Musicology


Maja Cerar graduated
from Columbia University in May, 2009 with a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology.  She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Columbia's Music Department, teaching the Core Curriculum course "Masterpieces of Western Music."

Her main research interests include correlations between literature/poetry and music in the
early nineteenth century, with a special focus on the work of Franz Schubert. In her doctoral dissertation, "Song Allusions in Franz Schubert's Late Quartets," she explored semantic implications of text settings incorporated into instrumental music.  She is continuing to develop this inquiry, pursuing the significance and use of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century musical topics and figures in Schubert's chamber music of the 1820s.  

Moreover, for over ten years she has been very active in exploring and documenting advances and integration of new technologies and extended techniques in concert music performance.


While studying at Columbia, Ms. Cerar and worked for two years as research assistant for Prof. Ian Bent in the development of an online pilot project about Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, in cooperation with the Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning.

Ms. Cerar has co-authored and presented papers and lectures including:
  • Brooklyn College, City University of New York
  • Symposium on Electroacoustic Music Performance
    April 21, 2012

    Author and presenter, "Becoming an Audio-Visual Performer."
  • Brooklyn College, City University of New York
  • Symposium on Electroacoustic Music Performance
    April 21, 2012

    Panelist, "Performing Acoustic Instruments with Electronics."
  • Columbia University, Narrative Medicine Program, graduate seminar "Narratives of Death"
  • Seminar Guest and discussion leader "Portrayals of Death in Schubert's Songs"
    February 9, 2010

  • Schweizerische Musikforschende Gesellschaft, Sektion Zürich, Switzerland
    Guest Lecture Series
    Author and presenter: "Liedfragmente in Schuberts späten Streichquartetten"
    January 21, 2010
  • Stony Brook University Manhattan Center
    Fall 2009 Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Greater New York Chapter
    Author and presenter: “Hearing Words in the First Movement of Schubert's A- minor String Quartet D.804” 
    October 3, 2009.
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 
    "2008 Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts"
    Panel moderator: "Influences of New Technologies on Music and Theater Traditions." Panelists included Profs. David Wessel, David Bithell, Ali Momeni, and Philip Bither, curator of performing arts at Walker Arts Center
    February 2008.
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    “2007 Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts”
    Co-author, with Jason Freeman: “Graph Theory and the Virtual Composer Residency  Project,”
    February 2007.
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Arts Series
     Presenter: “Broken Molds, Past and Present”
    September 2006.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
    International Computer Music Conference
    Co-author, with Douglas Geers: “Development of a Versatile Interactive Performance System”
    November 2006.
  • Location One, New York, New York
    "Dorkbot" Electronic Arts Lecture Series.
    Presenter: "Input and Outlet: Interactivity between People and Machines"
    October 2005.
  • Skofja Loka Music Academy, Skofja Loka, Slovenia
    Festival "Loca Musica"
    Presenter: "Contemporary Performance Practice of Violin in the Multimedia Space" 
    August 2005.
  • Luther College, Regina, Canada
    Conference "The Unknown Schubert: New Perspectives, New Insights"
    Paper presenter: "Intertextuality and Non-Linear Structures in Schubert’s Late Quartets"
    December 2004.
  • Musikhochschule Winterthur-Zürich, Switzerland
    Symposium in Honor of Zakhar Bron
    Panelist
    December 2004.
  • Kentler International Drawing Space, New York
    Symposium "Herbert Brün: Computer Graphics and Compositions for Interpreters"
    Panelist and performer
    October 2004.
  • Columbia University, New York
    Symposium "Re:NEW-Frontiers in Creativity" (Part of Columbia University's 250th Anniversary Celebration)
    Presenter and performer
    September 2004.
  • University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
    ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music) World Music Days Festival
    Paper co-presenter with composer Douglas Geers: "Mad Love for New Performance Technologies"
    September 2003.
  • Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
    SEAMUS (Society of Electroacoustic Music in the United States)
    Conference Panelist: "Cross-Influences of Contemporary Electroacoustic Music with Popular Electronica"
    March 2003.
  • New York University, New York, New York
    Interactive Telecommunications Program
    Presenter and performer: "Communicating Musical Gesture in Partnership with Live Computer Sounds"
    May 8, 2002.
  • Center for New Media in Teaching and Learning, Columbia University, New York
    "Inception," an article as part of website project led by Prof. Ian Bent documenting Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire and its cultural context.
    2001.