Lena Leson

Historical Musicology


Dissertation: “Making an American Modernist: Franco-Russian Music Practices and Cold War Aesthetics in the Ballets of George Balanchine” (2021)

Lena Leson is a scholar of music for the stage and holds a PhD in historical musicology from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation explores the Cold War politics of George Balanchine’s American ballets, and draws on her interest in the cultural politics of music and dance as well as 20th-century music for ballet in the United States, Europe, and Russia. Her article on the role of religion in the Breen-Davis tour of Porgy and Bess in the USSR appeared in the May 2021 issue of the Journal for the Society of American Music. She has presented her research at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society and the Dance Studies Association.


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