Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Faculty Experts

Michael Cooper

Professor of Music


Areas of expertise

Music Literature

J. Michael Cooper joined the Sarofim School of Fine Arts faculty in 2006 as the Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts. Prior to his appointment at Southwestern he was on the faculty of the University of North Texas. His research interests include 19th- century music, source studies, historiography and political history, specializing in Mendelssohn, Schumann, Berlioz, and Richard Strauss. A Fulbright scholar, Dr. Cooper has published writings in Early Music, Nineteenth-Century Music, and elsewhere. Performances and CD recordings of his editions of unknown and little-known works by Felix Mendelssohn and Fanny Hensel have earned him a place at the forefront of the community of scholars of 19th-century music. Most important among these are a facsimile edition of the complete autograph sources of Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony, the first complete edition of the revised version of that work (Wiesbaden, 1997 and 2001), the first source-critical editions of Mendelssohn's Op. 69 and Op. 78 Motets (Kassel, 2006), and a new Urtext edition of Mendelssohn's oratorio Paulus/St. Paul (Kassel, 2007). Dr. Cooper is also the author of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: A Guide to Research (New York, 2001) and Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony (Oxford, 2003). His latest book, Mendelssohn, Goethe, and the Walpurgis Night: The Heathen Muse in European Culture, 1700-1850, was published by the University of Rochester Press in May 2007. He is also the recent recipient of two awards from The Florida State University College of Music: the 2007-2008 Warren D. Allen Faculty Citation for Excellence in Scholarship, and holder of the Curtis Mayes Orpheus Chair in Musicology.


Ph.D.,Duke University 1994
M.M.,Florida State University 1988
B.M.,Florida State University 1985
B.M.,Florida State University 1985


Professor of Music (Music Literature)
Southwestern University
January 01, 2010 - present
Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts

Associate Professor of Music (Music Literature)
Southwestern University
August 01, 2006 - July 01, 2009
Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts

Curtis Mayes Orpheus Chair in Musicology
Florida State University
August 01, 2007 - December 01, 2007

Associate Professor of Music (Musicology)
University of North Texas
August 01, 2001 - July 01, 2006


Politics and music history, especially 17th-20th centuries; Mendelssohn Berlioz Schumann Schubert Liszt Wagner


Books: Mendelssohn, Goethe, and the Walpurgis Night: The Heathen Muse in Western Europe, 1750-1900 (University of Rochester Press) Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony (Oxford University Press, 2003) The Mendelssohns: Their Music in History (Oxford University Press, 2002) Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: A Guide to Research (New York: Routledge, 2001) Published Editions: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Three Psalms, Op. posth. 78 (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2006). Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Three Choruses, Op. 69 (Kassel: Bärenreiter (2006). Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, "Die erste Walpurgisnacht": First Edition of the 1830-33 Version. Recent Researches in the Music of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. Madison, Wisconsin: A-R Editions, (at press; anticipated date of publication: May 2006) Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Symphony in A Major ("Italian"): First Edition of the Revised Version of 1833/1834. Wiesbaden: Ludwig-Reichert-Verlag, 1999. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Sinfonie A-dur op. 90, "Italienische": Alle eigenhäigen Niederschriften im Faksimile. Facsimile edition, 2 vols. with commentary. Wiesbaden: Ludwig-Reichert-Verlag, 1997. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Tu es Petrus, Op. 111. Stuttgart: Carus-Verlag, 1996. Articles and Book Chapters (selected): "Knowing Mendelssohn: A Challenge from the Primary Sources." Notes 61 (2004): 35-95 "Mendelssohn Received." In The Cambridge Companion to Mendelssohn, ed. Peter Mercer-Taylor, 233-50. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. "The Realisation and Embellishment of Timpani Parts in German Baroque Music: The Schlagmanieren Revisited." Early Music 27 (1999): 249-66. "Words Without Songs: Thoughts on Texts, Titles, and Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte." In Musik als Text: Bericht :en internationalen Kongreβder Gesellschaft für Musikforschung, Freiburg im Breisgau 1993, ed. Hermann Danuser and Tobias Plebuch, ii: 341-46. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1999. "Timpani and Percussion." In A Performer's Guide to Seventeenth-Century Music, ed. Stewart Carter, 133-52. New York: Schirmer Books, 1997. "The Hero Transformed: The Relationship between Ein Heldenleben and Don Quixote Reconsidered." Richard-Strauss-Blätter 30 (1993): 3-21.

Specific subjects or issues you can knowledgeably discuss:
-- Music (anything from classical antiquity to WW II) -- music history (ditto) -- Relationships between music and the other arts, especially literary and visual arts -- Relationships between music and politics, music and philosophy Composers: Felix Me

I am willing to talk to the media: yes

I am willing to talk to community groups about my area of expertise: yes

Can you do interviews in Spanish? no

Other languages you are fluent in: German

Experience with the news media (especially electronic media):

Contact Details:
(512) 863-1843(office)
Office: Fine Arts 136