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Associate Professor of Music and Department Co-Chair

Department: Music

Affiliated Department(s): East Asian Studies


Office: Bixler 170
Phone: 207-859-5673
Fax: 207-859-5635

Mailing Address

5673 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901-8856

Semester Schedule


Areas of Expertise

  • Music theory
  • Music composition
  • World music
  • Traditional Japanese music and culture
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to music analysis

Professional Information

Professor Nuss received his Ph.D. in Music Theory in 1996 from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. A former orchestral conducting fellow of the Aspen Music Festival and faculty member of the Seishin International School and University in Tokyo, his published research is a unique blend of Western and non-Western analytical techniques and theoretical models of form and process. His work has appeared in Perspectives of New Music, Contemporary Music Review, Music Theory Spectrum, Theory and Practice, as well as analytical essays in A Way Alone: Writings on Tôru Takemitsu published by Academia Musicae, and in Locating East Asia in Western Art Music published by Wesleyan University Press. He has also been invited to present his research at the Society for Music Theory, The New England Conference of Music Theory, The West Coast Conference of Music Theory and Analysis, The Tokyo College of Music, the Oxford Conference on Music and Consciousness, among others. In 2018 Christian Longchamp, noted artistic adviser and dramaturg with the Opéra national de Paris and Strasbourg’s Opéra national du Rhin, commissioned Professor Nuss to write the program essay for the first performance in France of Japanese composer Toshiro Mayuzumi’s grand opera Kinkakuji (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion).

Professor Nuss is currently at work on additional analytical essays and a book that explore the intersections among musical and religious thought, practice, and perception in the music of Morton Feldman. He is a recent recipient of grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Department.

Courses Currently Teaching 2015-2016

MU182 Music Theory II
MU275 Cultured Tough Guys–Samurai, Music, Art, Culture and Devotion