ABOUT ME

Dr. Paula Maust is a performer-scholar 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 extensive open-source collection of music theory examples by women and BIPoC composers. This is the first open-source collection of this magnitude and scope, and it is aimed at concepts covered in the undergraduate core music theory curriculum. Paula also recently submitted her article “Turning the Madwoman Upside Down” to the journal Women and Music, and her "Notorious Strumpets on the English Restoration Stage" was featured on Early Music America's blog. She has given lectures for the Peabody Musicology Colloquium, the Pioneer Valley Symphony, Shenandoah University, and Bard High School Early College Cleveland.

 

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). In her work as the co-director of Burning River Baroque and Musica Spira, she curates lecture-concerts aimed at connecting baroque music to contemporary social issues. Recent concert programs have centered on climate change, refugees, #MeToo, and mental health. Paula is currently working on recording Elizabeth Turner's 1756 Six Lessons for Harpsichord. She has also performed with the Folger Consort, Third Practice, the BaRock Band, the Washington Bach Consort, Tempesta di Mare, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and the Handel Choir of Baltimore. 

 

Since 2016, Paula has been a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she teaches music theory, keyboard skills, harpsichord, organ, piano, and coaches students in the Collegium Musicum. Additionally, she teaches baroque counterpoint and classical formal analysis at the Peabody Conservatory and music theory and aural skills at the Homewood Campus of the Johns Hopkins University. An advocate for conducting dramatic early modern works from the keyboard, last season she directed a program of baroque opera scenes in collaboration with UMBC’s Collegium Musicum and Opera Workshop and was the assistant music director for Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas and The Fairy-Queen with the Peabody Institute’s historical performance department.  

Paula's current book project, The Ugly Virtuosa, examines the pejorative language used to describe the first generation of professional female musicians in England, Italy, and France. Her work utilizes disability studies, performance studies, and critical race theory to evaluate the reception of Restoration singer-actresses, the enfreakment of the Venetian figlie del coro, the confusion surrounding the gender-bending French opera star La Maupin, and the ‘ugly Italian pigs and elephants’ singing Handel’s London operas. She has presented her research for the American Musicological Society, the Indiana University Historical Performance Institute, the American Handel Society, and the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music.

Paula completed a doctorate degree in harpsichord at Peabody, where she was the recipient of the Dean’s DMA fellowship. She earned Master of Music degrees in harpsichord and organ from Peabody and the Cleveland Institute of Music, respectively, and she completed her Bachelor of Music degree in church music/organ at Valparaiso University. Her teachers have included Adam Pearl, Webb Wiggins, Todd Wilson, and Lorraine Brugh.

EDUCATION

2016 - 2019

Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

DMA, Harpsichord

2014 - 2016

Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

MM, Harpsichord and Early Music

2010 - 2012

Cleveland Institute of Music

MM, Organ

Early Music Certificate from CWRU

2005 - 2009

Valparaiso University

BM, Organ and Church Music

© 2021 by Paula Maust