Kim Kowalke

Kim H. Kowalke

Professor Emeritus of Musicology

Professor of Music, The College Department of Music



BA (summa cum laude), Macalester College; MA, MPhil, PhD, Yale. Winner of Theron Rockwell Field Prize for dissertation Kurt Weill in Europe, 1900-35: A Study of His Music and Writings. Member of Phi Beta Kappa. Recipient, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, Martha Baird Rockefeller Grant, Whiting Prize Dissertation Fellowship, Mellon Foundation Grant, ACLS Research Grant, Graves Award, and other prizes and awards. President, Board of Trustees, Kurt Weill Foundation for Music (1981-). Founding member of the Editorial Board, Kurt Weill Edition. Author, Kurt Weill in Europe, numerous articles, reviews, and liner notes on 19th- and 20th-century music, opera, and musical theater, including, especially, Hindemith, Orff, and Sondheim. Editor, A New Orpheus: Essays on Kurt Weill, A Stranger Here Myself: Kurt Weill Studies, Speak Low: The Weill-Lenya Correspondence. Five-time winner of ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award, two-time winner of Irving Lowens Award for Best Article on American Music; Theatre Library Association’s George Freedley Award. Co-author of two documentary films for the BBC and Hessische Rundfunk (Frankfurt A.M.). Member, Sonneck Society (Lowens Prize Committee, 1997), American Musicological Society National Council (1985-88), Program Committee (1986), AMS 50 Fellowship Committee (1993-); College Music Society; International Brecht Society. Conductor, Eastman Opera Theatre Street Scene (1991), There Once Was a Girl Named Jenny (1995), “Tribute to George Abbott” (1997). Collegiate Symphony Orchestra and Occidental Faculty Players (1977-83). Faculty member, Occidental College (1978-86), Eastman and The College (1986-).

Works / Publications


  • Speak Low (If You Speak Love): The Letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, ed. & trans. Lys Symonette and Kim H. Kowalke. Berkeley & Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press; London: Hamish Hamilton, 1996. Paperback edition, 1997. German edition: Sprich Leise, Wenn Du Liebe Sagst: Der Briefwechsel Kurt Weill-Lotte Lenya, Kiepenheuer, 1998. [New York Times Notable Book of 1996; London Financial Times Book of the Year Selection. Winner of 1997 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, and Theatre Library Association’s Friedley Award, runnerup].
  • Lady in the Dark: A Sourcebook, ed. bruce mcclung, Joanna Lee and Kim H. Kowalke (New York, 1997).
  • The Seven Deadly Sins: A Sourcebook, ed. Joanna Lee and Kim H. Kowalke (New York, 1997).
  • Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny: A Sourcebook, ed. Joanna Lee, Edward Harsh & Kim H. Kowalke (New York, 1995).
  • Der Silbersee: A Sourcebook, ed. Joanna Lee, Edward Harsh & Kim H. Kowalke (New York, 1995).
  • Street Scene: A Sourcebook, ed. Joanna Lee, Edward Harsh & Kim H. Kowalke (New York, 1994).
  • A Stranger Here Myself: Kurt Weill Studien, ed. Horst Edler and Kim H. Kowalke. Düsseldorf: Olms Verlag, 1993.
  • A New Orpheus: Essays on Kurt Weill, ed. Kim H. Kowalke. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986. Winner of ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Writing about Music, 1987. BBC Music Magazine “Classic Book,” August 1997. Paperback Edition, 1990.
  • Kurt Weill in Europe. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1979. Winner of Yale University’s Theron Rockwell Field Prize in the Humanities. Paperback edition, 1981.

Chapters in Books

  • “Kurt Weill’s Amerika/America” in Amerikanismus/Americanism/Weill. Die Suche nach kultureller Identität in der Moderne (1900-1950), ed. Hermann Danuser and Hermann Gottschewski (Schliengen: Edition Argus, 2003), 9-15.
  • “Kurt Weill and the Quest for American Opera,” in Amerikanismus/Americanism/Weill. Die Suche nach kultureller Identität in der Moderne (1900-1950), ed. Hermann Danuser and Hermann Gottschewski (Schliengen: Edition Argus, 2003), 283-301.
  • “The Golden Age of the Musical,” Handbuch der Musik im 20. Jahrhundert, Band 6. Musical. Das unterhaltsame Genre, ed. Armin Geraths and Christian Martin Schmidt (Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 2002), 137-178.
  • “Into the Woods: To Find, To Learn, To Think, To Teach,” in How I Teach, vol. II (Rochester: Univ. of Rochester, 2001), 29-38.
  • “Music Publishing under the Nazis: Schott, Universal Edition, and their Composers,” in Music and Nazism, ed. Albrecht Riethmüller and Michael Kater (Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 2003), 170-318.
  • “Carl Orff and His Brecht Connection,” in Brecht und seine Komponisten, ed. Albrecht Riethmüller (Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 2000), 27-49.
  • “`I’m an American!’: Whitman, Weill, and Cultural Identity,” in Walt Whitman and Modern Music: War, Desire, and the Trials of Nationhood, ed. Lawrence Kramer (New York: Garland Press, 2000), 109-31. Winner of ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Writing About Music.
  • “The Legacy of Lotte Lenya: A Centenary Tribute,” in Lotte Lenya: The Ultimate Collection, 256-page insert book, 11-CD commemorative set (Bear Family Records, 1998), 5-12.
  • “Reading Whitman/Responding to America: Hindemith, Weill, and Others,” in Driven into Paradise: The Musical Migration from Nazi Germany to the United States, ed. Reinhold Brinkmann and Christoph Wolff (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1999), 194-220.
  • “Blitzstein and Bernstein: Remaking The Threepenny Opera,” introductory essay for Vol. 1 of the Kurt Weill Edition, a facsimile of the Holograph Partitur of Die Dreigroschenoper (New York: European American Music, 1996), 11-17.
  • “Oeffentlichkeit als Stil: Musical Experiences of a European Composer in America,” Biographische Konstellation und künstlerisches Handeln, ed. Giselher Schubert, Frankfurt Studien, Vol. 7 (Mainz: Schott, 1997), 176-226.
  • “`The Two Weills’ and the Music of Street Scene,” in Street Scene: A Sourcebook (New York, 1994), 56-69.
  • “Singing Brecht vs. Brecht Singing: Performance in Theory and Practice,” in Cambridge Studies in Performance Practice: Music and Performance during the Weimar Republic, ed. Bryan Gilliam (Cambridge University Press, 1994), 74-93.
  • “Brecht and Music: Theory and Practice,” in The Cambridge Companion to Brecht, ed. Peter Thompson and Glendyr Sacks (Cambridge University Press, 1994), 218-34. Revised version for 2nd Edition, 2006: 242-58.
  • “Formerly German: Kurt Weill in America” in A Stranger Here Myself: Kurt Weill Studien (Düsseldorf: Olms, 1993), 35-57.
  • “Hin und zurück: Kurt Weill heute” in Vom Kurfürstendamm zu Broadway: Kurt Weill (1900-1950), ed. Kortländer, Meiszies, Farneth (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1990), 16-27.
  • “The Threepenny Opera in America,” in Stephen Hinton, ed., Die Dreigroschenoper, Cambridge Opera Handbook, (Cambridge University Press, 1990), 78-119.
  • “Looking Back: Toward a New Orpheus” in A New Orpheus (New Haven: Yale, 1986), 1-20.

Journal Articles

  • “Seven Degrees of Separation: Music, Text, Image, and Gesture in The Seven Deadly Sins,” Atlantic Quarterly 104 (Winter 2005): 7-62.
  • “Dancing with the Devil: Modern Music Publishing under the Nazis,” Modernism/ Modernity 8 (January 2001): 1-41.
  • “Burying the Past: Carl Orff and His Brecht Connection,” Musical Quarterly 84 (Spring 2000): 58-83. [“A Reply to Hans Jörg Jans,” MQ 84 (Winter 2000): 705-710.]
  • “For Those We Love: Hindemith, Whitman, and `An American Requiem’,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 50 (Spring 1997): 133-174. [Winner of ASCAP Deems Taylor Award and Society for American Music, Irving Lowens Prize for best article on American topic published in 1997.] Reprinted in Hindemith Jahrbuch 25 (1998), 102-154.
  • “Kurt Weill, Modernism, and Popular Culture: Oeffentlichkeit als Stil,” Modernism/ Modernity 2 (January 1995): 27-69. [Winner of Sonneck Society’s Irving Lowens Prize for best article on American topic published in 1995.] Published in German as “Kurt Weill, Moderne und Populäre Kultur: Oeffentlichkeit als Stil,” trans. Nils Grosch, in Veröffentlichungen der Kurt-Weill-Gesellschaft Dessau, Band 2 (1998): Emigrierte Komponisten in der Medienlandschaft des Exils 1933-1945, 171-220.
  • “Singing Brecht vs. Brecht Singing: Performance in Theory and Practice,” Cambridge Opera Journal 5/1 (March 1993): 55-78.
  • “Hin und zurück: Kurt Weill at 90,” The Musical Times (April 1990): 188-192.
  • “Accounting for Success: Misunderstanding Die Dreigroschenoper,” Opera Quarterly 6 (Spring 1989): 18-38. [Winner of ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, 1990.]
  • “In Trivial(?) Pursuit: Who Sings the `Barbara Song’?,” Kurt Weill Newsletter 6 (Fall 1988): 8-11.
  • “Kurt Weill: Composer Without a Category,” Opera (published in two installments, Nov. and Dec. 1980): 1077-84; 1181-87.

Musical Editions, Translations, Revues

  • “Die Bürgschaft,” revised piano vocal score, with synopsis, preface, and new material. Vienna: Universal Edition, 2000.
  • “Street Scenes,” a concert sequence derived from the American opera Street Scene, premiered by Leonard Slatkin and New York Philharmonic, 9-11 March 2000; European premiere, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin; Lawrence Foster conducting, 12 March 2000; British premiere, BBC Concert Orchestra, The Proms, Royal Albert Hall, 7 August 2000.
  • “Youkali: a cabaret cycle,” by Kurt Weill, conceived for the Canadian Opera Company.
  • “Kurt Weill and America”: A concert for the Bochum Symphony, TRANSATLANTIK Festival, September 1997.
  • There Once Was a Girl Named Jenny: A Celebration of Music by Kurt Weill. A musical revue devised by Richard Pearlman and Kim Kowalke. Eastman Opera Theatre; 13, 15 April 1995.
  • “Kurt Weill: Bilbao To Broadway”: A concert of theater songs devised by Kim Kowalke. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman conducting. With Joyce Castle, Peter Kazaras, Michael Scarborough, Buddy Crutchfield, Reginald Pindell. 9-11 June 1994.
  • Edition of suite for voice and chamber orchestra from Weill’s Marie galante, rental only, European American Music. First performance: Faith Esham, sop.; St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, David Atherton conducting; Merkin Concert Hall, New York City; 17 September 1987.
  • Kurt Weill: “Zeitoper,” “Correspondence about The Threepenny Opera,” “Dance Music” in The Weimar Republic Sourcebook, ed. Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, Edward Dimendberg (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1994), pp. 572-74; 576-578; 597.
  • Translations of Weill’s songs in The Unknown Kurt Weill Songbook published by European American Music, 1982.


  • Lenya: Ein erfundenes Leben (Lenya: An Invention), produced by Hessischer Rundfunk, a television film by Barrie Gavin and Kim H. Kowalke, December 1994
  • A Stranger Here Myself: Kurt Weill in America/Ehemals Deutsch: Kurt Weill in America, co-production of Hessischer Rundfunk and BBC (1992), a television film by Barrie Gavin and Kim H. Kowalke, based on my essay “Formerly German: Kurt Weill in America.”


  • Executive Producer, Premiere recording of Die Bürgschaft, Julius Rudel, conductor; Spoleto Festival USA. EMI, 2CD, March 2000.

Additional short essays, program notes, reviews and recordings.