Professor Martha Feldman named Honorary Member of the AMS, Siavash Sabetrohani receives travel grant

Martha Feldman, credit Jimmy and Dena Katz


Martha Feldman, the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Music and the Humanities in the College, has been named an Honorary Member of the American Musicological Society. The Honorary Members of the AMS are those scholars "who have made outstanding contributions to furthering [the society's] stated object and whom the society wishes to honor." Nominations are made to the AMS Board of Directors each year, and the AMS Council selects and announces new Honorary Members each fall. Other current and former University of Chicago faculty recognized as Honorary Members include Anne Walters Robertson (2015), Don Michael Randel (2015), Philip Gossett (2004), Howard Mayer Brown (1989), and Leonard B. Meyer (1987).

In naming Feldman an Honorary Member, the AMS Council cited her contributions to the study of early modern music, recognizing her prodigious contributions to music scholarship, her "uncommonly broad theoretical toolkit," her command of archival and primary source material, and her unique gift for identifying previously unsuspected connections between these various components. In addition, the Council lauded her work transforming the Society as its past President, responding to issues of inclusivity and elitism in the AMS and in academia at large.

Feldman is a cultural historian whose work centers on vernacular musics, especially Italian, from 1500 to the present. Her projects have explored the senses and sensibilities of listeners, the interplay of myth, festivity, and kingship in opera, issues of cinema, media, and voice, and various incarnations of the musical artist. Running throughout her work are questions about mediations between social, political, and artistic phenomena, and her most recent projects center on the history and phenomena of the castrati. She is the author of five books, including Opera and Sovereignty: Transforming Myths in Eighteenth-Century Italy, winner of the Gordon J. Laing Award of the University of Chicago Press (2010) for the faculty book "published in the previous three years that brings the Press the greatest distinction." A sixth book titled (in progress), titled The Castrato Phantom: Moreschi, Fellini, and the Sacred Vernacular in Twentieth-Century Rome, deals with the life and afterlife of the castrato phenomenon in cinema, literature, and psychoanalysis. You can read more about Feldman at

(Photo by Jimmy and Dena Katz)

Siavash Sabetrohani receives Eugene K. Wolf Travel Grant for European Research

Siavash Sabetrohani headshot

PhD candidate Siavash Sabetrohani has been awarded a Eugene K. Wolf Travel Grant for European Research from the American Musicological Society. A memorial to the distinguished pedagogue and scholar of European music, the award is given annually to doctoral students of North American universities to conduct dissertation research in Europe.

Since September of 2019, Sabetrohani has been in Berlin conducting research into the 18th century "Berlin School" of music theorists. You can read more about his research and his time in Berlin at