Michael Alan Anderson

Associate Professor of Musicology

Artistic Director, Schola Antiqua of Chicago
Faculty Associate, Susan B. Anthony Institute

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Michael Alan Anderson specializes in a wide range of issues related to sacred music from the fourteenth through the sixteenth century, with emphasis on the saints and lay devotion. He is author of the book St. Anne in Renaissance Music: Devotion and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and received the PhD from the University of Chicago in 2008. Anderson is a two-time winner of the Deems Taylor Award, presented by the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers, for articles published in 2011 (Early Music History) and 2013 (Journal of the American Musicological Society). He is also the 2012 winner of the Noah Greenberg Award, given by the American Musicological Society for outstanding contributions to historical performance practices. Most recently, he received the University of Rochester’s Provost Multidisciplinary Award, which involved producing first recordings of medieval music supplied to the newly-installed medieval gallery at the Memorial Art Gallery. Other awards include the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, the Alvin H. Johnson American Musicological Society 50 Dissertation-Year Fellowship, the Grace Frank Grant (Medieval Academy of America), the Whiting Foundation Fellowship (University of Chicago), and several travel and research grants.

Besides Early Music History and JAMS, Anderson’s articles have appeared in the journals Early Music, Plainsong and Medieval Music, and Studi musicali. He is also the author of The Singing Irish: A History of the Notre Dame Glee Club (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015). He serves on the editorial board of two textbooks published by W.W. Norton (The History of Western Music, 9th edition, ed. Burkholder and Concise History of Western Music, 5th edition, ed. Hanning). Since 2010, he has also sat on the editorial board of the American Choral Review, the semiannual journal of the organization Chorus America. Anderson has further presented papers at the congress of the International Musicological Society (Rome), the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), the Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference (Vienna, Utrecht, and London), the national and local chapter meetings of the American Musicological Society, the International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo), and conferences of the Renaissance Society of America, the Medieval Academy of America, and the International Association for Robin Hood Studies.

Still an active performer, Anderson has served as Artistic Director of Schola Antiqua since 2008, following the retirement of Calvin M. Bower, with whom he co-founded the organization in 2000. Schola Antiqua is a Chicago-based professional vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance of music before 1600; the group currently serves as Artists in Residence at the Lumen Christi Institute. Albums have been released on the NAXOS and Discantus labels, and the group has recorded for academic publications, including Margot Fassler’s Music in the Medieval West (W.W. Norton, 2014). Music from commercial albums has aired on the nationally syndicated broadcasts of With Heart and Voice, Millennium of Music, and Harmonia. The ensemble has been the recipient of grants from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Sage Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council.

As a choral conductor, Anderson has further served as the Assistant Director of the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel Choir (2001-05) and as a guest conductor of the Notre Dame Glee Club. Meantime as a singer, he  performed for three seasons with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, under the batons of Barenboim, Boulez, Penderecki, Mehta, Eschenbach, Rostropovich, and others in venues from Orchestra Hall and the Ravinia Festival in Chicago to Carnegie Hall and the Berlin Philharmonie. He has also received invitations to appear with the Boston Early Music Festival chamber ensemble, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Seraphic Fire, Voices (Rochester), and the Schola Cantorum of Christ Church (Rochester).

Works / Publications


  • St. Anne in Renaissance Music: Devotion and Politics. Cambridge University Press, 2014. Chapter 1 – sample
  • The Singing Irish: A History of the Notre Dame Glee Club. University of Notre Dame Press, 2015 (forthcoming).


  • “The One Who Comes After Me: John the Baptist, Christian Time, and Symbolic Musical Techniques,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 66 (2013): 639-708. Full text
  • “Root, Branch, and Flower: Lineage and Fecundity in the Versified Offices for St. Anne,” in The Book of Nature and Humanity in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. David Hawkes and Richard G. Newhauser, Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 29 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013), 105-129.
  • “Fire, Foliage, and Fury: Vestiges of Midsummer Ritual in Motets for John the Baptist,” Early Music History 30 (2011): 1-54. Full text
  • “‘His Name will be Called John’: Reception and Symbolism in Obrecht’s Missa de Sancto Johanne Baptista,” Early Music 39 (2011): 547-61. Full text
  • “Enhancing the Ave Maria in the Ars Antiqua,” Plainsong and Medieval Music 19 (2010): 35-65. Full Text
  • “The Organization and Complexes of the Q 15 Hymn Cycle,” Studi musicali 35 (2006): 327-62.


  • Review of The Flower of Paradise: Marian Devotion and Secular Song in Medieval and Renaissance Music, by David J. Rothenberg, in Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 89 (2014), 236-7.
  • Review of Anne Smith, The Performance of 16th-Century Music: Listening to the Theorists. Oxford University Press, 2011, in American Choral Review 55 (2013): 12-13. Full text
  • Review of Christopher Page, The Christian West and its Singers: The First Thousand Years. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009, in American Choral Review 53 (2011): 9-11. Full text


  • MHS 121 – Music and Society (800-1750)
  • MHS 281 – Musical Borrowing
  • MHS 421 – Middle Ages
  • MHS 590 – Music in 19th c. U.S.A.
  • MHS 591 – Music of Marian Devotion


VIDEO SAMPLES (Schola Antiqua of Chicago)

Machaut, Agnus Dei III, recorded live in concert (Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Cleveland)

Anonymous, O Clavis David, recorded live in concert

Josquin, Inviolata, Integra, et casta, recorded live in concert, St. Clement Church, Chicago, (February 2015)


Excerpts from “Josquin: Master of the Notes” (October 2011)

Excerpt from recording session: “Hail Mary Full of Grace”

Montage from the concert series “Music of the Hours” with special guest Roger S. Wieck (April 2012)

Anonymous, “Sanctus,” from West Meets East: Sacred Music from the Torino Codex (Discantus, 2010)

Engagements / Professional Activities

  • “The Palatini Partbooks Revisited” – paper to be presented at the international conference on Petrus Alamire: New Perspective on Polyphony; Katholieke Universitei, Leuven, Campus Carolus, Antwerp, 18-23 August 2015.