Graduate Students

Jamie Apgar

Research interests: Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England; intersections of music and the politics of religion; discourses and theologies of music, sound, and public worship; uses and methodologies of historical narrative in early modernity.

Christina Azahar


Chilean urban musics, Salvadoran folk/popular musics, nueva canción, cultural memory, circulation, race, gender, performance

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Susan Bay

Research interests: 19th and 20th century opera, non-operatic stageworks, 18th century Germany, performance studies, sociology of opera, philosophy of aesthetics, theories of voice, vocal production.

Oren Boneh

Composer Oren Boneh has upcoming performances from Ensemble Reconsil, Vertixe Sonora and The Nebula Ensemble and previous performances by ensembles such as Ensemble Divertimento, Ensemble Meitar, Ensemble Regards, Ensemble Pentaèdre, the Playground, Ensemble Transmission and Architek Percussion. » read more »

Rachel Colwell

Research interests: Tunisian ma’luf, Arab classical musics, listening practices, histories of listening, geography and anthropology of place, music and politics, sound studies youth, taste, sensory anthropology, nationalism and secularism, affect, organology, hybridity

Nour El Rayes

Research Interests
Middle Eastern popular music, Lebanese alternative/indie musics, circulation/networks, disciplining listeners, aurality, affect, performance

Ian Goldstein

I am currently a PhD Candidate specializing in the musics of the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, as well as in American Roots genres. As a scholar, teacher, and performer, I am interested in embodied and social cognition—how musicians learn and think through their bodies, as well as in relation to others—and in the relationship between musical thinking and collective memory, particularly in the Western Mediterranean.

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Ryan Gourley

Ryan Gourley is a first-year graduate student in Ethnomusicology.  Originally from San Antonio, Texas, he completed his undergraduate studies in music at Brown University in 2016.  His research interests include Soviet jazz, music as a means of protest, Post-Soviet aesthetics, cultural ideology, and propaganda.  He is a published photographer, poet, composer, and the founder of

Melanie Gudesblatt

Melanie began her studies at Cornell University (BA in Music, 2009) and received a masters from King’s College London (MMus, 2011) before entering the PhD program in Music History and Literature at UC Berkeley. » read more »

Maija Hynninen

Maija Hynninen – composer and sound artist – incorporates in her work the human voice, live electronics and multidisciplinary performances. She writes virtuoso parts for the musicians yet captures a sense of lightness of texture. The music is often governed by linear thinking while the harmony gravitates towards quarter tones. The textures often combine noise and pitch which result in ambiguity of timbre.

John Kapusta

John Kapusta is a Visiting Instructor in the Music Department at Colgate University and a PhD candidate in Music History and Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was supported by a Mellon Discovery Fellowship. His dissertation examines the impact of new practices of self-cultivation on American art music composition, performance, and reception in the long 1970s.

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Ravi Kittappa

Ravi Kittappa is a composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, and electronic music currently residing in California. His works often focus on the person-specific nature of performance through contrasting juxtapositions of transitional processes within shifting pulsations, harmonies, gestures, and timbres while drawing on the various musics of his diverse background.

Ursula Kwong-Brown

Ursula Kwong-Brown (b. 1987) is a composer and media artist from New York City. Described as “atmospheric and accomplished” by The New York Times, her work has been performed in diverse venues including Carnegie Hall, le Poisson Rouge and the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center in NYC, St Paul’s Chapel and Miller’s Theatre at Columbia University, and the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Awards include an ASCAP Honorable Mention, the Chicago Ensemble’s “Discover America” Composer Award , the Bowdoin Festival Composition Prize, and Columbia University’s Sudler Arts Prize.

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Jonathan Meci

Jonathan’s dissertation examines the reception history of Pergolesi’s Stabat mater in the second half of the eighteenth century in order to assess how new media (public concerts, musician biography, etc) altered audiences’ affective and aesthetic engagement with music.


Kirsten S. Paige

Kirsten S. Paige studied first at the University of Chicago (AB in Music History & Theory, 2011) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil in Musicology, 2012), before coming to the University of California, Berkeley to pursue a PhD in Music History and Literature. » read more »

Curtis Rumrill

The music of Curtis Rumrill explores the intersection of literary form and modern chamber music. His works with writer, naturalist and visual artist Webberly Ebberly Finnich (née Zachary Webber) tell folk-like tales of animals in desperate or violent predicaments. He is also the composer of instrumental chamber music with and without electronics, works for tape, and studio compositions.

Melissa Scott

I am a third year ethnomusicology graduate student and received my BA in Music from the University of Chicago. My research focuses on how political conceptions of place are articulated and negotiated in classical Arabic music pedagogy in Jordan.

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Desmond Sheehan

Research interests

German music and secularization in the early 19th century, sacred romantic music, secular critique, history and philosophy of aesthetics, music and theology, romantic media technologies, music and belief.

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Danni Simon

Danielle Simon received a B.A. in Music and English from the University of Puget Sound in 2009 and M.A. in the Humanities from the University of Chicago in 2011 before entering the PhD program in Music History and Literature at UC Berkeley. She was awarded the Millicent Mercer Johnsen Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize in Modern Italian Studies from the American Academy in Rome in 2016. » read more »

Jonathan Turner

Jonathan is interested in the ways technology alters musician’s views of their own authorship. Technology is forcing, with increasing might, creative people to examine their own authority and agency.  He argues for a musicology of interfaces which seeks to understand human interaction with technology more broadly.

Kendra Van Nyhuis

Research Interests: South Korean Rock and Popular Music, Scenes, Race, Intercultural Collaboration, Urbanism, Performance, East Asian Modernities, South Korean Traditional Musics, Voice Studies, Organology



Jen Wang

Jen Wang’s work has been featured at the Wellesley Composers Conference, the International Computer Music Conference, the Bang On A Can Summer Institute, the California EAR Unit Residency at Arcosanti, the Music ’03 and ’04 festivals, and the SPARK Festival. » read more »

Jacob Wolbert

Brazilianist scholar and musician looking at pedagogy in demographically and geographically modified samba groups. Other interests include sacred Afro-Brazilian music, popular musics of Brazil and the U.S., Afro-Cuban music, critical pedagogy, critical theory.