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Elizabeth Abbate joined the Conservatory in 1998 and is a professor of core studies in music history.
Abbate completed her doctorate with a dissertation on "Myth, Symbol, and Meaning in Mahler's Early Symphonies." Her more recent work, which incorporates cultural studies and music analysis, reflects her interest in music and esoteric traditions. At the Conservatory, Abbate teaches courses on 19th- and 20th-century symphonic literature, on the music of Stravinsky, Webern, and Messiaen, and on 19th- and 20th-century art song.
As a violinist, Abbate has performed with a wide variety of Boston-area groups, including the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), Boston Lyric Opera orchestra, Boston Ballet orchestra, Boston Baroque, the Handel and Haydn Society, and Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. She can be heard on recordings by BMOP, including the 2016 Grammy-nominated Play by Andrew Norman, as well as recordings by Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, the Early Music Ensemble of Boston, and the Linda Chase Ensemble.
Abbate earned a B.A. at Yale College, an M.M. in violin performance at Yale School of Music, and a Ph.D. at Harvard University. She also completed courses in music history and in jazz improvisation at North Texas State University during her time as a violinist in the Fort Worth Symphony and Chamber Orchestra.