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Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown portrait
Director of Collegium Musicum
Associate Professor
Department Chair of Music


Jennifer Williams Brown (musicology) is a specialist in the history and performance of Baroque music, particularly 17th-century Italian opera. In 2008 she received the Claude V. Palisca Award, given annually by the American Musicological Society for the best scholarly edition or translation in the field of musicology, for her edition of Francesco Cavalli’s opera La Calisto (A-R Editions, 2007). This edition has had numerous performances around the world, including  Paris (Les Talents Lyriques, dir. Christophe Rousset), the Amherst Early Music Festival, Chicago (Music of the Baroque), Montréal (Opéra McGill), University of Illinois, Princeton University, and Bremen (Hochschule für Kunste). Prof. Brown was awarded research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Delmas Foundation for her book-in-progress, whose working title is “From Page to Stage: Francesco Cavalli and the Production of Seventeenth-Century Venetian Opera.” Her second Cavalli edition, Scipione Affricano, is forthcoming in the series The Operas of Francesco Cavalli (Bärenreiter Verlag); preliminary versions of her edition have been performed at Yale and in Rome. Other publications include articles in several collections of essays, The Cambridge Opera Journal, The New Grove Dictionary of Music, The Journal of Musicological Research, The Viking (Penguin) Opera Guide, and Seventeenth-Century Music. She has presented papers at numerous international, national, and regional conferences. She has been elected to several positions in professional societies, including the American Musicological Society (AMS Council), the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music (secretary), and the AMS Southern Chapter (president, secretary/treasurer).

Prof. Brown joined the music faculty of Grinnell College in the fall of 2005; she teaches music history and directs the Collegium Musicum. Prior to arriving at Grinnell, she taught at the Eastman School of Music, the University of Rochester, and Louisiana State University, where she directed the Collegium Musicum for seven years. She studied harpsichord with George Hunter (Univ. of Illinois), Christopher Kite (Guildhall School of Music, London), and Malcolm Bilson (Cornell) and continuo accompaniment with Arthur Haas (Eastman).

Prof. Brown is also a specialist in historical dance (Renaissance, Baroque). She trained in classical ballet at the National Academy of Dance (Champaign, IL) and studied Baroque dance in Boston with Margaret Daniels and Ken Pierce. She taught three courses on historical dance at the Eastman School of Music and University of Rochester and has given numerous workshops and guest lecture-demonstrations around the country. She directed dances for several historical theatre productions at Harvard, Cornell, and the University of Rochester. In 2007 she was dance director and co-music director (with John Rommereim) of Grinnell’s production of The Beggar’s Opera, for which she prepared a new musical edition. In 2012, she taught dance at the Baroque Performance Academy of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival.

Campus Phone: 

(641) 269-4421


faculty info column 1

On-Campus Address: 

Bucksbaum Center for the Arts 264
1108 Park St
Grinnell, IA 50112
United States

Education / Degrees: 

Ph.D. Musicology, Cornell University, 1992
M.A. Musicology, Cornell Universy, 1982
B.Mus. Music History, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 1978

Courses Taught: 

Tutorial: Music & Society in Paris, 1880-1930 Tutorial: Venice, Past & Present MUS 101-3 Collegium Musicum (ensemble) MUS 120/220/221 Harpsichord MUS 261 - Western Music to 1750 MUS 262 - Western Music From 1750 to the Present MUS 201 – Baroque Improvisation MUS 214 - Advanced Aural Skills MUS 322 – The "Golden Age" of English Music, 1500-1700 MUS 322 - J.S. Bach and Family

Primary Academic Interest: 

Seventeenth-century Italian opera
editing/textual scholarship
manuscript studies
performance practice

Academic Interests: 

Dance history and performance

Curriculum Vitae/Resume: 

Department Chair: