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 Dr. Paula Maust is a performer, scholar, and educator dedicated to fusing research and creative practice to amplify underrepresented voices and advocate for social change. She is the creator of Expanding the Music Theory Canon, an open-source collection of music theory examples by women and composers of color. A print anthology based on the project is under contract with SUNY Press. She is also working on The Ugly Virtuosa, a book and performance project about the pejorative language used to describe early modern women on stage in England, France and Italy. Paula has forthcoming articles in Women and Music and the Journal of the International Alliance for Women in Music, and she has presented her research at conferences of the American Musicological Society, the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, the American Handel Society, and the Indiana University Historical Performance Institute.


As a harpsichordist and organist, Paula has been praised for combining “great power with masterful subtlety” (DC Metro Theater Arts) and as a “refined and elegant performer” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). As the co-director of Burning River Baroque and Musica Spira, she curates provocative lecture-concerts connecting baroque music to contemporary social issues such as climate change, mental health, and the #MeToo movement. Paula performs extensively as a continuo player with numerous ensembles in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. region and is currently recording Eliza Turner’s 1756 Six Lessons for Harpsichord.  

Beginning in Fall 2021, Paula will be an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Prior to her appointment at Peabody, she taught music theory, keyboard skills, and performance courses at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and in the Peabody @ Homewood program. She holds degrees in harpsichord from Peabody (DMA ’19, MM ’16) and in organ from the Cleveland Institute of Music (MM ’12) and Valparaiso University (BM ’09). Her teachers include Adam Pearl, Webb Wiggins, Todd Wilson, and Lorraine Brugh. 

The Ugly Virtuosa
Expanding the Music Theory Canon


Elizabeth Turner's 1756 
Six Lessons for Harpsichord


"a harpsichordist who plays with vibrancy, elegance, and studied restraint"

"expertly laid down continuo lines"

"Maust played gracefully with an unusual sense of intimacy."