Karen Leistra-Jones


Karen Leistra-Jones received her Ph.D. in Musicology from Yale University in 2011. Her research explores the politics and aesthetics of musical performance in the second half of the nineteenth century, focusing particularly on members of the Brahms circle. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society and 19th-Century Music, and she has presented papers at national and international conferences in the US, Canada, and the UK. Her other research interests include song cycles and musical representations of landscape and travel.

Ph.D., Musicology, Yale University, May 2011

Dissertation: “Virtue and Virtuosity: Brahms, the Concerto, and the Politics of Performance in the Late Nineteenth Century”

M. Phil, Musicology, Yale University, 2008

M.A., Musicology, Yale University, 2007

B. Mus., Piano Performance and Music History, McGill University, 2005 (high distinction)

Grants & Awards

NEH Summer Stipend (2014)

Shaffer Prize (American Musicological Society, New England chapter, 2011)

Frank M. Patterson Memorial Fellowship (Yale University, 2009-2010)

A. Bartlett Giamatti Fellowship (Yale University, 2005-2007)


“Improvisational Idyll: Joachim’s ‘Presence’ and Brahms’s Violin Concerto, op. 77.” 19th-Century Music 38/3 (Spring 2015): 243-271.

“Staging Authenticity: Joachim, Brahms, and the Politics of Werktreue Performance.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 66/2 (Summer 2013): 397-436.

“‘The deeps have music soft and low’: Sounding the Ocean in Elgar’s Sea Pictures.” Forthcoming, Music & Letters.


The Joseph Joachim at 185 conference is supported in part by a generous grant from the

University of New Hampshire Center for the Humanities

Burt Feintuch, director

We are grateful for additional financial and practical support from the


Ryan C. McClelland, President


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Christoph Mücher, Director

the Federal Republic of Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service


Dr. Nina Lemmens, Director DAAD North America
and Michael Thomanek, Senior Program Officer

and from

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 9.40.16 AMMagazin für Klassische Musik und Musikwissenschaft
Geschäftsstellenleiter: Mathias Brösicke

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