Program of Liberal Studies
B.A., Music, Jesus College, University of Oxford; M.St., Musicology, Merton College, University of Oxford; M.A./Ph.D., Historical Musicology, Harvard University
Christopher Chowrimootoo’s research is located at the intersection between the history, historiography and aesthetics of musical modernism, and seeks to put pressure on common assumptions about a so-called “great divide” between modernism and mass culture. This involves reviving mid-twentieth-century ideas about “middlebrow” culture and aesthetics, as well as offering materialist revisions to traditional modernist histories. Both approaches come together in his book project, Middlebrow Modernism: Britten’s Operas and the Great Divide, which examines the production and reception of Britten’s operas as a case study for the wider ways in which twentieth-century composers, critics and audiences mediated and confused the “great divide”.
His publications include articles and essays in Eighteenth-Century Music, Cambridge Opera Journal, Opera Quarterly, and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association. His article "Bourgeois Opera: Death in Venice and the Aesthetics of Sublimation" was awarded both the Royal Musical Association's Jerome Roche Prize (for a distinguished article by a scholar in the early stages of his or her career) and the Kurt Weill Foundation Prize (for outstanding scholarship in music theater since 1900).