The Peabody Post

Peabody Announces Three Music Theory Faculty Hires

Music TheoryTeaching artists Courtney Orlando, Agustin Muriago, and Jessica A. Hunt will join the Peabody Conservatory faculty as assistant professors of music theory in the fall.

The faculty in the Music Theory Department is comprised of scholars, composers, and performers following in the tradition of such distinguished Peabody music theory faculty as Danish composer Asger Hamerick, first director of the Conservatory (1871) and professor of music theory; Otto Ortmann, pioneer in the psychology of music and director of Peabody; the renowned pedagogue and composer Nadia Boulanger (music theory faculty, 1942-43); and composers Elliott Carter (music theory faculty, 1946-47) and Henry Cowell (music theory faculty, 1951-56).

Courtney Orlando, Assistant Professor of Music Theory—Ear Training

Heralded by The New York Times as a violinist of “tireless energy and bright tone” and The Washington Post as “dangerously gifted,” Courtney Orlando specializes in the performance of contemporary and crossover music. She is a founding member of the acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, which has premiered works by and collaborated with some of the foremost composers of our time, including Hans Abrahamsen, John Adams, John Luther Adams, Donnacha Dennehy, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm, and Augusta Read Thomas. She is also a performer with Ensemble Signal and plays regularly with Dublin’s Crash Ensemble. Performances include those at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Festival, Disney Hall, the Kimmel Center, BAM, the Royal Opera House, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Barbican Theatre, and in Germany, Poland, Italy, Korea, and Russia. Crossover projects include those with jazz musicians Theo Bleckmann, Uri Caine, Michael Formanek, Medeski, Martin and Wood, and Joshua Redman. Other performances include those with Björk, Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear, Sigur Rós’s Jónsi, and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry. Orlando has recorded for Bridge, Cantaloupe, Chandos, ECM, Harmonia Mundi, New Amsterdam, Nonesuch, Tzadik, and Winter and Winter.

Agustin Muriago, Assistant Professor of Music Theory—Keyboard Skills

Pianist Agustin Muriago has performed throughout the United States, Spain, China, Brazil, and his native Argentina, in venues such as Steinway Hall and Yamaha Artist Services in New York City, the Teatro Ópera in Buenos Aires, and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. His repertoire ranges from standard piano works to contemporary music premieres, with an emphasis on Spanish and Argentine music. He has recorded for the Acte Préalable label and for NPR affiliates.

In Argentina, Muriago has earned degrees in piano performance, piano pedagogy, and composition. As a prize winner of the 2008 Teachers del Norte-Pianists del Sur auditions under the direction of Mirian Conti, he continued his studies in the United States, earning degrees in piano performance from The Hartt School (DMA), New York University (MM), and Rowan University (BM summa cum laude).

Prior to his appointment at the Peabody Conservatory, Muriago served on the faculty at Kansas State University, where he coordinated the keyboard skills and piano pedagogy programs. He has also offered group and private lessons at The Hartt School Community Division and at New York University.

Jessica Hunt, Assistant Professor of Music Theory

Jessica Hunt (she/her/hers) has been commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra (Climb), the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (The Eagle Tree), the Gaudete Brass Quintet (seven works), Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, The Michigan Lighthouse Landmark Legacy Project, Access Contemporary Music, and many others. In addition to serving as the 2018 Boontling Community Fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music and as the 2017-18 Young Composer in Residence with the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Hunt was awarded a Regents Fellowship at the University of Michigan.

Hunt’s music has been performed in concert by esteemed ensembles and performers such as the Chiara Quartet, CCM Chorale, Axiom Brass, the Calidore Quartet, Elise Eden, Kathryn Goodson, and R. Benjamin Dobey; recorded on the Pro Organo label; and broadcast on NPR’s nationally syndicated program Pipedreams hosted by Michael Barone, who characterized Hunt’s music as “quite engaging” and “joy-filled.” Her music for comedy and theater has been reviewed as “smart and fun” by TimeOut Chicago, and the Chicago Reader lauds that her “songs are creative crowd-pleasers.”

Hunt holds degrees from Columbia College Chicago (BM), DePaul University (MM), and the University of Michigan (DMA).  Her research interests include the phonetic and articulatory phenomena of sung text, harmonic vocabulary and syntax in musical theater, and championing the works of under-represented composers through creative analysis and curricular development.

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