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Joel Schwindt

Assistant Professor of Core Studies
Affiliated Departments
music history
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My goal is to offer every student a path to performance that transcends the reproduction of a musical artifact or tradition. Through the study of musical history, students can understand not only the confluence of cultural and personal factors that led artists of the past and present to create great music, but also the many ways these creative catalysts continue exist in today's world, allowing them to engage history in the here and now.

Joel Schwindt is an assistant professor of core studies. He joined Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2015 after serving on the instructional staff of Harvard University and Brandeis University. In addition to teaching music history and writing courses, Schwindt has developed and taught seminars on gender representation and cultural “othering” in opera, the “voice of the refugee” in music from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as humanism and class rivalry in the music of the Renaissance and baroque periods.

Schwindt’s research primarily focuses on issues of humanism, learned societies, and class rivalry in Italian and French music from the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as conceptualizations of authenticity and racial identity in country music. He has presented papers at national meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, in addition to various regional conferences. Selected publications include his forthcoming book on Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Orpheus in the Academy: Monteverdi’s First Opera, and the Accademia degli Invaghiti, Routledge, 2021), an article on Orpheus’s use of oratory in the same work from the 2014 volume of the Cambridge Opera Journal, and an edition of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's In nativitatem Domini canticum (H. 416), published by Bärenreiter-Verlag in 2011.

He has received various awards and grants, including the Eugene K. Wolf Travel Grant from the American Musicological Society and the Mellon-Sachar Research Grant. He is actively engaged with professional societies and public events, giving an invited talk on country music and class status for WGBH (PBS–Boston), as well as a teaching clinic for the Oxbridge Academic Program at Harvard University. He has also served the New England chapter of the American Musicological Society as a representative to the national council, as well as a member of the program committee which he led from 2016–2018.

Schwindt received a Ph.D. in musicology from Brandeis University, an M.M. in choral conducting from the University of Arizona, and a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Wichita State University.