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Jason Geary


Jason Geary joined the University of Michigan faculty after completing his Ph.D. at Yale University in 2004.  His dissertation focused on Mendelssohn’s incidental music to Sophocles’s Antigone and Oedipus at Colonus and the relationship of these works to German cultural politics of the nineteenth century.   His research and teaching interests center primarily on nineteenth-century Europe, in particular the music of Mendelssohn and the piano repertory of the period.  He is currently completing a book that explores the legacy of ancient Greece and the German musical tradition of the mid-nineteenth century, to be published by Oxford University Press. Professor Geary, who is also an accomplished pianist, has presented his research at major conferences in the United States and abroad.  In addition, his work has appeared in the Journal of Musicology, the Journal of Musicological Research, and in collections published by Oxford University Press and Ashgate (forthcoming).  He has also been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Berlin and membership in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2008-09).  In addition to his teaching duties at the university, Professor Geary also serves as an advisor to undergraduate music students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.


Publications (selected)

The Politics of Appropriation: German Romantic Music and the Ancient Greek Legacy
(forthcoming, under contract with Oxford University Press).

“Converting the Pagans: Mendelssohn, Greek Tragedy, and the Christian Ethos,” in 
Mendelssohn and the Long Nineteenth Century
, ed. Nicole Grimes and Angela Mace (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, forthcoming).

“Incidental Music and the Revival of Greek Tragedy from the Italian Renaissance to German Romanticism,” in Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage, ed. Peter Brown and Suzana Ograjensek (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 49-62.

“Reinventing the Past: Mendelssohn’s Antigone and the Creation of an Ancient Greek Musical Language,”
Journal of Musicology
23 (2006): 187-226.

“Mendelssohn’s Antigone and the Ancient Greek Polis,” in Music Research: New Directions for a New Century, ed. Michael Ewans, Rosalind Halton, and John Philips (London: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2004), 230-40.

Recent Papers and Presentations (selected)

“Wagner’s Ring and the Politics of Revolution” (Ann Arbor, Symposium on Tragedy and Politics, 2011).

“Childhood and Memory in the Music of Robert Schumann” (Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China, 2010).

“Brünnhilde’s Fate: Greek Tragedy, Wagner’s Ring, and the Redemption of Humanity”
(Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, 2009). 

“Bridging Past and Present: Music, Greek Tragedy, and the Example of Nineteenth-Century Germany,”
delivered at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association (Philadelphia, 2009).  

“Wagner, Hellenism, and Historicism,” delivered at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society (Nashville, 2008).

“The Sounds of Innocence: Music and Childhood in the Age of Biedermeier,” delivered at the annual
meeting of the German Studies Association (St. Paul, 2008).

“The Rise of Wagnerism and the Reception of Mendelssohn’s Antigone,” delivered at a conference on
“Mendelssohn in the Long Nineteenth Century” (Dublin, Ireland, 2005). 

“Greek Tragedy as German Drama: From Mendelssohn to Wagner,” delivered at the annual
meeting of the American Musicological Society (Seattle, 2004).

Teaching at the University of Michigan

History of Western Music, 1750-1945 (Musicology 240)

History of the Symphony (Musicology 411/511)

History of 19th- and 20th-Century Opera (Musicology 414/514)

The Chamber Music of Mendelssohn and Schumann

Chamber Music, ca. 1770-1900

Music and National Identity (undergraduate seminar)

The Character Piece for Piano in the 19th Century (doctoral seminar)

Reassessing Mendelssohn: Life, Music, Legacy (doctoral seminar)

Contact Information

Professor Jason Geary

University of Michigan

602 Burton Memorial Tower

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1270

Office Telephone: (734) 763-5634

Fax: (734) 647-1897


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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower