Jesse Rodin strives to make contact with lived musical experiences of the distant past. Focusing on the fifteenth century, he immerses himself in the original sources, singing from choirbooks, memorizing melodies and their texts, even recreating performances held at weddings, liturgical ceremonies, and feasts. In 2010 he and Professor Craig Sapp launched the Josquin Research Project, which uses digital tools to subject fifteenth-century repertories to both close and “distant” reading. As Director of the ensemble Cut Circle, he collaborates with world-class singers to recapture early music’s intensity and grit.
Rodin is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and the American Musicological Society. For his work with Cut Circle he has received the Prix Olivier Messiaen, the Noah Greenberg Award, Editor’s Choice (Gramophone), and a Diapason d’Or.
He is the author of Josquin’s Rome: Hearing and Composing in the Sistine Chapel (Oxford University Press, 2012), editor of a volume of L’homme armé masses for the New Josquin Edition (2014), and co-editor of The Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music (2015). His articles have appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Music & Letters, Acta Musicologica, and other major journals. Current projects include a series of recordings devoted to the songs of Johannes Ockeghem and his contemporaries (Musique en Wallonie) and a monograph on form in fifteenth-century music (Cambridge University Press).
At Stanford Rodin directs the Facsimile Singers, which helps students develop native fluency in old musical notation. He also co-teaches “Food, Text, Music: A Multidisciplinary Lab on the Art of Feasting,” in which students explore historical sources, attend to issues of aesthetic experience and sustainability, and cook medieval recipes in Stanford’s Teaching Kitchen.