CNSMDL), Musicacoustica- Beijing 

Instrument: piano


Mina Cho

Musicology (PhD)

BA (Theology) Yonsei University; BM Berklee College of Music (Jazz Composition & Film Scoring); MM (Jazz Studies–Composition) New England Conservatory; DMA Candidate (Jazz Studies-Composition & Musicology minor) New England Conservatory

Research Interests: "Jazz Criticism (Classical and Ethnic Idioms in Jazz)" and "Music and Religion"

Professional Activities: Pianist and Composer; Faculty at Emerson College; Director of Contemporary Music at Somerville Community Baptist Church; Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra; NEC Jazz Composers' Workshop Orchestra; Mina Cho Jazz Group & Fusion Jazz Orchestra; Former Piano Faculty and Ensemble Coach at Winchester Community Music School

Marie Comuzzo

Musicology (PhD) and Women, Gender, and Sexuality (MA)

MM in Music History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; GPD in Violin Performance, Boston Conservatory at Berklee; BA in Music, Conservatorio Arrigo Boito, Italy. 

Professional Activities and Academic Service: Intern at Brandeis University Press, Writing Consultant at Writing Center, Editor for JURM (Journal of Undergraduate Research in Music), Event-organizing committee member for SMT Scholars for Social Responsibility Interest Group (SSRIG). 

Instruments: violin, voice

Daniel Delgado Diaz

Musicology (PhD)

Licenciado in Modern Languages/Linguistics; Universidad de Los Andes, Merida, Venezuela. 

Performance Activities: El Sistema, National Youth Orchestra System of Venezuela. Latin American Flute AcademyMerida State Symphony Orchestra.

Instruments: flute, piccolo
Christina Dioguardi

Musicology (PhD)

BM Bassoon Performance and Musical Arts, Eastman School of Music; MM, GD Bassoon Performance, New England Conservatory

Academic interests: the Italian madrigal, Renaissance vocal polyphony, Monteverdi, 19th Century opera

Undergraduate Thesis: The Importance of Text, An Exploration of antithesis in Petrarch's Il Canzoniere and the Italian Madrigal

Performances: Bassoonist; Fiati Five Wind Quintet, Phoenix (Boston, MA), Callithumpian Consort, Boston Philharmonic

Instrument: bassoon

Eric Elder

Musicology (PhD)

BM in Jazz and Commercial Music, Roosevelt University; MA in Jazz History and Research, Rutgers University; MFA in Musicology, Brandeis University

Academic interests: Music theory and analysis; music and meaning; history of music theory; music theory pedagogy; Viennese music; ragtime and early 20th-c. American popular music

Awards: Hollace Anne Schafer Memorial Award, American Musicological Society, New England Chapter; Best Paper Award, GAMuT 2016, University of North Texas

Master’s theses: Reading Rudolph Reti: Toward a New Understanding of The Thematic Process in Music; A Cultural Reappraisal of Jazz History: Some Preliminary Researches and Analyses on American Vernacular Music

Instruments: harpsichord, clarinet

Danny Gerth

Musicology (PhD)

BA Music (concentration in multilingual and translation studies), University of Indianapolis; MM Music Theory, Indiana University, Bloomington

Academic Interests: French symbolism, gender and nationalism in fin-de-siècle Europe, music in the Québec nationalist movements of the 1960s and 70s

Professional Activities: Former Associate Instructor of Music Theory at Indiana University and copy editor for Indiana Theory Review

Jingmian Gong

Music Composition and Theory (MFA)

BM Music Theory and Composition, Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Recent Activities: Choral piece Prelude to Water Tune commissioned by Lingnan Normal University.

Instrument: piano

James Heazlewood-Dale

Musicology (PhD)

BM Jazz Double Bass Performance, Sydney Conservatory, MM, Jazz Double Bass Performance, New England Conservatory.

Academic Interests. Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz: Hard bob, Modal Jazz, Bebop, The Swing Era. 

Undergraduate Thesis: All In the Family – The Legacy of Ray Brown and his Influence on Jazz Bassist Christian McBride 

Notable Performances: Maria Schneider, Aaron Goldberg, Kurt Elling, Monty Alexander, Terence Blanchard, Donny McCaslin, George Garzone, Miguel Zenon, Dave Douglas, Bob Moses, Jason Palmer, Ernie Watts and Will Vincent. 

