Elisabeth Le Guin, a professor of musicology and director of graduate studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, won the American Musicological Society’s Otto Kinkeldey Award for her book, “The Tonadilla in Performance: Lyric Comedy in Enlightenment Spain” (University of California Press, 2013). The award, which is the society’s highest honor, is given “for a musicological book of exceptional merit by a scholar beyond the early stages of his or her career.”
Le Guin’s book is the first major study in English of the tonadilla, a type of satiric musical skit popular on the public stages of Madrid during the late Enlightenment. Examining the musical, theatrical, and social worlds that the tonadilla brought together, she traces the lasting influence this genre has had on the historiography of Spanish music.
A Baroque cellist, LeGuin was a founding member of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the Artaria String Quartet and has appeared in more than 40 recordings. In recent years, she has become involved in the movimiento jaranero, a transnational grassroots musical activism in Mexico and Mexican immigrant communities in the United States.
Le Guin is also the author of “Boccherini's Body: an Essay in Carnal Musicology” (University of California Press, 2006) . Among her numerous honors are the American Musicological Society's Alfred Einstein and Noah Greenberg Awards, as well as grant support from national and international organizations that include the UC Presidents' Research Fund, the Institute for International Education (Fulbright program), UCLA's International Institute, the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain and United States Universities, and the UC Humanities Research Institute.
A member of UCLA’s faculty since 1997, LeGuin succeeded in re-starting UCLA´s Early Music Ensemble in 2009 after a 15-year hiatus, and has served two terms as Study Center Director for the UC Education Abroad Program in Mexico City.