Dr. Kurt Markstrom

“With a lot of great musicians, whether it’s in pop or classical music, finding the voice is really the key.”

- Kurt Markstrom

Kurt Sven Markstrom: associate professor in music history at the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, completed a Ph.D. and Post-doctorate at the University of Toronto under Carl Morey, specializing in 18th century Italian Opera.   He has contributed to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Dizionario biografico degli italiani.  His book on The Operas of Leonardo Vinci, Napoletano was published in 2006 by Pendragon Press (NewOlde.com: Best Early Music Books Award, 2007),  As part of his studies of Vinci, he has prepared performance editions of Vinci’s operas Eraclea and Catone in Utica, the former performed at the Festival dell’Aurora in Crotone in 2005 and the latter produced by Max Cencic in Wiesbaden, Bergen, Versailles, Bucharest and Vienna and recorded on Decca in 2015.  He is currently working on a critical edition of Catone for the newly established Leonardo Vinci Opera Omnia.  He has also reconstructed the Porpora Vespers composed for the girls and women of the Ospedaletto in Venice in 1744, which has recently been published by A-R Editions.  He has also prepared a new edition of the first Canadian opera, Colas et Colinette (Montreal, 1790) and is currently writing a book on it’s poet and composer Joseph Quesnel. 178 (updated 10/16)

Ph.D. and Post-Doctorate (University of Toronto)
  • Leonardo Vinci, Napoletano, Opera Series No. 2 (Hillsdale, New York: Pendragon Press, 2007)
  • “The Vinci/Vivaldi Interconnections, 1724-26 and Beyond” in: Motezuma Redivivus, ed Michael Talbot (Turnhout, Brepols, 2008):103-146
  • “Una stagione disastrosa per Vinci a Roma: Catone in Utica al teatro delle Dame” In Leonardo Vinci e il suo tempo: atti dei Convengi internazionali di studi, Conservatorio di Musica Francesco Cilea, Reggio Calabria, June 10-12, 2002 & June 4-5, 2004 (Reggio Calabria: Iriti editore, 2005)
  • Articles in the new edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (London: Macmillan, 2001): “Vinci, Leonardo” & “Porpora, Nicola Antonio”
  • Performance edition of Nicola Porpora’s Vespers (1744): version for women’s choir and mixed choir; given its modern première by the Canzona and MusikBarock under the direction of Henry Engbrecht in Winnipeg, November 4, 2007
  • A New Realization/Edition of the first Canadian opera, Joseph Quesnel’s Colas et Colinette: given its first performance by Musical Offering, directed by Sylvia Scott Wortley in Winnipeg, April 21 & 22, 2007
  • Performance edition of Leonardo Vinci’s opera Eraclea: given its first performance since its premiere in 1724 at the Festival dell’Aurora in Crotone Italy, May 27, 2005
Kurt has worked with such notable musicians as Gian Franco Russo, Henry Engbrecht, Carl Morey, Andrew Hughes, Mary-Ann Parker, Manus Sasonkin, Brian Harris, and Violet Archer.
Ongoing Research & Creative Activity
  • “Vinci, Pergolesi e la critica musicale del tardo Settecento” 300 Anni Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: “Sopra il gusto moderno” civiltà musicale a Napoli nell’età di Pergolesi, Napoli, 28-31 January, 2010
  • “The “Idea of the North” in Swedish and Canadian Music of the Twentieth Century,” Program for Northern Studies Partnership Conference: Umeå University – University of Manitoba, Umeå, Sweden, 16-19 February, 2009
  • “Venezia 1744-45: I due servizi per i Vespero nella versione di Porpora,” Nicola Porpora Musicista Europeo: le canti, i teatri, i cantanti, i librettisti: Convegno Internazionale di Studi, Conservatorio di Musica Francesco Cilea, Reggio Calabria, October, 3-4, 2008
  • “La Premier Opéra Canadien: A New Realization/Edition of Joseph Quesnel’s Colas et Colinette” [substantially revised version of the previous] Canadian University Music Society, Annual Meeting, University of British Columbia, June, 6-8, 2008
  • “Vinci’s “Polish” Opera for a Runaway Polish Princess” 12th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music, Warsaw, July 26-30, 2006
  • “Leonardo Vinci: Origini oscure e fine misteriosa” Giornata di Studi: Leonardo Vinci e gli Intermezzi Comici Napoletani, Strongoli/Crotone, in conjunction with the Festival Aurora, May 29, 2003
  • “References to the War of Spanish Succession in the Opera Libretti of Handel” 10th Biennial Conference on Baroque Music, Universidad de la Rioja, July 17-21, 2002
  • “Una stagione calamitosa per Leonardo Vinci a Roma: il Catone in Utica al Teatro delle Dame” Leonardo Vinci: architetture sonore nella Napoli del viceregno austriaco: convegno internazionale di studi, Conservatorio di Musica Francesco Cilea, Reggio Calabria, June 10-12 June 2002
  • “Music Criticism in Italy during the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century: ossia Too Many Ornaments, Too Many Instruments, and Too Many Notes” American Musicological Society, Chapter Meeting, St. Louis, March 22-23, 2003
  • “Caesura and Cadence: Vinci’s ‘Mechanical Rules of Melody’” 9th Biennial Conference on Baroque Music, School of Music at Trinity College, Dublin, July 12 to July 16, 2000; & American Musicological Society, Chapter Meeting, Kansas City, March 24-25, 2001
In the Faculty
Library Committee
Scholarship and Awards Committee



Room T209
Desautels Faculty of Music
University of Manitoba
136 Dafoe Rd.

Consultant on recordings:

Leonardo Vinci: Artaserse, Max Emanuel Cenci, Philippe Jaroussky, Franco Fagioli, Valer Barna Sabasdus, Daniel Behle, Yuri Minienki, Concerto Köln, dir. Diego Fasolis (Virgin Classics) [2011, in preparation]

Karina Gauvin Porpora Arias, with Il Complesso Barocco, dir. Alan Curtis (ATMA Classique ACD2 2590), 2009