Instrument: double bass

Zen Kuriyama

Musicology (PhD)

BA Music, University of Hawaii at Mānoa; MMUS Voice Performance, Stony Brook University; MSM Choral Conducting, University of Notre Dame; MFA Musicology, Brandeis University

Academic Interests: Gerald Finzi; The English Musical Renaissance; Jewishness and Antisemitism in modern Britain; Christian Sacred Music; Musico-Theological Analysis; Affect 

Peer-reviewed publications:“RESIGNATION and Virgil Thomson’s Hymns from the Old South.” Christian Sacred Music in the Americas. Ed. Andrew Shenton & Joanna Smolko. Rowman & Littlefield, 2021; “Gerald Finzi and the English Musical Renaissance.” The Finzi Journal (UK). December 2018. Ed. Martin Bussey. 

Instrument: voice, conducting 


Ying-Ting Lin

Music Composition and Theory (PhD)

MA Music Composition, State University of New York at Buffalo; MFA Music Composition, National Taiwan Normal University; BFA Piano Performance, National Kaohsiung Normal University

Performances include: ICMC, NYCEMF, Ecoles d'Art Américaines de Fontainebleau in France, June in Buffalo, World Saxophone Congress, World Harp Congress, Shanghai Conservatory of Music New Music Week.

Instrument: piano


Yiorgos Mannouris

Musicology (PhD)

BM, Piano Performance, Music Theory and Composition Minor (academic honors), New England Conservatory; MM, Piano Performance (academic honors), New England Conservatory; pre-college program, Piano Performance, Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía.

Academic Interests: philosophy of music; music and narrative; Wagner; Mahler; Scriabin; Platonic and German Idealist aesthetics in 19th-century music; musical thought in Ancient Greece; Chopin. Undergraduate Thesis: Western Art Music Inspired by Oral Tradition: A Semiotic Interpretation of Works by Bach, Mozart, Liszt and Bartók.

Awards and Honors: New England Conservatory Concerto Competition, winner; Pietro Argento International Music Competition, first prize and grand prize "Premio Critica;" Panhellenic Delphic Poetry Games, first prize; Gina Bachauer International Music Association, scholar.

Titles: President, Anafæos Charity Foundation (Cyprus, 2015-present); Ambassador, Fundación Nicos & Manuella Vardinoyannis (Spain, 2009-2011).

Published Work: Atrapos ("Trail"), poetry collection, Poema Editions & Magazine (2016); eight selected poems, Great Encyclopedia of Modern Greek Literature of Haris Patsis (2017).

Performances: Jordan Hall; Grand Hall of Laeiszhalle; St. Alexander Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace; Athens Concert Hall; Auditorio Sony; Mirabell Palace; Hohensalzburg Castle; Weissenstein Castle. Rising Stars in the Kremlin International Music Festival; Steinway & Sons International Music Festival; Collegium Musicum International Music Festival; Mozarteum International Summer Academy.

Instrument: piano

Mariel Mayz

Music Composition and Theory (PhD)

BM Piano Performance, New York University; MA Music Composition and Piano Performance, CUNY Hunter College.

Recent Activity: recipient of "The Kintsugi Spirit" 2021 Artist Grant from the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (Los Angeles); performances for Porto Pianofest's 2019 New Music Series, 2020 Digital Edition, and 2021 Arts in Dialogue Series (Porto, Portugal); performance of new original works for "The Illustrated Pianist" celebrating the centennial of Ray Bradbury (NYC); selected performer for Manhattan School of Music's "Lives of the Piano" Series (NYC); premiere of one-act chamber opera by American Opera Projects, Hunter Opera Theater and the Talia Ensemble for the 2018 New York Opera Fest.

Other Professional Activities: Co-Founder and Associate Director of Porto Pianofest; Program Coordinator of the Hunter Mellon Arts Fellowship; Adjunct Professor of Music Theory and Adjunct Lecturer for the Arts Management & Leadership Certificate at CUNY Hunter College; freelance performer and accompanist; private piano instructor.

Instrument: piano

Shawn Mikkelsen

Musicology (PhD)

BA Music, Brigham Young University, Chemistry minor; MM Organ Performance, Brigham Young University

Academic Interests: Baroque of North and Central Germany; J. S. Bach; intersections of theology and music in the Reformation and Counter Reformation; history of tonality, temperament, and tuning systems

Instrument: organ

Nhat Nguyen

Music Composition and Theory (MFA)

BM in Classical Composition, Manhattan School of Music.

Performances include: Longleash, Unheard-Of//Ensemble, Ensemble Linea, Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, Hanoi New Music Ensemble, Ripieno Ensemble, Ajax Quartet.

Other research interests: Vietnamese traditional and folk music, contemporary visual arts.

