University of Pittsburgh

Four Mellon Fellowships Awarded

mellon fellows

The Department of Music is pleased to announce that four of our doctoral candidates have been selected as Andrew Mellon Pre-doctoral Fellows for the 2017–18 academic year. Jazz studies doctoral candidate John Bagnato, composer/theorists Ryan McMasters, and Brian Riordan, and musicologist Juan Fernando Velásquez Ospina are each poised to complete innovative research and creative work during their fellowship years. 

Bagnato will complete his dissertation, Blindness and Retrospection on Race Records, 1926-1930. He will also prepare and perform a doctoral recital of original works.

McMasters will generate the first analysis of the music of No Wave composer Glenn Branca, focused primarily on Branca’s Symphony No. 6, Devil Choirs at the Gates of Heaven (1989). In addition, he will compose and stage sea garden, an evening length song-cycle that draws on the poetry and imagery of Hilda Doolittle.

Riordan will develop a theory that will enable the analysis of music influenced by the incorporation of delay-based technology. He will compose and record a composition concurrently with his research that will demonstrate and compliment his findings. 

Velásquez Ospina plans to finish and defend his dissertation (Re)Sounding Cities: Urban Modernization, Listening, and Sounding Cultures in Colombia, 1886-1930. His project explores the transformation of the cultures of listening and sounding in six major Colombian cities between 1886 and 1930, a period of intense urbanization and dramatic political, economic, social, and cultural (re)formation in Colombian history. 

Congratulations to all four as they embark on this year of focused dissertation work!

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