Professor of Music; Director, Center for Early Music Studies; Chair, Department of Historical Performance
Victor Coelho is Professor of Music in the Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology, Director of the Center for Early Music Studies, Chair of the Dept. of Historical Performance, and a faculty member in the American and New England Studies Program. A graduate of Berkeley (BA) and UCLA (PhD), and a Fellow of Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, from 2007-2011 he was Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education at Boston University and produced the University’s “One BU” report on undergraduate education.
A musicologist and performer on lute and guitar, he works primarily in the areas of Renaissance music and popular culture, with a particular interest in interdisciplinary approaches and cross-cultural perspectives. As a specialist on popular music, he is interested in African-American music, rock history, blues, improvisation, and performance issues, and appears regularly in print media, radio, and films as a specialist on early music, popular music, the blues, rock history, and technology. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, the University of Melbourne, Cornell University, and at Villa I Tatti in Florence. As of 2017, Victor is President of the Saturday Club, founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson in Boston in 1855.
His books include Instrumentalists and Renaissance Culture, 1420-1600, co-authored with Keith Polk (Cambridge), Music and Science in the Age of Galileo (Kluwer), The Manuscript Sources of 17th-Century Italian Lute Music (Garland), Performance on Lute, Guitar, and Vihuela (Cambridge), The Cambridge Companion to the Guitar, and the recently published Cambridge Companion to the Rolling Stones (ed. with John Covach).
As a lutenist he has performed extensively throughout N. America and Europe, and he is co-director of the group Il Furioso, which specializes in Italian music of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. In 2000 he received the Noah Greenberg Award given by the American Musicological Society for outstanding contributions to the performance of early music. His recordings as lutenist and director appear on the Stradivarius, Toccata Classics, and Teldec labels, and he is also the founder and guitarist in the Rooster Blues Band, which has released two albums: Come on in my Kitchen and Bluestoons on the UCM label. For ten years the band toured regularly with the late Chicago blues singer Lou Pride (d. 2012).