Claire Fontijn

Phyllis Henderson Carey Professor of Music

Research and Teaching Interests: Early Music, Women Composers, Symphonic and Chamber Music Repertoire, J.S. Bach

Professor Fontijn teaches and researches the work of women composers across a wide music historical spectrum, ranging from the Middle Ages (Hildegard of Bingen) to the Baroque (Barbara Strozzi and Antonia Bembo), to the Romantic (Fanny Hensel). In 2007, she won the Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Classical Music Biography from ASCAP/Deems Taylor for her monograph Desperate Measures: The Life and Music of Antonia Padoani Bembo (Oxford, 2006; 2013). Together with Susan Parisi, she edited Fiori Musicali: Liber Amicorum Alexander Silbiger (Harmonie Park, 2010). Her second monograph is titled The Vision of Music in Saint Hildegard’s Scivias—Synthesizing Image, Text, Notation,and Theory (Custos, 2013). Her second edited volume is Uncovering Music of Early European Women (1250–1750) (Routledge, 2020).

She has contributed chapters to books on topics ranging from the subjectivity of the Virgin Mary in music (Naomi J. Miller and Naomi Yavneh, eds., Maternal Measures, 2000), to the chorales of Fanny Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn (Anselm Hartinger, Christoph Wolff, and Peter Wollny, eds., “Zu groß, zu unerreichbar”—Bach-Rezeption im Zeitalter Mendelssohns und Schumanns, 2007), to opera (Francesco Luisi, ed. Francesco Buti tra Roma e Parigi, 2009). Her work has been supported by the American Musicological Society, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Citizens & Scholars.



ITAS 223/MUS 223 - Italian Popular Song

MUS 200 - Topics in Music History I: What Music Makes Us Feel

MUS 201 - Topics in Music History II: The Classical and Romantic Symphony

MUS 235/335 - Topics in Instrumental Music: Chamber Music in Her Hand

MUS 301 - Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing: The Power of Music


  • B.A., Oberlin College
  • Certificate, The Royal Conservatory of The Hague
  • M.A., Duke University
  • Ph.D., Duke University