Instrument: piano


Ali Can Puskulcu

Music Composition and Theory (PhD)

BA/MA Violin Performance, Robert Schumann Hochschule, Dusseldorf, Germany. M.M. Music Composition, Thornton School of Music USC.

Awards: Charles Ives Scholarship Award - American Academy of Arts and Letters; ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Competition - Second Prize Winner; The Copland House Residency Award - Copland House; The Fromm Music Foundation Commission - Harvard University; Most Valuable Player Award - USC; Young Composers Meeting 2017 - Ereprijs Commission; Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Composer Intensive; ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award

Instrument: violin


Brandon Qi

Music Composition and Theory (MFA)

BA in Music, Oxford University

Academic interests: Transformation theory, Musical form, World jazz, Electronic Dance Music

Instrument: Organ

Li Qi

Music Composition and Theory (PhD)

BM, MM (Composition) Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University Bloomington

Performances include: Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Von Quartet, Indiana University Concert Band, New Music Ensemble featured China Remixed Festival, Quartetto di Chitarre ÁPEIRON, attendees of Aspen Music Festival and School, Composers Conference at Wellesley College (2015 and 2016), Midwest Composers Symposium (2014 and 2016), Freie Universit ät Berlin Music Composition Program with Samuel Adler, HighSCORE Festival

Honors: 2017 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards Top Award-The ASCAP Foundation Leo Kaplan Award

Instrument: piano


Jeremy Rapaport-Stein

Music Composition and Theory (PhD)

BA Music and Politics, Swarthmore College; MFA Composition and Music theory, Brandeis University

Performances include: Orchestra 2001, Sound Icon, So Percussion, Guerilla Opera, Duo Cortona, Lydian String Quartet, CollisionSeries, Philly Composer's Ink, Swarthmore College Orchestra, members of JACK Quartet, ekmeles, Yarn/Wire, Eighth Blackbird, American Modern Ensemble

Instruments: cello, piano


Daniel Shapiro

Musicology (PhD)

BM Piano Performance, University of Connecticut; MM Piano Performance, SUNY Purchase

Academic interests: History of music theory, modes and languages of analysis in the 18th and 19th centuries, chamber music of the common practice period, piano works of Aaron Copland

Activities: Music Director, Christ Church Episcopal (Waltham)

Instruments: piano, organ, voice

Inbar Shifrin

Musicology (PhD)
Scholar in the Schusterman Center for Israeli Studies.

BA (Sociology, Anthropology and Musicology) The Hebrew University of
Jerusalem; MA (Musicology) The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Master’s thesis: Musical Choices In Israeli Jewish Reform “Kabbalat Shabbat”
during Covid-19

Research Interests: Voice communities, liturgical music, Jewish identity and gender
relations and roles in Jewish communities.

Instrument: Trumpet

JD Short

Musicology (MFA)

BA Jazz Composition, Berklee College of Music

Academic Interests: Art under Duress, Style and Pedagogy in Exile, Pedagogical Fraud in National Music Academies, Music and Technology

Activities: Producer and arranger for HobArt Goulart in Cambridge, MA

Instruments: Bass, Piano

Anna Valcour

Musicology (PhD) and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (MA)

BA (History) Lawrence University; BM (Vocal Performance) Lawrence University; MM (Vocal Performance) University of North Texas; Certificate in Vocology, University of Utah

Research Interests: Exploitation in the opera industry, cultic groups and music, Appalachian women's coal mining songs, voice-based analysis, and historiography of vocal pedagogy.

Professional activities: Assistant Professor of Practice at Southern Illinois University, AMS New England Chapter Hollace Anne Schafer Memorial Award (2022)

Performance activities: The Dallas Opera, Toledo Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Opera MODO, Ann Arbor Opera, Joliet Symphony, Michigan Philharmonic.

Instrument: voice (soprano)

Sarah Wickless
Musicology (MA)

B.S., Music and Women’s & Gender Studies, Towson University

Research Interests: LGBTQIA+ music history, contemporary music history in the US, music history of marginalized communities in the US, the intersection of music and gender, the history of oppression in relation to music, intersection of exploitation and the music industry, general music history regarding film, feminism, and activism.

Activities: Chartering sister, alumna, and member of the Alumnae Association of Sigma Alpha Iota (an international music fraternity), various protests and volunteering projects - depends on availability.

Previous work (not published): “Music Therapy and Chronic Pain in Maryland” and “A Survey and Analyzation of Anti-War Protest Music: Current Observations of the Activist Responses to the Ukrainian Invasion”
Niko Yamamoto

Music Composition and Theory (PhD)

B.Mus Composition & Theory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; M.Mus Composition, Rice University.

Instruments: piano, bassoon