Dorian Bandy

Academic title(s): 

Area Coordinator, Early Music & Harpsichord

Dorian Bandy
Music Research
Music Performance
Early Music
Music History/Musicology
Contact Information
+1 (514) 398-1266
Email address: 
dorian.bandy [at]
Area Coordinator
C-306A, Strathcona Music Building

BA, Cornell University
MMus, Royal Academy of Music (London)
PhD, University of Glasgow

Areas of expertise: 

Musicology; historical performance practice; philosophy of music


Dorian Bandy is a musicologist and performer specializing in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries. His academic work focuses on Mozart (with a particular emphasis on improvisation, the performer-composer relationship, and the Da Ponte operas), Beethoven, German instrumental music c.1660-1720, and Lieder c.1780-1840. In addition, Dorian's interests encompass various issues in aesthetics and the philosophy of music (including the work concept, meme theory, musical meaning, and the philosophy of historical performance), as well as philosophical artworks more broadly (especially Stephen Sondheim's musicals). His writings on these and related topics have appeared in publications ranging from leading academic journals to blogs such as and He is a member of the Re:Enlightenment collective.

Alongside his academic work, Dorian maintains a career as a conductor, baroque violinist, and historical keyboardist. His repertoire spans four centuries, and his performances — acclaimed for their vitality, drama, and warmth — have taken him to venues across Europe and North America, including London’s Wigmore and Cadogan Halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and New York’s Symphony Space.

Before joining the faculty at McGill, Dorian taught at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Norwegian Music Academy in Oslo.


MUHL 286 (Critical Thinking About Music)
MUHL 383 (Classical Music)
MUPP 381 (Topics in Historical Performance)

Graduate seminars: Mozart in the marketplace; Adventures in musical subjectivity; Philosophy of historical performance; Approaches to musical meaning; Research methods in music

Performance: Baroque orchestra, chamber music coaching, private lessons, vocal coaching, etc.

Selected publications: 

"Beethoven's rhetoric of embellishment." 19th-Century Music (forthcoming)

"Mozart's operatic embellishments." Cambridge Opera Journal 33/1-2

"Thema da capo: another look at Mozart's embellishments." Eighteenth-Century Music 19/1

"Violin technique and the contrapuntal imagination in 17th-century German lands." Early Music 49/2


Telemann: Complete 1715 Violin Sonatas, including one world premiere (2018)

Back to top