Jacquelyn Sholes comes to the University of Rochester after serving in fixed-term faculty appointments in musicology at Boston University and Central Connecticut State University. She has also served as visiting faculty at Brown University, Williams College, and Wellesley College. She holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Brandeis University and a B.A. in music and mathematics from Wellesley College and trained in piano performance and choral singing at New England Conservatory.
Her work as a musicologist focuses on musical meaning and narrative and issues surrounding repertorial canons, especially in music of the past two centuries. She is also interested in connections between music and the other arts, national identity, math, and technology and has published on music of the Brahms-Schumann circle and its relationship to Beethoven; musical commemorations of birthdays; and the work of theorist, composer, and inventor Joseph Schillinger (best known as a teacher of Gershwin and other influential jazz and popular music composers in 1930s New York). Further interests include the history of sound recording, the history of piano literature and construction, Russian and French music of the late nineteenth century, and allusions to classical music in contemporary media. Her first book, Allusion as Narrative Premise in Brahms’s Instrumental Music, was published by Indiana University Press in 2018. Dr. Sholes has authored articles and reviews in journals including 19th-Century Music, Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Journal of Musicological Research, and Notes and has contributed chapters to several edited volumes recently published or in press. She has done interdisciplinary consulting work with neuroscientists at MIT resulting in a co-authored publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She is currently guest editing an issue of Nineteenth-Century Music Review focusing on the influence of Beethoven on Brahms and his circle, a project resulting from a symposium she organized for Boston University’s Center for Beethoven Research, where she served as Acting Co-Director with Lewis Lockwood in Spring 2018 and where she remains an affiliate scholar. She also serves on the editorial board of College Music Symposium and as President of the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society.
Dr. Sholes is passionate about teaching on a wide range of topics and time periods. Her pedagogy is driven by the aim of providing students with resources to develop as creative, self-aware, and socially aware thinkers and communicators. Her hope is that students leave her classroom with an appreciation for the value of digging deep, questioning received modes of understanding, listening and speaking up, and finding connections across disciplinary and other socially constructed divides.