Celebrating Elaine Sisman: Haydn and the Classical Variation and Mozart: The ‘Jupiter’ Symphony at 30

Fri, Sep 8, 2023
3:30 pm EDT - 5:00 pm EDT

This autumn marks 30 years since the publication of Elaine Sisman’s groundbreaking studies Haydn and the Classical Variation and Mozart: The ‘Jupiter’ Symphony. To honor these anniversaries, the Encounters with Eighteenth-Century Music forum will host an online discussion of Sisman’s books. Panelists Mark Evan Bonds, Mary Hunter, and Roman Ivanovitch will discuss different aspects of the books and their impact on the scholarship and analysis of eighteenth-century music. Elaine Sisman will respond to each panelist and offer her own perspectives on writing the books and on their place in musicology thirty years later. The session will conclude with a discussion/question period moderated by Mark Ferraguto. Participants are encouraged to read (or reread) the books and to register in advance.


Click here to register (free but required).


Mark Evan Bonds is the Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he taught from 1992 to 2023. He holds degrees from Duke University (B.A.), the Universität Kiel (M.A.), and Harvard (Ph.D.). A former editor-in-chief of Beethoven Forum, he has written widely on the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven and on the intersections of philosophy and music since the Enlightenment. His research has been supported by grants from the NEH, the ACLS, the National Humanities Center, the American Academy in Berlin, the Institute for Advanced Study-Princeton, and the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF). His most recent book is The Beethoven Syndrome: Hearing Music as Autobiography (Oxford, 2020).

Mary Hunter is A. LeRoy Greason Professor Emerita of Music at Bowdoin College. A musicologist with interests in eighteenth-century opera, the history and ideology of performance, and music in culture, she is the author of  The Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart’s Vienna (Princeton, 1999), which won the American Musicological Society’s Kinkeldey Prize, and Mozart’s Operas: A Companion (Yale, 2008). She is the co-editor, with James Webster, of Opera Buffa in Mozart’s Vienna (Cambridge 1997) and, with Richard Will, of Engaging Haydn: Culture, Context and Criticism (Cambridge 2012). She has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society and the National Humanities Center.

Roman Ivanovitch is Associate Professor of Music Theory at Indiana University. His research has focused on the music of the long eighteenth century, and in particular on the topics of Mozart and variation. His articles have appeared in venues such as The Journal of Music Theory, Music Analysis, and Music Theory Spectrum. In 2012 he received the Emerson award from the Mozart Society of America for his article, “Mozart’s Art of Retransition.”

Elaine Sisman is the Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music at Columbia University, where she has taught since 1982, and was President of the American Musicological Society. The author of Haydn and the Classical Variation, Mozart: The ‘Jupiter’ Symphony, and editor of Haydn and His World, she specializes in music of the 18th and 19th centuries, and has written on such topics as memory and invention in late Beethoven, ideas of pathétique and fantasia around 1800, Haydn’s theater symphonies, the sublime in Mozart’s music, and Brahms’s slow movements. Her most recent publications, after the monograph-length article on “variations” in New Grove 2, concern biography (Haydn and his multiple audiences), chronology (Mozart’s “Haydn” quartets), history (marriage in Don Giovanni), Enlightenment aesthetics (Haydn’s Creation), the opus concept (“Six of One”), music and melancholy, and Haydn’s “poetics of solar time.”