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Chair Professor of Musicology: Music and Media, Utrecht University

Emile Wennekes obtained his Masters (Drs.) in Musicology in 1991 and a PhD (Dr.) in Humanities from Utrecht University in 1999 with a thesis concerning the Amsterdam Crystal Palace and its place within the phenomenon of world exhibitions. In 2000, Wennekes was named Endowed Professor (for Dutch Music History), and in 2004, Full Professor of Musicology, both at Utrecht University. He has repositioned Utrecht’s Musicology Department (established 1930) within the newly created Media and Culture Studies Department into an internationally acclaimed research institute with, next to the traditional focus on Ancient Music, also an emphasis on Music en Media.

From 2006-2011 he was the first Head of School of the Media and Culture Studies department. In 2017, his chair was modified from Musicology: Post-1800 Music History into Musicology: Music and Media, now also officially embracing his main field of research.

Wennekes has published on a broad range of subjects which include a biography of the conductor Bernard Haitink (co-published with historian Prof. Dr. Jan Bank), the reception of the music of Bach, Liszt, Mahler and Mozart, music within Second Life, conductor films, Vitaphone shorts, and contemporary music in the Netherlands (including a book co-published with Prof. Dr. Mark Delaere, available in six languages). His latest popular book sketched Dutch musical life of the last century. Wennekes was editor of several periodicals and books, among them Key Notes: Musical Life in the Netherlands; Dutch Journal for Musicology: Muziek & Wetenschap and Een muziekgeschiedenis der Nederlanden. He has published in leading musicological encyclopedias, including The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. He contributed chapters in books published by Routlegde, Oxford University Press, Michigan University Press etc. (For more recent publications, see below and the list of publications).

Wennekes previously worked as music critic for the Dutch dailies NRC Handelsblad and de Volkskrant, and was artistic advisor and orchestral programmer before intensifying his academic career. He has served as a board member of several societies, and for almost a decade chaired the Royal Society for Music History of the Netherlands (Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis).

As a scholar, his present research focuses mainly on two areas: Mediatizing Music and the Remigration of Jewish Musicians. He is currently preparing a book on the first. He has initiated and chairs the Study Group Music and Media (MaM) under the auspices of the International Musicological Society (IMS) and coordinates the annual conferences of MaM (2009: Amsterdam; 2010: Berlin (Humboldt University); 2011: Lisbon (Universidade Nova); 2012: (Turino, Rome); 2013: Ottawa, Ca (Carleton University); 2014: Dijon (Université de Bourgogne); 2015: Vienna (University of Music and Performing Arts); 2016: Stavanger (University of Stavanger); 2017: Tokyo (IMS: Tokyo University of the Arts); 2018: Salamanca (Unversity of Salamanca). Wennekes was also a member of the program committees of the 7th Congress of Music and the Moving Image (New York: NYU Steinhardt, 2012) and the 19th Congress of the International Musicological Society (IMS Rome, 2012), When Jazz Meets Cinema (Bergamo, 2017).

Wennekes presented /will be presenting at a great number of conferences, including those of the American Musicological Society (AMS) and the IMS, in New York (CUNY & NYU), Los Angeles (USC), San Francisco (AMS), Ottawa (CU), Hong Kong (HK BaptiU), Stellenbosch (UoS), Berlin (Humboldt U), Bayreuth (UoB; FiMT), Kiel (CAU), Zurich (ZHdK), Monte San Savino (CSOO Luigi Boccherini), London (UoL, IMR), Manchester (Salford U; Royal Northern College of Music), Glasgow (UoG), Cardiff (UoC), Liverpool (UoL) Guildford (UoSurrey), Dublin (Trinity College), Lisbon (UNova), Vienna (UoMusic&PA), Stavanger (UoS), Tokyo (IMS), Lovere.

Some recent publications:

Cinema Changes: Incorporations of Jazz in the Film Soundtrack, edited by Emile Wennekes and Emilio Audissino (Turnhout: Brepols (Speculum Musicae, 34), 2019;

'No Sharks, No Stars. Just Idiomatic Scoring and Sounding Engagement: John Williams as «Classical» Composer', in: John Williams: Music for Films, Television and the Concert Stage, edited by Emilio Audissino (Turnhout: Brepols (Contemporary Composers, 1), 2018, pp. 72-94;

'Direct Sounds, Language Swaps, and Directors' Cuts: The Quest for Fidelity in the Film Soundtrack', in: Miguel Mera, Ron Sadoff, and Ben Winters (Eds.), The Routlegde Companion to Screen Music and Sound (New York and London: Routedge, 2017), 349-360;

'Combinations of the Familiar and the Strange: Aspects of Asian-Dutch Encounters in Recent Music History', in: Hon-Lun Yang and Michael Saffle (Eds.), China and the West: Music, Representation, and Reception (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017), 205-220;

'"All Aboard!": Soundies and Vitaphone Shorts', in: Björn Heile, Peter Elsdon, and Jenny Doctor (Eds.), Watching Jazz: Encounters with Jazz Performance on Screen (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016) 57-71;

‘Some of the Jewish musicians are back at their desks', a case study in the remigration of European musicians after World War Two’, in: Erik Levi (Ed.), The Impact of Nazism on Twentieth-Century Music (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 2014), 323-336;

'From Dissention and Disinfection to Contestable Jury Decions: A Bird's Eye View of the Dutch Liszt Reception', in: James Deaville &anMichael Saffle (Eds.), Analecta Lisztiana IV: Liszt's Legacies (Hillsdale, New York: Pendragon Press, 2014), 336-347;

‘Let your Bullets Fly, My Friend: Jimi Hendrix at Berkeley’, in: Benjamin Halligan et alt. (Eds.), The Music Documentary (New York: Routledge, 2013), 87-99;

‘Neu anfangen, neue Anfänge: Musikalische Remigration in den Niederlanden’, in: Dörthe Schmidt & Matthias Pasdzierny (Eds.), Zwischen individueller Biographie und Institution: Zu den Bedingungen beruflicher Rückkehr von Musikern aus dem Exil (Schliengen: Edition Argus, 2013), 283-307;

‘Betty Meets Cab: The Hi-De-Ho Man Animated’, in: Massimiliano Sala (Ed.), From Stage to Screen: Musical Films in Europe and United States (1927-1961) (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012), 289-296; (Speculum Musicae Series)

‘’What’s the Motive?’, She Asked: Tales from the Musical Pawnshop’, in: Sander van Maas et alt. (Eds.), Liber Plurium Vocum: Voor Rokus de Groot ter gelegenheid van zijn afscheid als hoogleraar in de Muziekwetenschap aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, 1 juli 2012 (Amsterdam: Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2012),205-221


  • –present
    Chair Professor of Musicology: Music and Media, Utrecht University