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Alejandro Madrid receives highest honor from Royal Musical Association

By: Linda B. Glaser,  AS Communications
June 18, 2017

Alejandro L. Madrid, professor of music, has been awarded the Royal Musical Association’s Dent Medal.

“This is the highest honor awarded by Britain’s foremost scholarly body in music studies,” said Steven Pond, associate professor and chair of music. “It is a rare honor, indeed.”

The award, honoring Edward J. Dent, has been given annually since 1961 to a mid-career music scholar for their outstanding contribution to musicology.  Madrid is only the third Cornell professor and the only Latin American or Latin Americanist/Hispanist to be so honored. (The other Cornell winners were William Austin in 1967 and Kofi Agawu in 1992.). The award committee referred to Madrid as "a musicologist of extraordinary intellectual range and breadth; throughout his career so far he has shown deep engagement with transnational and revisionist historical argument across an astonishingly wide range of musical practice."

Among his many other awards, last year Madrid received the Robert M. Stevenson Book Award from the American Musicological Society and the Mexico Humanities Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association for his most recent book, “In Search of Julián Carrillo and Sonido 13” (Oxford University Press).

Madrid holds a Ph.D. in musicology and comparative cultural studies from the Ohio State University (2003), an M.M. in musicology from the University of North Texas (1999), as well as an M.F.A. and a B.M. in guitar performance from SUNY-Purchase (1995) and The Boston Conservatory (1992), respectively. His research focuses on the intersection of modernity, tradition, globalization, and identity in popular and art music, dance, and expressive culture from Mexico, the U.S.-Mexico border, and the circum-Caribbean. His interests include the performance of democratic values through music, media, and technology; questions of continuity, change, cosmopolitanism, and race in Latin American late 19th-century and early 20th-century music; and transnationalism, gender, and embodied culture in contemporary popular music.

Recently, Madrid has been commissioned to write a biography of Cuban-American composer Tania Léon, and continues to work on two other projects: a study of sound archives and discourse about alternative forms of knowledge production after the "sonic turn" and a work about homophobia, masculinity, and popular music in Mexico and Greater Mexico.

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