Office Hours: by appointment
Interests and Expertise
- American Music
- Twentieth-Century Music
- Music Theater
- Jazz Historiography
- Jewish Identity and Music
- Topic Theory and Musical Meaning
Katherine Baber pursues questions of identity in American music, from the personal to the national. Her work focuses on the career of Leonard Bernstein and the ways in which his compositions, his conducting and educational activities, and his profile as a public figure have shaped the definition of American music, here and abroad. In 2013 she was awarded a Fulbright grant to study Bernstein’s reception in Vienna and to lead seminars on American musical culture at the University of Vienna and the University for Music and the Performing Arts. She has two forthcoming publications based on her research at the archives of the Salzburg Festival, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and the Vienna Philharmonic: a comparative essay on Bernstein’s role in Mahler’s reception in Austria and the United States, and a chapter on his relationship with Vienna’s public and its musical institutions in Leonard Bernstein und seine Zeit (ed. Andreas Eichhorn). Her forthcoming book, Leonard Bernstein’s Jazz, considers Bernstein’s particular understanding of jazz—as a cluster of styles, performers, and cultural associations–and its role in the articulation his own Jewish-American identity, his formulation of American music, and his engagement with American political life during the era of the Cold War and Civil Rights. Professor Baber seeks to intertwine teaching, mentoring, and research; she recently received a Graves Award in the Humanities to fund the writing of a book chapter on the American symphony at mid-century in conjunction with the offering an undergraduate seminar on transformations of the symphonic genre in the United States and the rise of distinctly American listening culture.
Honors and Awards
Graves Award in the Humanities (2014-2015)
Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professor of Austria-America Studies in Austria (2013)
Walter Kaufmann Prize, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University (2010)
Baber, Katherine and James V. Spickard, “Crafting Culture: ‘Tradition’, Art, and Music in Disney’s ‘It’s a Small World,’” Journal of Popular Culture, forthcoming, 2015.
“Bernstein, Mahler, and Music Criticism in the United States and Austria,” Anklänge, Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, forthcoming, 2014.
“Jazz, World War II Radio Propaganda, and the Case of Tokyo Rose” in
The Soundtrack of Conflict: The Role of Music in Radio Broadcasting in Wartime and in Conflict Situations. Edited by M.J. Grant and Férdia Stone-Davis. Hildesheim: Olms Verlag, 2013.
“‘Manhattan Women’: Jazz, Blues, and Gender in On the Town and Wonderful Town.” American Music 31/1 (Spring 2013): 73-105.
Review: Susan Smith, “There’s A Place for Us”: The Musical Theater works of Leonard Bernstein. Society for American Music Bulletin 39/2 (Spring 2013).
“Leonard Bernstein.” In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Music. Ed. Bruce Gustafson. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
CD Review: Illumination, by Earth, Wind & Fire (Sanctuary: 2005). Black Grooves (July 7, 2006). www.blackgrooves.org
“Music and Identity in Mel Brooks’s The Producers.” Institute for Studies in American Music Newsletter 35/2 (Spring, 2006): 6-7.
Courses Offered at Redlands
FS 13: Music, Sound, and the Moving Image
MUS 233: American Music
MUS 234: Musical Cultures
MUS 300: Music History and Literature from Antiquity to 1750
MUS 301: Music History and Literature from 1750 to the Present
MUS 360: The Symphony After Beethoven
MUS 403/603: Baroque Music
MUS 404/604: Classic Music
MUS 405/605: Romantic Music
MUS 406/606: Twentieth-Century Music Literature
MUS 600: Graduate Studies in Scholarship and Analysis
VMS 164: Hitchcock, Music, and Cinema