About Us

Department Chronology

The Department of Music at Washington Square was established in 1923 with Albert Stoessel as Acting Chairman, under the deanship of James Buell Munn, then Dean of Washington Square College, to serve both the Washington Square College and the College of Arts and Science at the University Heights campus. Stoessel supervised the Heights music programs and Philip James was assigned to Washington Square College. For a period of four years between 1931 and 1935, the Music Department at the Square was transferred to a short-lived College of Fine Arts located in midtown. In 1935, the College was dissolved and the Department was returned to the Washington Square College. During this period, Alfred Greenfield was appointed Chairman at University Heights, which continued to offer a purely undergraduate curriculum with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. This satellite program was dissolved and moved with the rest of the University Heights College in 1972 to the Square.

 

Chairs of the NYU Music Department

Albert Stoessel, 1923-
Marion Bauer, 1931 (Acting)
Percy Grainger, 1932
Philip James, 1933-
Martin Bernstein, 1955-
Jan LaRue, 1970
James Haar, 1971-
David Burrows, 1977-
Edward Roesner, 1983-
Gage Averill, 2000-
Michael Beckerman 2004-
David Samuels 2013-
(Acting Chairs are listed only if they continued as Chair)

Chronology

1923

Established by Albert Stoessel at Washington Square
Philip James joins department
Martin Bernstein first Music Major

1924

Martin Bernstein joins department as Instructor (ret. 1972)
Washington Square department adds Hugh Porter (left 1928)
Washington Square department adds Charles Haubiel (ret. 1947)

1925

Albert Greenfield becomes Heights Varsity Glee Club Conductor

1926

Marion Bauer joins faculty (ret. 1951)

1927

Gustave Reese (ret. 1974)
Jacques Pillois join faculty (leaves 1930)

1929

Alfred Greenfield appointed Chairman at Washington Heights

1930

Albert Stoessel leaves for Juilliard
Washington Square department transferred to College of Fine Arts

1931

Marion Bauer becomes Acting Chairwoman
Washington Square Chorus founded

1932

Percy Grainger appointed Chairman for one year

1933

Philip James appointed Chairman (ret. 1955)
Washington Square Orchestra founded

1934

American Musicological Society founded at Washington Square with NYUs Gustave Reese as Secretary

1935

College of Fine Arts dissolved, department returns to Square
Department admitted to Graduate School of Arts and Science

1937

Curt Sachs appointed (ret. 1953; taught PT until 1957)
First M.A. in Musicology awarded

1938

Hans David appointed (leaves 1943)

1940

Hugo Leichtentritt appointed (leaves 1944)
Virgil Thomson teaches Music Criticism in graduate program

1942

Inauguration of Ph.D. program

1949

Establishment of annual Bach Party

1950

First Ph.D. in Musicology awarded

1953

Curt Sachs retires (teaches PT until 1957)

1955

Philip James retires
Martin Bernstein becomes department chair (ret. 1972)

1956

Victor Yellin appointed (AP)

1957

Jan LaRue appointed (ret. 1988) (P)

1963

Martin Chusid appointed (AP)

1964

Gustave Reese Festschrift presented

1965

Rena Mueller hired as Secretary
Waverly Consort founded by NYU students

1967

David Burrows appointed (AP; ret. 2004)

1968

Brian Fennelly (composer) appointed (AP; ret. 1996)
Eileen Southern teaches first Afro-American Music Class (to 1970)

1969

James Haar appointed (P; leaves 1978)

1970

Martin Bernstein retires as Chairman
Jan LaRue becomes Chairman)
Leonard Goines appointed (ret. 1988)
Martin Bernstein Seminar Room constructed
Composer David Chaitkin hired

1971

James Haar becomes Acting Chair (continues through 1977)

1972

Washington Heights campus closes
Music department consolidated at Washington Square

1973

Elaine Brody (musicologist) joins Square faculty (P; d. 1986)
Bobst Library opens

1974

Purchase of New York Pro Musica Antiqua Instrument Collection

1975

American Institute for Verdi Studies formed

1976

Edward Roesner appointed (AP, musicologist)
Bruce Saylor appointed (AP Theory; also with a joint appointment in School of Education, reverts to FAS in 1978, left 1979)
Washington Square Contemporary Music Society founded (by Brian Fennelly)

1977

David Burrows becomes Chairman
Dinu Ghezzo (AP) joint appointment with School of Education (reverts to School of Education in 1979)

1978

Graduate track in Ethnomusicology formed

1979

Stanley Boorman appointed (AP, musicologist)
Salwa El-Shawan (AP; ethnomusicologist) leaves 1982;
Louis Karchin appointed (AP, composer)

1980

Center for Early Music established
Collegium Musicum formed
Booth-Ferris grant received for renovation of 220 Main

1982

Kay Shelemay appointed (AP; ethnomusicologist, leaves 1990)
Martin Bernstein lecture series established

1983

Edward Roesner assumes Chairmanship

1984

Segovia Fellowship established

1985

First M.A. in ethnomusicology

1986

Robert Bailey appointed (musicologist, P, Petrie Chair)
Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media opens

1987

Washington Square Contemporary Music Society moves to three concert series at Merkin Hall

1988

Cliff Eisen appointed (AP; musicologist, leaves 1995)

1989

M.A. track in Composition introduced

1990

Elizabeth Tolbert appointed (AP Ethnomusicologist; leaves 1992)

1991

First Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology
First M. A. in Composition and Theory
Washington Square Chorus ends (eliminated in budget cuts)

1992

Donna Buchanan appointed (AP Ethnomusicologist; leaves 1996)
Ph.D. track in Composition and Theory established

1993

Ethnomusicology ensemble program formed

1997

Gage Averill appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)
Ethnomusicology Laboratory established

1998

Mercedes Dujunco appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)
Elizabeth Hoffman appointed (AP, Composer)
Washington Square Computer Music Studio established

1999

Acquisition of Liederkranz Society Collection
First Ph.D. in Composition and Theory
External Review of the Music Department
Establishment of Community Arts Technical Assistance Program

2000

Gage Averill becomes Chairman (Acting Chair, Fall 1999)
Department web site goes online

2001

Department facilities expanded and renovated
Electroacoustic music concert series organized

2002

Suzanne Cusick appointed (AP, Musicologist)
Michael Beckerman appointed (P, Musicologist)
Kyra Gaunt appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)
Michael Moloney appointed NYU Global Distinguished Professor of Music

2003

Jairo Moreno appointed (AP, Music Theorist)
Deborah Kapchan (Performance Studies) appointed Affiliate AP
Kimmel Center with Shorin Practice facilities opens

2004

Michael Beckerman becomes Chairman

2005

Ana MarĂ­a Ochoa Gautier appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)

2006

Jason Stanyek appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)

2007

J. Martin Daughtry appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)

2008

Maureen Mahon appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist); John Hamilton (Comparative Literature and German) appointed affiliate Professor

2009

David Samuels appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)

2010

Anna Zayaruznaya appointed (AP/Faculty Fellow, Musicologist)



2012

Brigid Cohen appointed (AP, Musicologist)



2013

David Samuels becomes Department Chair
Jaime Oliver appointed (AP, Composer)


2014

Christine Dang appointed (AP, Ethnomuiscologist)