Harvard University Department of Music

Home About Us People Undergraduate Study Graduate Study Performance Events Contact


Carol Oja
William Powell Mason Professor of Music, Chair of the Department
Historical Musicology
Music Building 304S

Oja's research focuses on 20th- and 21st-century American musical traditions, often in transnational contexts.  Her newest book, Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War, was published by Oxford University Press in August 2014. Crosscurrents: American and European Music in Interaction, 1900-2000, edited together with Felix Meyer, Wolfgang Rathert, and Anne Shreffler, appeared from The Boydell Press in 2014, and she has written two chapters for Music and Musical Composition at the American Academy in Rome, edited by Martin Brody, which is forthcoming in 2014. Oja’s Making Music Modern: New York in the 1920s (2000), won the Lowens Book Award from the Society for American Music. Other books include Copland and his World (co-edited with Judith Tick, 2005); Colin McPhee: Composer in Two Worlds (1990, paperback edition 2004); A Celebration of American Music: Words and Music in Honor of H. Wiley Hitchcock; and American Music Recordings: A Discography of 20th-Century U.S. Composers. She has won three ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards.  

Oja directed the Harvard conference and festival Leonard Bernstein: Boston to Broadway (2006), and she was co-director (with Anne Shreffler) of the conference Crosscurrents: American and European Music in Interaction, 1900-2000 (2008). She is a member of Harvard's Standing Committee on the Graduate Program in American Studies, the Standing Committee on Dramatic Arts, and the Steering Committee of the Charles Warren Center for American History. She is past-president of the Society for American Music, and she has served on the Pulitzer Prize Committee in Music. Oja has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2012, she received the Everett S. Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award at Harvard. She is currently Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence with the New York Philharmonic.

  Selected Publications

JAMS Colloquy. Studying U.S. Music in the Twenty-First Century (with Charles Hiroshi Garrett)
Walter Piston (1894-1976)
West Side Story and The Music Man: whiteness, immigration, and race in the US during the lat 1950s
Leonard Bernstein's Jewish Boston: Cross-Disciplinary Research in the Classroom
"New Music" and the "New Negro": The Background of William Grant Still's Afro-American Symphony
Dane Rudhyar's Visiton of American Dissonance
Gershwin and the American Modernists of the 1920s
Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock and Mass-Song Styles of the 1930s
Cos Cob Press and the American Composer
Diverse Musical Traditions, Diverse Students

back to faculty page    

c 2013 President and Fellows of Harvard College