Dr. Angela Mace Christian is a writer, lecturer, and pianist working in the field of music history. She specializes in music, culture, and society of the “Long Nineteenth Century” – the period between the French Revolution and World War I (1789-1914). She is passionate about discovering and sharing new information about the lives and works of the lesser-known artists of these past centuries: women. Thus, Christian’s work currently focuses on the life and work of Fanny Hensel (born Mendelssohn), and her research interests include the Mendelssohn family and their circle, early nineteenth-century piano music and German art song, and issues of style and influence, gender, society, and kinship.
Christian’s work rediscovering and properly identifying Fanny Hensel’s Easter Sonata was featured on BBC Radio 3’s International Women’s Day celebrations in 2017. She traveled to London for a live interview with Sean Rafferty on BBC Radio 3’s program “In Tune” on March 7 (with over 1.5 million listeners worldwide) and the live broadcast of the UK Premiere of the Easter Sonata by Sofya Gulyak at the Royal College of Music on March 8. The story was featured also in The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Washington Post, the Smithsonian Magazine, CNN, and numerous other news outlets, blogs, and university/arts organizations. You can read more about her work on this remarkable rediscovery here.
Christian received her Ph.D. in musicology from Duke University in 2013, where she also received her Master of Arts in musicology in 2008. She completed her dissertation “Fanny Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, and the Formation of the Mendelssohnian Style.” Christian holds a B.Mus. in piano performance from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University (summa cum laude, 2006). Christian's research and conference travel has been supported by endowed fellowships and grants at Duke University and Colorado State University and by a full research grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) in 2010, when she researched her dissertation in the Mendelssohn-Archiv of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin-Preußischer Kulturbesitz.
Christian revised and enlarged J. Michael Cooper's Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: A Research and Information Guide for Routledge Press in 2011. She wrote a new full biography of Fanny Hensel for Grove Music Online / Oxford Music Online. She is co-editor with Nicole Grimes of Mendelssohn Perspectives for Ashgate Press, released in October 2012. She is currently co-editing Rethinking Mendelssohn for Oxford University Press with Benedict Taylor. She has also published several single-author and co-authored articles, as well as book and score reviews for Nineteenth-Century Music Review and Notes.
Christian has presented her research in English and German at conferences in the United States of America, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ireland, and Italy. She has presented at the Annual Conference of the American Musicological Society (both national and regional), the Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, the German Studies Association, the North American British Music Studies Association, and the Mendelssohn-Kongress (Mendelssohn-Gesellschaft Berlin), as well as specialty topic conferences. You can read more about her current/forthcoming publications, published scholarship, and conference presentations.