Emily Richmond
Associate Professor

Emily Richmond Pollock is an Associate Professor of Music. A native Oregonian, Pollock was first trained as an oboist and composer and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Harvard College in 2006. She subsequently earned her M.A. (2008) and Ph.D. (2012) in music history and literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Through a series of case studies on operas by Boris Blacher, Hans Werner Henze, Carl Orff, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann, her dissertation, "Opera after Stunde Null," explored the broad range of possibilities for new opera composition in West Germany following the end of World War II. Her book, Opera after the Zero Hour: The Problem of Tradition and the Possibility of Renewal in Postwar West Germany, was published by Oxford University Press in 2019 and foregrounds questions of institutional history, reception, and architecture as they pertain to the reconstruction of operatic life in the post-war era. Archival research for the project in Stuttgart, Berlin, Basel, Munich, Mainz, and Kassel was supported by fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Paul Sacher Stiftung, and the Class of 1947 at MIT. Pollock's published work includes "Pride of Place: The 1963 Rebuilding of the Munich Nationaltheater" in Dreams of Germany: Musical Imaginaries from the Concert Hall to the Dance Floor, ed. Tom Irvine and Neil Gregor (Berghahn Books, 2018); "Opera by the Book: Defining Music Theater in the Third Reich," in the Journal of Musicology; and an article on Bernd Alois Zimmermann's 1965 opera Die Soldaten, published in the Opera Quarterly issue "Opera and the Avant-Garde."

Pollock's research interests include opera from the bel canto era to the present, twentieth-century concert music, and the politics of musical style. Methodologically, she has focused particularly on conservatism, the historicization of modernist aesthetic value, music institutions, the relationship between modernism and convention, and a critical reappraisal of source studies. She has recently begun a new project on the institutional history and aesthetics of American opera festivals. Venues at which Pollock has presented her research include the Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès, Boston University, Brandeis, Ohio State University, CUNY, and Harvard, the German Studies Association (2012, 2013), the International Conference on Music Since 1900 (2011, 2013), and the national meeting of the American Musicological Society (2010, 2013, 2015, 2017); topics conferences on new music, Germany, the middlebrow, opera, music and the written word, music notation, Giuseppe Verdi, voice and affect, and electroacoustic music; and symposia in Basel, Dresden, and Graz. With her colleague Anicia Timberlake, she organized an international conference in September 2011 on the topic of Music in Divided Germany. Pollock has also published several book reviews and a review essay concerning "radical" stagings of Mozart's comic operas in Salzburg.

Pollock joined Music and Theater Arts in 2012 and teaches the introductory Western music survey (21M.011) and courses on opera, the twentieth century, and the symphonic repertoire. She is currently the music major advisor and has served as a Burchard Faculty Fellow and as an advisor to freshmen and music concentrators. She remains an active amateur oboist, performing with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and the Mercury Orchestra.

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