Roger Evans’s most recently published book (May 2015) is a discussion of the nature of the musical occasion at crucial points in history, Music and Power. In 2012 came a biography of the Catalan composer Xavier Montsalvatge, published by Pendragon Press in celebration of the centenary of Montsalvatge’s birth, and he has completed an edition of interviews with George Perle by the Yale Oral History of American Music; it will appear as part of a larger work. He has combined the work of a musician with that of a writer, informed by extensive activities as performer at pipe organ and harpsichord, choral conductor, teacher, researcher, scholar of liturgy, editor, administrator, and highly engaged observer.
Roger Evans was trained in music school as a performer (being one of the earliest recipients of the Bodky Prize while still a student in the Yale School of Music) and in graduate school as a musicologist (when he was Gustave Reese‘s research assistant and last Ph.D.). He also pursued post-graduate studies in English and comparative literature under Helaine Newstead and Harry Mooney. While working as a practical musician—especially as organist and choirmaster of some of the leading Catholic liturgical-music programs in the eastern United States—he has taught at the City University of New York and the University of Pittsburgh, fulfilled residencies at the University of Colorado, the University of California at Los Angeles, and Yale University, and worked as a writer, editor, and new-media specialist at BMG Classics and Sony Classical. He was United States publicist for Angel/EMI Classics/Virgin Classics and Editor at the Thornwillow Press. In February 2012, he became Director of Music for the Church of Notre Dame and the Columbia University Catholic Ministry in New York, posts that he relinquished at the end of August 2013 to pursue musical and literary activities in Catalonia’s Barcelona Province, where he makes his home.
An NDEA Fellow for three years, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow three times, he also received study grants from the Smithsonian Institution and the Association for Cultural Exchange and studied Tudor and Stuart music at Merton College, Oxford (under Gustave Reese and Denis Stevens) and had private lessons with Gustav Leonhard in Amsterdam. Through it all, he has been writing and speaking in a wide variety of forums, both popular and specialized. This site is meant to reflect much of that ardent engagement with music and allied arts, literature, and media, in all of which, practice has fed thought, and writing has both chronicled and informed practice. His Amalarius of Metz and the Singing of the Carolingian Offices inhabits some of the same territory within a specific historical period.
Roger Evans, long based in New York, has often worked in recent years to promote major composers through imaginative use of media and has also worked as Managing Director of the Hampsong Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Thomas Hampson to forward the performance and study of song.
He has been an active teacher of harpsichord-playing and plays solo recitals on that instrument. Late 2011 saw the release of a solo CD on the Thornwillow label, In the Italian Manner, of European harpsichord music in an Italian style, whether or not by an Italian composer.
Besides his many music projects, both applied and literary, Roger Evans cultivates a special interest in the social and cultural history of the diverse nationalities under the Spanish state. Before his more recent move there, he lived in the Province of Barcelona from 1987 to 1989 and maintains an especially lively relationship with the Catalan language and culture. In March 2012, at the invitation of the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, he assisted at the country’s ceremony in Barcelona honoring the centenary of the birth of Xavier Montsalvatge. He appeared substantially in the illuminating documentary about Montsalvatge, Mig violí, una butaca i un piano (A half-size violin, a seat on the aisle, and a piano), which was shown in November 2012 at the Film Society of Lincoln Centre and at New York’s Instituto Cervantes (as well as numerous places abroad), and he was personally profiled in summer 2012 by TV3 de Catalunya (Catalan public television).
Roger Evans appears frequently in Barcelona broadcast media, discussing issues of broad social interest.
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