Faculty & Staff Profiles

René Rusch

Associate Professor of Music Theory

René Rusch is an associate professor of music theory. Prior to joining the Department of Music Theory at U-M in 2015, she taught at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, from 2007–15. In addition to specializing in the music of Franz Schubert, Rusch’s research interests include nineteenth-century harmony and form, Schenkerian theory, and jazz theory. Her papers often adopt an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing from literary theory, philosophy, and historiography.

Rusch’s articles have appeared in the Journal of Music Theory, Music Analysis, Music Theory Online, and the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland. She is currently writing a book about Schubert’s instrumental music and the poetics of contemporary interpretive practices. Rusch has presented her research at refereed conferences, including the Society for Music Theory’s (SMT) annual and regional meetings, the New England Conference of Music Theorists, the European Music Analysis Conference, and the Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music.

In 2006, Rusch received the Arthur J. Komar Award from Music Theory Midwest for a paper presentation derived from her thesis. In 2011, she was awarded a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for her work on Schubert. She is the recipient of the 2014 Schulich School of Music Teaching Award at McGill University and was nominated twice for the Principal’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Rusch has also won first prize in several piano competitions, including the Music Teachers National Association’s Performance Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs’ District and Regional Competitions.

Rusch has served on the editorial boards of Music Theory Online, Intégral, and Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy; the SMT-Jazz Award Committee; and the Program Committee for SMT. She has also served as Co-editor and Editor-in-chief of Music Theory Online, the online flagship journal of SMT.

updated 9/14/21

Selected Publications

“Capturing the Ineffable: Three Transcriptions of a Jazz Solo by Sonny Rollins.” With Keith Salley and Chris Stover. Music Theory Online 22, no. 3 (2016).

“Crossing Over with Brad Mehldau’s Cover of Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android’: The Role of Jazz Improvisation in the Transformation of an Intertext.” Music Theory Online 19, no. 4 (2013).

“Beyond Homage and Critique? Schubert’s Sonata in C minor, D. 958, and Beethoven’s Thirty-Two Variations in C minor, WoO 80.” Music Theory Online 19, no. 1 (2013).

“Schenkerian Theory, Neo-Riemannian Theory and Late Schubert: A Lesson from Tovey.” Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland 8 (2012–13): 3–20.

“Schubert’s Drei Klavierstücke, D. 946, Nos. 1 and 2, and the Case of the Crossed-Out C Section.” Journal of Music Theory 56, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 53–86.

“Rethinking Conceptions of Unity: Schubert’s Moment Musical in A-flat Major, D. 780 (Op. 94), No. 2.” Music Analysis 30, no. 1 (2011): 58–88.

Current Projects

Schubert’s Instrumental Music and the Poetics of Interpretation. Under contract, Indiana University Press.

“Rethinking Self-referentiality in Schubert’s Setting of Platen’s ‘Die Liebe hat gelogen,’ D. 751 (op. 23, no. 1).” Book chapter. Pendragon Press. Forthcoming.

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