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 candidate in historical musicology at 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. She has presented her research at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, the Teaching Music History Conference, and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Symposium. In her free time, Lena enjoys cooking, home remodeling, and the company of her English Springer Spaniel, Percy.


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