Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Carla Zecher Named Executive Director,
Renaissance Society of America

Carla Zecher, a member of the American Musicological Society, has been named Executive Director of the Renaissance Society of America effective July 2015. She is presently Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies and Curator of Music at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

A specialist in 16th- and early 17th-century French writing about music (poetry, travel narratives) and iconography, she is author of Sounding Objects: Musical Instruments, Poetry, and Art in Renaissance France (University of Toronto Press, 2007) and of a forthcoming monograph on music and travel in the Levant, 15001700. She has served as director of numerous projects and initiatives, presently including two major grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in the field of French paleography.

Zecher holds bachelor's degrees in organ performance and French from Oberlin College, a diplôme supérieur in clavecin from the Strasbourg Conservatoire, and the Ph.D. in French from Duke.

“The RSA,” she writes, “is presently almost twice the size of the AMS, at  some 6,000 members. About 1/3 of the RSA membership is international. Roughly half the membership attends the annual conference each year, which I'm told is a good percentage. In 2000, the RSA held its annual meeting in Europe for the first time, and has continued to have a European meeting every fifth year. The European members appreciate this, and the North American members also look forward to the opportunity to visit European cities. So far these have been Florence, Cambridge (UK), Venice, and Berlin. So I think of both societies as being in the mid-range of scholarly societies as far as size is concerned. Not huge like the MLA and AHA, but significant on the national and international scene. I'm very fond of the AMS and of its director, Bob Judd, and will doubtless be calling there for advice often in the months and years to come.”

Past presidents of the RSA include three prominent musicologists: Jessie Ann Owens (2004–06) Howard M. Brown (1990), and Gustave Reese (1971–72).

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