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Michael Marissen

Daniel Underhill Professor Emeritus of Music

Emeritus Music


  2. Phone: (610) 357-1391
Michael Marissen; Photo © Sigrid Estrada.

Michael Marissen holds a BA from Calvin College and PhD from Brandeis University. He joined the Swarthmore faculty in 1989 and since then has also been a visiting professor on the graduate faculties at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania.

He taught courses on medieval, renaissance, baroque, and classical European music; Bach; a conceptual introduction to the music of various cultures; Mozart; and the string quartet.

His research has been supported by fellowships from agencies in Canada (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), England (Woolf Institute), Germany (D.A.A.D., and Humboldt Foundation), and the USA (National Endowment for the Humanities, and American Council of Learned Societies).

He has written several books on Bach and on Handel:

  • Bach against Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2023).
  • Bach & God (Oxford University Press, 2016).
  • Tainted Glory in Handel's Messiah (Yale University Press, 2014).
  • Bach's Oratorios - The Parallel German-English Texts, with Annotations (Oxford University Press, 2008).
  • Creative Responses to Bach from Mozart to Hindemith (University of Nebraska Press, 1998), editor.
  • Lutheranism, anti-Judaism, and Bach's St. John Passion (Oxford University Press, 1998).
  • An Introduction to Bach Studies (Oxford University Press, 1998), co-author Daniel R. Melamed.
  • The Social and Religious Designs of J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (Princeton University Press, 1995).

Other publications include articles in Early Music, Harvard Theological Review, Lutheran Quarterly, Music & Letters, Musical Quarterly, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times. For a full list of publications, click here [pdf].