Michael Alan Anderson

Associate Professor of Musicology

Artistic Director, Schola Antiqua
Managing Editor, Eastman Case Studies series
Faculty Associate, Susan B. Anthony Institute
Faculty Affiliate, Humanities Center, University of Rochester




Michael Alan Anderson specializes in a wide range of issues related to sacred music from the fourteenth through the sixteenth century, with emphasis on lay devotion and saints. He is the author of St. Anne in Renaissance Music: Devotion and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and Music and Performance in the Book of Hours (Routledge Press, forthcoming 2022). In 2015, he published The Singing Irish: A History of the Notre Dame Glee Club (University of Notre Dame Press), which chronicles the history of one of the oldest choruses in the United States on the occasion of its centennial. Anderson’s articles have appeared in various peer-reviewed journals, and he is also a contributor to Oxford Bibliographies and the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. 

Awards and grants have taken many forms. Anderson is a two-time winner of ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award for outstanding writing about music, for articles published in 2011 (Early Music History) and in 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. In 2017, Anderson received a Humanities Project grant from the University of Rochester, which allowed for a symposium on machine-reading and crowd-sourced indices of medieval music manuscripts. He also received the University of Rochester’s Provost Multidisciplinary Award in 2013, which involved producing first recordings of medieval music supplied to the newly-installed medieval gallery at the Memorial Art Gallery. Publications have been subvented by the Martin Picker Endowment of the AMS (funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), the Newberry Weiss Brown Publication award, and professional development funding from the Eastman School of Music. Other academic 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. 

Anderson’s academic profile includes editorial work with two textbooks published by W.W. Norton (The History of Western Music, ed. Burkholder and Concise History of Western Music, ed. Hanning). He also sat on the editorial board of the American Choral Review, the semiannual journal of the organization Chorus America. Papers have been presented nationally and internationally at major conferences both inside and outside his primary field. 

Since 2008, Anderson has served as artistic director of Schola Antiqua, a Chicago-based professional early music collective, which he co-founded in 2000 with Calvin M. Bower (Professor Emeritus of Musicology, University of Dame). Specializing in the performance of medieval plainchant and Renaissance polyphony, the group currently serves as artists in residence at the Lumen Christi Institute in Chicago. Anderson’s work with Schola Antiqua has been defined by invitations to collaborate with major exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other major art and library exhibitions at museums including the Morgan Library & Museum, The Newberry Library, and the Art Institute of Chicago. For these partnerships, Chorus America awarded him the 2016 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal. Schola Antiqua’s albums have been released on the NAXOS and Discantus labels, and the ensemble has recorded music for academic publications, including Margot Fassler’s Music in the Medieval West (W.W. Norton, 2014). Schola Antiqua’s music from commercial albums has aired regularly on the nationally syndicated broadcasts of With Heart and Voice, Millennium of Music, and Harmonia and has been widely reviewed. Culture Catch named the group’s 2014 recording Missa Conceptio tua (Naxos) one of the year’s best classical albums of that year. BBC Music Magazine placed the Schola Antiqua’s “Tidings True” concerts among the top 20 recommended music performances in the United States for December 2012, and the ensemble was recently nominated for “Best Classical Group” of 2020 by the Chicago Reader.

As managing editor of the Eastman Case Studies series through the school’s Institute for Music Leadership, Anderson has written more than 20 case studies and has overseen the publication of 11 volumes of essays examining contemporary issues in musical arts organizations across the country. The University of Rochester awarded him a Bridging Fellowship in 2019 for study in the Simon School of Business to enhance his work with the case studies series. A case study Anderson published involving The Phoenix Symphony’s participation in clinical research with Alzheimer’s patients has led to his involvement with Eastman Performing Arts Medicine and the Sound Health Working Group at the University of Rochester, two efforts exploring the collaborative potential of music and medicine in health care environments. 

Works / Publications



  • “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
  • “Cantus Firmus,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Music. Ed. Kate van Orden. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019 with co-author: C. Aaron James
  • “The Palatini Partbooks Revisited,” Journal of the Alamire Foundation (2019), 85-96.
  • “Magnificat – Christianity – Medieval Times and Reformation Era,” in the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, 30 vols. (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter), 17:511-513.
  • “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.
  • “Enhancing the Ave Maria in the Ars Antiqua,” Plainsong and Medieval Music 19 (2010): 35-65. Full Text
  • “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
  • “The Organization and Complexes of the Q 15 Hymn Cycle,” Studi musicali 35 (2006): 327-62.
  • “Can Music Heal Our National Divisions?” The Washington Post. Op-ed in Perspective: Made by History. June 18, 2019.
  • “An Interview with New York Polyphony,” American Choral Review 58 (2020): 20-24, with co-author Laura Lynch. 


  • Review of Medieval Music, Legend, and the Cult of St. Martin: Local Foundations of a Universal Saint, by Yossi Maurey, in Plainsong & Medieval Music 24 (2015), 234-40.
  • 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


  • Authored for the Eastman Case Studies series, with accompanying teachers’ notes.
    • “Gamelan Dharma Swarma” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2021)
    • “Tonality: Unity through Diversity” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2021)
    • “Bridging Cultures with the South Dakota Symphony” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2020)
    • “Fifth House Ensemble and Agent Relationships” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2020)
    • “The Nashville Symphony” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2020)
    • “Bridging the Gap: Accountability at the San Francisco Symphony” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2020)
    • “The Crossing at a Crossroads” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2020)
    • “Stress, Science, Saliva, and a Symphony” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2019)
    • “Refugees and Cultural Humility at Buffalo String Works” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2019)
    • “Chanticleer, Youth, and the Choral Art” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2019)
    • “Lara Downes: Artist, Activist” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2019)
    • “Kinnara Ensemble: A Project-Based Choir” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2019)
    • “Name Calling: The Rebranding of Artis–Naples” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2018)
    • “Succession Planning at Art of Elan” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2018)
    • “The Sphinx Organization and the Diversity Marketplace” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2018)
    • “Composer Marc Mellits” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2018)
    • “After Monetization: The New Recording Landscape for Artists” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2017)
    • “My House is Your House: Groupmuse’s Revival of Chamber Music” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2017)
    • “Building on Trust at the New World Symphony” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2017)
    • “No Place Like Home: The Industry at a Crossroads” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2017)
    • “Taking up Residence with Eighth Blackbird” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2016)
    • “At the Core: Contract Negotiations at the Hartford Symphony Orchestra” (Rochester: Institute of Music Leadership, 2016)



Schola Antiqua Promotional video