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School of Music

Faculty and Staff

Ellen Exner

Assistant Professor / Music History
School of Music

Phone: 803-777-8365

School of Music Room 320



Ph.D., Harvard University (Historical Musicology) (2010)
M.A., Smith College (Music History)
B.M., University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Music History)
B.A., University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Russian Language and Literature).


• American Musicological Society
AMS National Committee on Membership and Professional Development
(Appointment: 2013-2016)
• American Bach Society
Member: Editorial Board
Member: Program Committee (for biennial meeting, 2014)

Areas of Specialization

• Baroque Music
• Music of the Bach Family
• “Berliner-Klassik”
• Hector Berlioz and the Russian Five
• German Art Song
• Musical Antiquity in the Eighteenth Century 

Areas of Interest

• Historical performance

Recent Courses

• History of Western Music (1680-1860)
•Graduate Survey in Viennese Classicism
•Johann Sebastian Bach: Life, Works, Legacy
•History of Art Song
•Vivaldi, Bach, Handel

Selected Publications

Published and Forthcoming
• “C. P. E. Bach at His Word: A Reconsideration of the Early Berlin Years” (Eighteenth-Century Music, Vol. 9, issue 2 (September 2012))
• Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, The Passion According to St. Luke (1779), Series IV, vol. 6.3, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: The Complete Works (Los Altos: Packard Humanities Institute, accepted)
• Gottfried August Homilius, Choralvorspiele für Orgel und 1-2 obligate Melodieinstrumente; Oboensonate, ed. Ellen Exner and Uwe Wolf, Ser. 4, vol. 1, Homilius: Ausgewählte Werke (Stuttgart: Carus, 2008)

Upcoming and in-progress:
• Presentation: ““Lent by me and never recovered”: Lost Homilius Manuscript Found” at the American Bach Society Annual Meeting (Eastman School of Music), Sept. 2012
• Article: “Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach at the Baptismal Font: New Contexts, New Concerns” (working title). To appear in Bach Notes, 2013.
• Article: “Carl Friedrich Zelter on the Life and Death of Frederick the Great”
Book draft:
• ““For in Berlin, the Musical Age has Dawned”: Music in the Time of Frederick the Great” 

Academic Awards

• Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study – Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2009/10)
• Krupp Foundation Dissertation Research Fellowship through the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University (Spring 2009)

Teaching Awards

• Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award Harvard University: Music 2, “Foundations of Tonal Music” (Fall 2010)
• Oscar S. Schafer Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Harvard University (year-long research grant) (2007–08)
• Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award Harvard University: “Bach in His Time & Through the Centuries” (Spring 2007)


Ellen Exner received her Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from Harvard University in 2010. Her scholarship focuses on eighteenth-century German music, particularly that produced by the Bach family and musicians working in Berlin during the reign of Frederick II ("The Great") of Prussia. Current projects include an edition of C.P.E. Bach's Passion According to St. Luke (1779), commissioned by the Packard Humanities Institute for the C.P.E. Bach Complete Works Edition, and an article on Carl Friedrich Zelter and the music of his past.

While at Harvard, Exner received prestigious research fellowships from the Minda de Gunzberg Center for European Studies as well as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The quality of her teaching was also recognized twice with awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Education from Harvard's Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.

An avid oboist, Dr. Exner has recently added two new historical reproductions to her collection: a copy of an Eichentopf baroque oboe original to J. S. Bach's Leipzig and an early classic period Grundmann oboe copied from a Dresden maker (both by modern maker Sand Dalton). These instruments join a Saxon model oboe by Stephen Hammer and Joel Robinson and a very lonely modern oboe by Laubin.