About Us

Department Chronology

The Department of Music at Washington Square was established in 1923 with Albert Stoessel as Acting Chairman, under the deanship of James Buell Munn, then Dean of Washington Square College, to serve both the Washington Square College and the College of Arts and Science at the University Heights campus. Stoessel supervised the Heights music programs and Philip James was assigned to Washington Square College. For a period of four years between 1931 and 1935, the Music Department at the Square was transferred to a short-lived College of Fine Arts located in midtown. In 1935, the College was dissolved and the Department was returned to the Washington Square College. During this period, Alfred Greenfield was appointed Chairman at University Heights, which continued to offer a purely undergraduate curriculum with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. This satellite program was dissolved and moved with the rest of the University Heights College in 1972 to the Square.

Chairs of the NYU Music Department
Albert Stoessel, 1923-
Marion Bauer, 1931 (Acting)
Percy Grainger, 1932
Philip James, 1933-
Martin Bernstein, 1955-
Jan LaRue, 1970
James Haar, 1971-
David Burrows, 1977-
Edward Roesner, 1983-
Gage Averill, 2000-
Michael Beckerman 2004-
David Samuels 2013-
(Acting Chairs are listed only if they continued as Chair)

Chronology

1923
Established by Albert Stoessel at Washington Square
Philip James joins department
Martin Bernstein first Music Major

1924
Martin Bernstein joins department as Instructor (ret. 1972)
Washington Square department adds Hugh Porter (left 1928)
Washington Square department adds Charles Haubiel (ret. 1947)

1925
Albert Greenfield becomes Heights Varsity Glee Club Conductor

1926
Marion Bauer joins faculty (ret. 1951)

1927
Gustave Reese (ret. 1974)
Jacques Pillois join faculty (leaves 1930)

1929
Alfred Greenfield appointed Chairman at Washington Heights

1930
Albert Stoessel leaves for Juilliard
Washington Square department transferred to College of Fine Arts

1931
Marion Bauer becomes Acting Chairwoman
Washington Square Chorus founded

1932
Percy Grainger appointed Chairman for one year

1933
Philip James appointed Chairman (ret. 1955)
Washington Square Orchestra founded

1934
American Musicological Society founded at Washington Square with NYUs Gustave Reese as Secretary

1935
College of Fine Arts dissolved, department returns to Square
Department admitted to Graduate School of Arts and Science

1937
Curt Sachs appointed (ret. 1953; taught PT until 1957)
First M.A. in Musicology awarded

1938
Hans David appointed (leaves 1943)

1940
Hugo Leichtentritt appointed (leaves 1944)
Virgil Thomson teaches Music Criticism in graduate program

1942
Inauguration of Ph.D. program

1949
Establishment of annual Bach Party

1950
First Ph.D. in Musicology awarded

1953
Curt Sachs retires (teaches PT until 1957)

1955
Philip James retires
Martin Bernstein becomes department chair (ret. 1972)

1956
Victor Yellin appointed (AP)

1957
Jan LaRue appointed (ret. 1988) (P)

1963
Martin Chusid appointed (AP)

1964
Gustave Reese Festschrift presented

1965
Rena Mueller hired as Secretary
Waverly Consort founded by NYU students

1967
David Burrows appointed (AP; ret. 2004)

1968
Brian Fennelly (composer) appointed (AP; ret. 1996)
Eileen Southern teaches first Afro-American Music Class (to 1970)

1969
James Haar appointed (P; leaves 1978)

1970
Martin Bernstein retires as Chairman
Jan LaRue becomes Chairman)
Leonard Goines appointed (ret. 1988)
Martin Bernstein Seminar Room constructed
Composer David Chaitkin hired

1971
James Haar becomes Acting Chair (continues through 1977)

1972
Washington Heights campus closes
Music department consolidated at Washington Square

1973
Elaine Brody (musicologist) joins Square faculty (P; d. 1986)
Bobst Library opens

1974
Purchase of New York Pro Musica Antiqua Instrument Collection

1975
American Institute for Verdi Studies formed

1976
Edward Roesner appointed (AP, musicologist)
Bruce Saylor appointed (AP Theory; also with a joint appointment in School of Education, reverts to FAS in 1978, left 1979)
Washington Square Contemporary Music Society founded (by Brian Fennelly)

1977
David Burrows becomes Chairman
Dinu Ghezzo (AP) joint appointment with School of Education (reverts to School of Education in 1979)

1978
Graduate track in Ethnomusicology formed

1979
Stanley Boorman appointed (AP, musicologist)
Salwa El-Shawan (AP; ethnomusicologist) leaves 1982;
Louis Karchin appointed (AP, composer)

1980
Center for Early Music established
Collegium Musicum formed
Booth-Ferris grant received for renovation of 220 Main

1982
Kay Shelemay appointed (AP; ethnomusicologist, leaves 1990)
Martin Bernstein lecture series established

1983
Edward Roesner assumes Chairmanship

1984
Segovia Fellowship established

1985
First M.A. in ethnomusicology

1986
Robert Bailey appointed (musicologist, P, Petrie Chair)
Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media opens

1987
Washington Square Contemporary Music Society moves to three concert series at Merkin Hall

1988
Cliff Eisen appointed (AP; musicologist, leaves 1995)

1989
M.A. track in Composition introduced

1990
Elizabeth Tolbert appointed (AP Ethnomusicologist; leaves 1992)

1991
First Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology
First M. A. in Composition and Theory
Washington Square Chorus ends (eliminated in budget cuts)

1992
Donna Buchanan appointed (AP Ethnomusicologist; leaves 1996)
Ph.D. track in Composition and Theory established

1993
Ethnomusicology ensemble program formed

1997
Gage Averill appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)
Ethnomusicology Laboratory established

1998
Mercedes Dujunco appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)
Elizabeth Hoffman appointed (AP, Composer)
Washington Square Computer Music Studio established

1999
Acquisition of Liederkranz Society Collection
First Ph.D. in Composition and Theory
External Review of the Music Department
Establishment of Community Arts Technical Assistance Program

2000
Gage Averill becomes Chairman (Acting Chair, Fall 1999)
Department web site goes online

2001
Department facilities expanded and renovated
Electroacoustic music concert series organized

2002
Suzanne Cusick appointed (AP, Musicologist)
Michael Beckerman appointed (P, Musicologist)
Kyra Gaunt appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)
Michael Moloney appointed NYU Global Distinguished Professor of Music

2003
Jairo Moreno appointed (AP, Music Theorist)
Deborah Kapchan (Performance Studies) appointed Affiliate AP
Kimmel Center with Shorin Practice facilities opens

2004
Michael Beckerman becomes Chairman

2005
Ana MarĂ­a Ochoa Gautier appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)

2006
Jason Stanyek appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)

2007
J. Martin Daughtry appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)

2008
Maureen Mahon appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist); John Hamilton (Comparative Literature and German) appointed affiliate Professor

2009
David Samuels appointed (AP, Ethnomusicologist)

2010
Anna Zayaruznaya appointed (AP/Faculty Fellow, Musicologist)


2012

Brigid Cohen appointed (AP, Musicologist)


2013

David Samuels becomes Department Chair
Jaime Oliver appointed (AP, Composer)


2014

Christine Dang appointed (AP, Ethnomuiscologist)