The Philip Brett Award, sponsored by the LGBTQ Study Group of the American Musicological Society, is named in honor of Philip Brett (1937–2002), one of the founding members of the study group. Each year it honors exceptional musicological work in the field of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual studies completed during the previous two calendar years (next offered in 2019 for work completed in 2017 or 2018), in any country and in any language. By “work” is meant a published article, book, edition, annotated translation, a paper read at a conference, teaching materials (course descriptions and syllabi), and other scholarly work accepted by the award committee that best exemplifies the highest qualities of originality, interpretation, theory, and communication in this field of study. By "completion" is meant the publication in the case of articles, books, editions, etc.; and delivery at a conference or the like in the case of a paper.

The award consists of the sum of a cash prize and certificate. It is announced at both the AMS Annual Business Meeting and the annual meeting of the LGBTQ Study Group. The committee will entertain nominations from any individual, including eligible scholars who are encouraged to nominate their own work. Individuals may receive the award on more than one occasion. 

Nominations should include the name of the scholar, a description of the work, and a statement to the effect that the work was completed during the previous two years. The committee will contact the nominee for additional material as needed. Self-nominations should include material to be considered and a curriculum vitae. Nominations, including a digital copy of all application materials, should be sent by May 1, 2019 to the LGBTQ Study Group Co-chairs: amslgbtq [at] gmail [dot] com.

Questions regarding the award, the nomination process, or any other matter may be directed to the Co-chairs by email to: amslgbtq [at] gmail [dot] com.

Philip Brett. photo by Kathleen Karn.

Philip Brett. photo by Kathleen Karn.

Brett Award Winners

2017: Allison McCracken, Real Men Don't Sing: Crooning in American Culture (Duke University Press, 2015).

2016: William Cheng, Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016); 
Christina Sunardi. Stunning Males and Powerful Females (Urbana:  University of Illinois Press, 2015) 

2015: Elias Krell, "Singing Strange: Transvocality in North American Music Performance," PhD diss: Northwestern University, 2014.

2014: Lisa Barg, "Queer Encounters in the Music of Billy Strayhorn," Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 66, No. 3 (Fall 2013), pp. 771-824.

2013: Elizabeth L. Wollman, Hard Times: The Adult Musical in 1970s New York City (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). 

2012: Christopher Moore, “Camp in Francis Poulenc’s Early Ballets,” The Musical Quarterly 95.2 (2012).

2012: Mitchell Morris, for syllabus to class, “LGBTQ Perspectives in Popular Music,” regularly offered at the University of California, Los Angeles.

2011:   William Cheng, “Acoustemologies of the Closet” in The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality, ed. Mark Grimshaw (in press).

2011: Emily Wilbourne, "Amor nello specchio (1622): Mirroring, Masturbation, and Same-Sex Love,” Women and Music, 13 (2009).

2010:   Roger Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato: Politics, Patronage, and Music in the Life of Atto Melani (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

2009:  Philip Ross Bullock, “Ambiguous Speech and Eloquent Silence: The Queerness of Tchaikovsky’s Songs,” 19th-Century Music 32/1 (Summer 2008).

2009: Annie Janeiro Randall, Dusty! Queen of the Postmods (Oxford University Press, 2008).

2008: George Haggerty, Jenny Doctor, and Susan McClary, for Music and Sexuality in Britten: Selected Essays (2006). University of California Press.

2008: Martin Pénet, “L’expression homosexuelle dans les chansons françaises de l’entre-deux-guerre: entre derision et ambiguïté,” Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine, 53 (2006). 

2007:  Suzanne G. Cusick, “Music as Torture, Music as a Weapon,” paper presented at AMS Los Angeles 2006, and “Queer Performativity and the Gender Order in the GWOT [Global War on Terror],” paper presented at the Queer Vibrations conference, Cornell University (March, 2007).

2006: Nadine Hubbs, The Queer Composition of America’s Sound: Gay Modernists, American Music, and National Identity (University of California Press, 2004).

2006: Sherry Lee, “A  Florentine Tragedy, or Woman as Mirror,” Cambridge Opera Journal 18 (2006).

2005: Judith Ann Peraino, Listening to the Sirens: Musical Technologies of Queer Identity from Homer to Hedwig (University of California Press, 2005).

2004: Ruth Sara Longobardi, “Music as Subtext; Reading between the Lines,” from “Models and Modes of Musical Representation in Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice: Musical, Historical, and Ideological Contexts” (Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University).

2003: Boden Sandstrom, documentary film Radical Harmonies 

2002: Sophie Fuller and Lloyd  Whitesell, eds., Queer Episodes in Music and Modern Modernity (University of Illinois Press, 2002).

2001: Bruce Holsinger, Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture (Stanford University Press 2001).

2000: Byron Adams, “The ‘Dark Saying’ of the Enigma: Homoeroticism and the Elgarian Paradox,”19th-Century Music 23 (2000), 218-235; and  “No Armpits, Please, We’re British’: Whitman and English Music, 1884-1936,” in Walt Whitman and Modern Music: War, Desire and the Trials of Nationhood, ed. Lawrence Kramer  (Garland, 2000).

1999: Martha Mockus, “Sounding Out: Lesbian Feminism and the Music of Pauline Oliveros” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1999).

1998: Gillian Rodger, “Male Impersonation on the North American Variety and Vaudeville Stage, 1868-1930” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 1998).

1997: Elizabeth Wood, “Decomposition” in Decomposition: Post-Disciplinary Performance, edited by Sue-Ellen Case, Philip Brett, and Susan Leigh Foster (Indiana University Press,  2000) and “The Lesbian in the Opera: Desire Unmasked in Smyth’s Fantasio and Fete Galante, in En travesti: Women, Gender Subversion, Opera, edited by Corinne E. Blackmer and Patricia Juliana Smith (Columbia University Press, 1995).