Dr Monika Hennemann

Visiting Lecturer in Music and Honorary Research Fellow

Department of Music

Contact details

Bramall Music Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


I am a musicologist with a strong interest in interdisciplinary studies, especially in regard to late-18th to early 20th-century cultural issues in German- and English-speaking countries.


  • MA in Music (Florida State University)
  • MA in German Studies (Florida State University) 
  • Dr. phil. in Musicology (Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)


After having studied in Germany and the USA, I started my teaching career at The Florida State University, the University of Rhode Island, and the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

In recent years, I have divided my time between musicological teaching and research in the UK and directing a total-immersion German summer programme in the USA.


I lecture on general music history topics from the late 18th to early 20th century and on gender studies. My undergraduate seminars include “Women in 19th-Century Music”, "Art Music in the Movies," “The Lied from Schubert to Mahler”, “19th-Century Music Reception in the UK and the USA”, and “The Piano and its Music in Cultural Context, 1700-1820”.


I presently hold an Honorary Research Fellowship at the University of Birmingham. Among my recent publications are the first edition of Webern’s drama “Tot”, accompanied by an analytical essay, in Webern_21 (Boehlau 2009), an article in the Journal of Musicological Research entitled “Much Ado about The Tempest: London Opera Politics, Intercultural Incomprehension and Felix Mendelssohn” (2010), and the chapter “Musikalische Souvenirs von Mendelssohns Schottlandreise” in Musiker auf Reisen: Beiträge zum Kulturtransfer im18. und 19. Jahrhundert (2011). One current research project explores stagings of oratorios in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the initial results of which will appear in the Oxford Handbook of Opera as “Visualising Drama” (forthcoming 2013). I am also preparing a newly translated edition of Franz Liszt’s dramaturgical writings for Cambridge University Press.

Particular areas of interest include Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Franz Liszt, 19th-century female composers (especially Fanny Hensel and Johann Kinkel), composers in early 20th-century Vienna (Gustav Mahler, Weber and the Second Viennese School), as well as music reception and performance practice issues. I am a contributor to The Cambridge Companion to Mendelssohn, Mendelssohn in Performance (IUP), The Mendelssohns: Their Music in History (OUP), the Cambridge Companion to Liszt, and the Oxford Companion to Music.

Other activities

I regularly give lectures and participate in conferences and symposia in Europe, the USA, and South-East Asia; I have frequently presented papers at the Annual Meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung. Recent commitments include contributions to the “Visions of Liszt” festival at Brown University (USA), to the “International Liszt Symposium” of the Universitaet Graz (Austria) and lectures at Duke Universitiy. On the occasion of the composer's bicentenary, I've been invited to lecture about Wagner at the Royal Opera House London and Bristol's Anglo-German Society during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Among my broadcast appearances are “Mendelssohn in Scotland” for “Deutsche Welle” Television, a series of interviews on Mendelssohn for WFMT Radio in Chicago, and participation in Radio 3’s “Music Matters “Liszt bicentenary programme.

In addition to musicology, I remain active in German Studies and offer a postgraduate seminar entitled “German for Musicologists” at the University of London’s “Institute of Musical Research.”

I'm currently the department's Singapore representative, and will be happy to meet or interview prospective music students during my next Singapore visit in April 2013.


Books (forthcoming)

  • Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys Opernprojekte in ihrem kultureller Kontext (240,000 words; forthcoming in 2013).
  • The Piano in Prose: Source Readings from 1700-1850 (80,000 words; co-authored with Kenneth Hamilton; under consideration by Oxford University Press). Recipient of an AMS Publication Endowment Award.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Visualizing Drama.“ Oxford Handbook of Opera, ed. Helen Greenwald. New York: Oxford University Press [forthcoming 2013].
  • “Händel im England des 19. Jahrhunderts.” Händels Weg von Rom nach London ed. Chr.-H. Mahling, Mainz: ARE [forthcoming 2012].
  • “The Phantom of Mendelssohn’s Opera: Fictional Accounts and Posthumous Propaganda.” Mendelssohn Perspectives, ed. Nicole Grimes and Angela Mace (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), 177-96.
  • “Musikalische Souvenirs von Mendelssohns Schottlandreise (1829).” Musiker auf Reisen: Beiträge zum Kulturtransfer im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert, ed. Chr.-H. Mahling (Augsburg: Wissner, 2011), 187-203.
  • “Much Ado about The Tempest: London Opera Politics, Intercultural Incomprehension and Felix Mendelssohn.” Journal of Musicological Research 2-3/29 (2010), 86-118.
  • “Anton Weberns Bühnenspiel Tot als Schlüssel zu seinen Kompositionen.” webern_21, ed. Dominik Schweiger (Vienna: Böhlau, 2009), 117-134. Supported by a Music & Letters Research Grant.
  • “Mendelssohn and the Stage.” Mendelssohn in Performance, ed. Siegwart Reichwald (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2008), 115-146. Shortlisted for a Ruth A. Solie Award of the American Musicological Society.
  • “Liszt’s Songs.” Cambridge Companion to Liszt, ed. Kenneth Hamilton (Cambridge, UK: CUP, 2005), 192-205.
  • “Mendelssohn’s Works for the Stage: From Liederspiel to Lorelei.” Cambridge Companion to Mendelssohn, ed. Peter Mercer-Taylor (Cambridge, UK: CUP, 2004), 206-229.
  • “‘Ritter Berlioz’ und ‘Prophet Mendelssohn’ in der Rezeption ihres Zeitgenossen Griepenkerl.” Berlioz, Wagner und die Deutschen, ed. Sieghart Döhring, Arnold Jakobshagen and Gunther Braam (Köhl: Dohr, 2003), 271-287.
  • “‘So kann ich es nicht componiren’: Mendelssohn, Opera, and the Libretto Problem.” The Mendelssohns–Their Music in History, ed. John Michael Cooper and Julie Prandi (Oxford: OUP, 2002), 181-201.
  • “Mendelssohn and Byron: Two Songs almost without Words.” Mendelssohn-Studien 10 (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1997), 131-156. Supported by a Music & Letters Research Grant.


  • Anton Webern. Tot [first publication]. webern_21, ed. Dominik Schweiger (Vienna: Böhlau, 2009), 135-156.

Dictionary Entries

  • Oxford Companion to Music, ed. Alison Latham (Oxford: OUP, 2002):

Conti, Francesco; Corradini, Francesco; Courcelle, Francesco; Kalabis, Victor; Kittl, Jan Bedřich; Kvapil, Jaruslav; Menuhin, Yehudi; Nebra, José de; Ordoñez, Carlo d’; Royer, Joseph-Nicolas; Valls, Francisco

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