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07 December 2006

American Musicological Society honors two for their scholarship

Richard Taruskin and Kate van Orden of the music department have received top honors for musicological scholarship from the American Musicological Society (AMS).


The two awards were among 11 honors announced earlier this month at the annual meeting in Los Angeles of the AMS and the Society for Music Theory.

Taruskin, a professor of Russian and 20th-century music, won the Otto Kinkeldey Award for outstanding musicological scholarship by a scholar not in the early stages of his career for his six-volume Oxford History of Western Music, published in 2005.

Reviewer Roger Scruton praised the book in the Times Literary Supplement, calling it "not a work of reference, any more than was Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire or Spengler's Decline of the West. It is a visionary addition to our understanding of our culture."


Van Orden, an associate professor of music and a specialist in cultural history, received the Lewis Lockwood Award for outstanding musicological scholarship published in the earlier stages of a scholar's career for her book Music, Discipline, and Arms in Early Modern France, published in 2005 by the University of Chicago Press.

Through detailed studies of dance, kingship, and warfare, van Orden illustrates how music became a disciplinary agent of the state on and off the battlefield. Her research for the book enabled her to reconstruct the equestrian ballet performed in 1612 for the engagement of King Louis XIII. The reconstruction premiered at the 2000 Berkeley Festival of Early Music.