Historical Musicology, Music Analysis, German Studies, Music and Literature, Music and Philosophy, Aesthetics
I am an Irish musicologist based in Southern California where I am Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Irvine. My research is primarily situated at the intersection between the analysis of Western art music from the late eighteenth century to the present (with an emphasis on German music), and the aesthetics and philosophy of music as it pertains to that repertoire. I am fascinated by the intertextual relationship between music and philosophy, and music and literature. My monograph, Brahms’s Elegies: The Poetics of Loss in Nineteenth-Century German Culture, is published in the Music in Context series by Cambridge University Press. This book explores Brahms’s music as it relates to loss and the German intellectual tradition, with a particular focus on the writings of Hölderlin, Goethe, Schiller, Nietzsche, and Adorno.
Current projects include co-editing *Rethinking Brahms* with Reuben Phillips (Edinburgh University), under contract with Oxford University Press. Concerning Clara Schumann I am interested in issues of female authorship, formal analysis, issues of legacy and reception history, and women's legacies in music history. My chapter "Formal Innovation and Virtuosity in Clara Schumann's Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 17" will appear in Clara Schumann Studies, ed. Joe Davies (Cambridge University Press, 2021). I am also co-editing a special issue of the journal Nineteenth-Century Music Review with Joe Davies on "Clara Schumann's Legacies."
Further work embraces phenomenological approaches to the work of living composers who exhibit a deep engagement with the music of Brahms and other nineteenth-century composers. Some of my earliest work in this area has been published on Wolfgang Rihm (see below).
Forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook on Spectral and Post-Spectral Music (ed. Amy Bauer, Liam Cagney, and William Mason), is a chapter that takes a new approach to spectral composition in the music of the Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy concerning issues of imperialization and decolonisation of ethnic musics.
Since 2015 I have been a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Music Analysis. I have served on the Board of Directors of the American Brahms Society since 2016, and have been Vice President of that Society since 2019. Before taking up my post at UCI, I held faculty positions at Royal Holloway, University of London, University College Dublin, and Keele University. From 2011–2014 I was a Marie Curie Fellow, funded by the European Commission, with joint affiliation at the University of California, Irvine and University College Dublin. My research has also been funded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, Humboldt University, Berlin, 2007–2008) and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (University College Dublin, 2009–2010).
Brahms's Elegies: The Poetics of Loss in Nineteenth Century German Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019)
Nicole Grimes, Siobhán Donovan, and Wolfgang Marx, eds, Rethinking Hanslick: Music, Formalism, and Expression (Rochester NY: University of Rochester Press, 2013)
Nicole Grimes and Angela Mace, eds, Mendelssohn Perspectives (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012)
“Brahms’s Ascending Circle: Hölderlin, Schicksalslied, and the Process of Recollection,” Nineteenth-Century Music Review 11/1 (July 2014): 1–36.
“Eduard Hanslick,” Oxford Bibliographies Online (Autumn 2014), http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199757824/obo-9780199757824-0014.xml.
“The Schoenberg/Brahms Critical Tradition Reconsidered,” Music Analysis 31/ii–iii (Autumn 2012): 127–75.
“Brahms’s Poetic Allusions through Hanslick’s Critical Lens,” American Brahms Society Newsletter 29/2 (Autumn 2011): 5–9.
“A Critical Inferno? Hoplit, Hanslick, and Liszt’s Dante Symphony,” Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland 7 (2011–12): 3–22.
“‘Come Rise to Higher Spheres!” Tradition Transcended in Brahms’s Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 78,” in Ad Parnassum: A Journal of Eighteenth-and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music 6/11 (April 2009): 129–152 [with Dillon R. Parmer].
“In Search of Absolute Inwardness and Spiritual Subjectivity? The Historical and Ideological Context of Schumann’s ‘Neue Bahnen’,” International Review for the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 39/2 (December 2008): 139–163.
“Brahms as a Vanishing Point in the Music of Wolfgang Rihm: Reflections on Klavierstück Nr 6,” Music Preferred: Essays in Musicology, Cultural History, and Analysis Honour of Harry White, ed. Lorraine Byrne Bodley (Vienna: Hollitzer Wissenschaftsverlag, 2018), 512–547.
“Philosophy,” in Johannes Brahms in Context, ed. Katy Hamilton and Natasha Loges, Music in Context Series (In Press: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).
“The Sense of an Ending: Adorno, Brahms, and Music’s Return to the Land of Childhood,” Irish Musical Analysis (Irish Musical Studies, Vol. 11), ed. Gareth Cox and Julian Horton (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014), 104–24.
“German Liberalism, Nationalism, and Humanism in Hanslick’s Writings on Brahms,” in Nicole Grimes, Siobhán Donovan, and Wolfgang Marx, eds, Rethinking Hanslick: Music, Formalism, and Expression (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2013), 160–84.
“Chronology” and “Introduction,” in Nicole Grimes, Siobhán Donovan, and Wolfgang Marx, eds, Rethinking Hanslick: Music, Formalism, and Expression (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2013), xii–xiv, and 1–11 respectively.
“‘Wordless Judaism, Like the Songs of Mendelssohn’? Hanslick, Mendelssohn and Cultural Politics in Late Nineteenth-Century Vienna,” in Nicole Grimes and Angela R. Mace, eds, Mendelssohn Perspectives (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), 49–62
“Introduction” (with Angela R. Mace), in Nicole Grimes and Angela R. Mace, eds, Mendelssohn Perspectives (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), 1–6.
Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship (European Commission), University College Dublin (Ireland) and the University of California, Irvine, 2011–2014
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service), Postdoctoral Fellow, Humboldt University Berlin, 2007–2008
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service), Conference Grant, 2019
American Musicological Society, Publication Subvention, 2018
Taylor Bequest, School of Music, Trinity College Dublin, 2005
Royal Holloway, University of London 2014—2015
Keele University 2015—2016