Michael J. Puri

Associate Professor of Music
University of Virginia
mjp3h at virginia.edu


  • Ph.D., M.Phil in Music Theory, Yale University
  • Lehrdiplom and Konzertdiplom (Undergraduate and Graduate Diplomas) in Piano Performance, Music Academy of Basel, Switzerland
  • B.A. in Music and Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University


Research interests:

  • Music theory and analysis
  • 19th- and 20th-century French and German classical music, esp. Ravel, Wagner, Debussy
  • Memory studies
  • Critical theory
  • Hermeneutics


Grants and awards:

  • 2013-14 Fellow at the National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park, NC)
  • Alfred Einstein Award from the American Musicological Society
  • Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society
  • Mellon Travel Grant for research at the Harry Ransom Humanities Center (UT-Austin)
  • Publication subventions from the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory for Ravel the Decadent
  • Mead Endowment and Z Society awards for excellence in teaching at UVA
  • Multiple research fellowships and grants from the University of Virginia (Sesquicentennial, Vice-President, Summer Faculty Research)
  • Multiple national fellowships and awards during graduate studies (Javits, Mellon, Whiting, Beebe, DAAD, Rotary)

Book:Ravel the Decadent cover

Ravel the Decadent: Memory, Sublimation, and Desire (Oxford University Press, 2011)
(Amazon.com page)

Selected articles:

"The Ecstasy and the Agony: Exploring the Nexus of Music and Message in the Act III Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg," 19th-Century Music, vol. 25, nos. 2-3 (Fall/Spring 2001-2002): 212-236.

"Dandy, Interrupted: Sublimation, Repression, and Self-Portraiture in Maurice Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé," Journal of the American Musicological Society, vol. 60, no. 2 (Summer 2007): 317-372.

"Memory and Melancholy in the 'Epilogue' of Ravel's Valses nobles et sentimentales," Music Analysis, vol. 29, nos. 2-3 (2011): 1-37.

"Adorno's Ravel," in Unmasking Ravel: New Perspectives on the Music, ed. Peter Kaminsky (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2011): 111-141.

"Memory, Pastiche, and Aestheticism in Ravel and Proust," in Ravel Studies, ed. Deborah Mawer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 122-152.

"Jankelevitch and the Dilemma of Decadence," Journal of the American Musicological Society, vol. 65, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 245-250.

"The Passion of the Passacaille: Ravel, Wagner, Parsifal," Cambridge Opera Journal, vol. 25, no. 3 (November 2013): 285-318.


Berthold Hoeckner, Programming the Absolute (Princeton University Press 2003), in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, vol. 59, no. 2 (Fall 2006): 488-501.

Roger Nichols, Ravel (Yale University Press 2011), in Music & Letters, vol. 93, no. 4 (November 2012): 617-622.

Lecture-Recital Excerpts:

January 16, 2014 at National Humanities Center, NC

Puri on Schumann and Liszt

Puri on Ravel Oiseaux Tristes

Puri on Debussy Danse


Video podcast about my research on Ravel, commissioned by the American Musicological Society.


UVA Today article on release of Ravel the Decadent, March 19, 2012.

BBC3 radio interview on Ravel the Decadent, May 12, 2012.

UVA Today article on National Humanities Fellowship, April 22, 2013.

WTJU radio interview about National Humanities Fellowship, April 26, 2013.