Kate van Orden

Kate van Orden headshot

Dwight P. Robinson, Jr. Professor of Music
Historical Musicology
vanorden@fas.harvard.edu
Music Building 204 S
617-495-3198

van Orden specializes in the cultural history of early modern France, Italy, and the Mediterranean, popular music (mostly 16th-c, but also in the 1960s), and cultural mobility. With Kay Kaufman Shelemay, she co-edits Musics in Motion, a book series devoted to music and migration in all times and places.

Her latest project is Seachanges: Music in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Worlds, 1550–1800 (I Tatti Research Series 2), an edited volume of connected music histories working at the expanded scale of seas and oceans. Her prize-winning publications include Materialities: Books, Readers, and the Chanson in 16th-c. Europe (Oxford, 2015), Music, Discipline, and Arms in Early Modern France (Chicago, 2005), and articles in Renaissance Quarterly and Early Music History. Among her recent distinctions are a Senior Fellowship at the Stanford Humanities Center (2017–18) and a French Medaille d’Honneur for her outstanding contributions to our understanding of the Renaissance.

van Orden is the newly-elected President of the International Musicological Society (2022–2027) and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Bibliographies in Music. She grew up playing bassoon on a sheep farm in Iowa and studied music in The Netherlands, where she began her career; you can hear her in concerts with period instrument bands and in recordings on Sony, Virgin Classics, and Harmonia Mundi.

Kate van Orden’s website

Photo credit: Ella Sophie Photography