Kristi Brown-Montesano, PhD

Chair, Music History and Literature
Chair, Music History and Literature

A passionate “public” musicologist who has written and lectured extensively on opera, music in film, and classical music in contemporary culture.

Chair of the music history faculty at the Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, Dr. Kristi Brown-Montesano received her Ph.D. in musicology from UC Berkeley, combining her strong interest in both musical performance and scholarly research. Her book The Women of Mozart’s Operas (University of California Press, 2007) offers a detailed study—for students, performers, scholars, and opera lovers—of the female characters in the Da Ponte operas and The Magic Flute, re-evaluating source materials as well as common critical assumptions. Her scholarly work on Mozart’s work has been published by top opera houses, including the National Opera in Washington DC, the Royal Danish Opera, and the Bilbao Opera. Dr. Brown-Montesano has presented and published essays on music in contemporary film, opera, trends in marketing classical music, and musical culture in late 19th-century England. In 2010, she acted as research consultant to actor-director John de Lancie for a pre-concert presentation commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra on Mozart’s early years and the “Haffner” Serenade in D Major, K. 250. In 2014-15, Dr. Brown-Montesano was honored to speak in the UCLA Musicology Department’s Distinguished Lecture Series.

Dr. Brown-Montesano studied voice with Stephanie Friedman and Jeffrey Thomas, and was a long-time member of the American Bach Soloists. She has performed with the Berkeley Contemporary Opera, and was a choral singer with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (under Nicholar McGegan), and Musica Angelica (under Harry Bicket).

A passionate “public musicologist,” she has been a frequent lecturer for the Colburn Chamber Music Society, the LA Opera’s “Opera for Educators” seminars, and the Salon des Musiques chamber-music-series. In 2014-15, Dr. Brown-Montesano was honored to participate in the UCLA Musicology Department’s Distinguished Lecture Series. This year she will continue as resident musicologist and co-presenter of the Salon des Musiques concert series, and has been invited to lecture on ETA Hoffmann’s Tales of Hoffman for The Opera League of Los Angeles.

Visit Kristi Brown’s website.