Todd, R. Larry 1952–

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Todd, R. Larry 1952–

PERSONAL: Born March 14, 1952, in Seattle, WA; son of Theodore H. and Dorothea I. Todd. Education: Yale University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1974, M.Phil., 1977, Ph.D., 1979.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Music, 081 Mary Duke Biddle Bldg., Box 90665, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708; fax: 919-660-3301. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Duke University, Durham, NC, instructor, 1978–79, assistant professor, 1979–81, director of graduate studies, 1981–85, associate professor, 1981–89, professor of music, 1989–2005, Arts & Sciences Professor of Music, 2005–, chair, 1996–; Amherst College, Amherst, MA, Valentine professor, 1989; Florida State University, College of Music, Tallahassee, FL, House-wright Eminent Scholar Chair in Music, 2005.

MEMBER: American Musicological Society (member of board of directors, 1986–87).

AWARDS, HONORS: Best Biography of 2003, Association of American Publishers; John Hope Franklin Center fellowship, 2004–05.


Mendelssohn's Musical Education: A Study and Edition of His Exercises in Composition, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1983.

(Editor, with Jon W. Finson, and contributor) Mendelssohn and Schumann: Essays on Their Music and Its Context, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1984.

(Editor) Nineteenth-Century Piano Music, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1990, 2nd edition, Routledge (New York, NY), 2004.

The Musical Art: An Introduction to Western Music, Wadsworth (Belmont, CA), 1990.

(Editor) Mendelssohn and His World, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1991.

(Editor, with Peter Williams) Perspectives on Mozart Performance, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1991.

(Editor) Mendelssohn Studies, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1992.

Mendelssohn: 'The Hebrides' and Other Overtures, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor) Schumann and His World, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1994.

Mendelssohn: A Life in Music, Oxford University Press (Oxford, NY), 2003.

(Editor) Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel Piano Music, Dover Publications (Mineola, NY), 2004.

Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Baerenreiter Urtext: Konzert in e-Moll, Op. 64, 1844/1845 (critical edition of violin concerto), Baerenreiter (Kassel, Germany), 2005.

(Editor) Mendelssohn Studies, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to books, including The Orchestra: Origins and Transformations, edited by Joan Peyser, Scribner (New York, NY), 1986; The Mendelssohns: Their Music in History, edited by J. Michael Cooper, Oxford University Press, 2002; Cambridge Mendelssohn Companion, edited by Peter Mercer-Taylor, Cambridge University Press, 2004; and Cambridge Companion to the Concerto, Cambridge University Press, 2005. Contributor to periodicals, including Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Music Quarterly, Music and Letters, Music Review, Organ Yearbook, Piano, Piano Today, and American Chord Review. General editor, Routledge Studies in Musical Genre Series, general editor, 2003–.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Mendelssohn Essays, for Rout-ledge.

SIDELIGHTS: Writer, musicologist, and music historian R. Larry Todd is a professor of music who concentrates his scholarly studies on nineteenth-century music. Considered one of America's preeminent authorities on composer Felix Mendelssohn, Todd frequently writes on Mendelssohn's life, family, and work.

In Mendelssohn: A Life in Music, he presents a meticulous, minutely detailed biography of the composer, his personal life, and the individual and professional influences that had the greatest impact on the development of his music. Todd explores Mendelssohn's genius as a child prodigy and as a composer and performer throughout his life. He examines areas of Mendelssohn's talent often overlooked by other biographers, including his abilities as a conductor, pianist, organist, and painter. Todd mines newly available archival material to uncover new aspects of Mendelssohn's life and work, including unfinished works and pieces that were popular in Mendelssohn's time, but which are largely forgotten or rarely performed today. The author also takes an especially detailed look at the work of the composer's sister, Fanny, in terms of the insights she offers into Mendelssohn's own work and personality. Todd also stresses the importance of Mendelssohn's Jewish background, the family's sincere conversion to Protestantism, and the anti-Semitism that continued to plague them even after conversion. It is notable that "to this day, we doggedly call [Mendelssohn] by the surname of his Jewish ancestors, rather than by Bartholdy, the surname his father adopted upon conversion," observed reviewers Elizabeth and Joe Kahn on the Classic Voice of North Carolina Web site. Seattle Times reviewer Melinda Bargreen called Todd's work a "valuable book for those who like a graceful biography" about Mendelssohn. Barry Zaslow, writing in the Library Journal, called Mendelssohn a "magisterial, exhaustively documented book likely to become the standard biography." A contributor to Contemporary Review concluded that "Todd has produced a monumental work of scholarship" that covers Mendelssohn personally and professionally but also details the political state of Europe and the world during the composer's lifetime and beyond.



Contemporary Review, July, 2004, review of Mendelssohn: A Life in Music, p. 63.

Library Journal, September 1, 2003, Barry Zaslow, review of Mendelssohn, p. 172.

Seattle Times, November 9, 2003, Melinda Bargreen, "Best Books 2003: Know the Score on Classical-Music Gifts," review of Mendelssohn.


Classic Voice of North Carolina Web site, (September 10, 2006), Elizabeth and Joe Kahn, review of Mendelssohn.

Mars Hill Audio Web site, (September 10, 2006), biography of R. Larry Todd.

Oxford University Press Web site, (September 10, 2006), biography of R. Larry Todd.

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Todd, R. Larry 1952–

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