Music History and Theory
Ph.D., M.A., New York University; B.M., Oberlin Conservatory
Kathryn L. Libin specializes in music of the long eighteenth century, particularly Mozart and his contemporaries; music in the lives of Jane Austen and her circle; and the history and performance practice of early keyboard instruments. She currently directs a project to catalogue the historically significant music collection of the Lobkowicz Library at Nelahozeves castle, near Prague; containing over 6,000 pieces of music from the 17th through 19th centuries, the collection is particularly rich in performing manuscripts of opera and orchestral music. She is working on a biography of the 7th Prince Lobkowitz, Joseph Franz Maximilian, one of the foremost musical patrons in Vienna and Bohemia during the period of Haydn and Beethoven. Her forthcoming book, Instruments and Idiom in Mozart’s Keyboard Concertos, will be published by Indiana University Press in its series Publications of the Early Music Institute.
Ms. Libin also studies and interprets musical issues in the life and writings of Jane Austen. She has given numerous presentations at national and regional meetings of the Jane Austen Society of North America, served as musical director for JASNA’s 25th anniversary meeting in England in 2003, which included a choral evensong service near Austen's grave at Winchester Cathedral, and as music director for JASNA’s 2012 Annual General Meeting, for which two new choral works on Jane Austen texts were commissioned. In 2010 JASNA awarded her its International Visitor Program grant for study at the Chawton House Library, where she examined music books and manuscripts of Jane Austen and her family, along with writings about music in women's education. She has published several articles on Jane Austen and music in JASNA's journal Persuasions. Her latest publication is "Daily Practice, Musical Accomplishment, and the Example of Jane Austen," in Jane Austen and the Arts: Elegance, Propriety, and Harmony (Lehigh University Press, 2013).
Ms. Libin has taught at Vassar College for over twenty years, and was chair of its music department for six years (2007-13). She served two terms as President of the American Musical Instrument Society (2003-07), was President of the Mozart Society of America (2007-09), and presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Eighteenth-Century Music. She is a program annotator for the Mostly Mozart Festival and Great Performers at Lincoln Center, as well as for the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College.