Before the semester ended, I asked my theory teacher (who was on to bigger and better things at MacCallister) if he had any recommendations for classes I should take at Peabody in my remaining, part-time student time (as he was ye old Peabody grad). The discussion expanded to my post-grad plans and aspirations and he told me a lot about his experience in the composition DMA program at Princeton.
He suggested two (maybe 3) places that I should really consider based on my interest in working on Russian opera: Princeton because of Simon Morrison, Berkeley because of Richard Taruskin, and Penn because of Carolyn Abbate.
He was a big booster for Princeton, because he liked his time there and because Simon Morrison works specifically on Russian opera (he's published books on Russian Symbolist operas, including one of my faves, The Fiery Angel and on Prokofiev. Click here for an interview with Prof. Morrison on his Prokofiev book).
I went to a talk last year given by Kofi Agawu (also at Princeton) on Imperialism in Africa as expressed in music. It was a pretty great talk, and the kind of theoretical work that he does, I would be pretty keen on blending with a more traditional musicology focus. In taking the English Musical Renaissance course that I did this last semester (and on reading one of Paul Krugman's books, The Conscience of a Liberal), not having any sort of background in economics makes it really hard to make one's own conclusions about the wider world at any given time, so it's something I'm going to have to start working on. Also, it's interesting to know more about the world.
The other good thing about the Princeton program is that not only is it very free-form, it's a very small program and very, very well-funded. Key. Oh, and it's pretty close to NYC, so that's nice, too.
Next post is going to be about Cornelius Reid and his functional method of teaching voice.