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Ellen T. Harris

Class of 1949 Professor of Music

Associate Provost for the Arts, 1989 - 1996

Class of 1949 Professor of Music

Associate Provost for the Arts, 1989 - 1996

Ellen T. Harris
Class of 1949 Professor of Music
Associate Provost for the Arts, 1989 – 1996

A renowned musicologist and performing soprano, Ellen Harris is an internationally recognized scholar in Baroque opera, specializing in the music of Handel and Purcell. Professor Harris joined MIT in 1989 as the first associate provost for the arts, and her work during the next seven years is largely credited with the increased visibility of and support for the arts on campus.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Discovering new insights into the role of sexuality in artistic expression.
  • Controversy around the conclusions in her prize-winning book, Handel and Orpheus: Voice and Desire in the Chamber Cantatas.
  • Challenges in building an arts program at a science and technology-based institution.
  • Working as chair of the Committee on Campus Race Relations.
  • Winning the Kepes Prize in 2005.

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