I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Musicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My research centers on Russian music and musicians in the American contexts, migration studies, and musical and material networks.


  • MA in Musicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • MM in Instrumental Conducting, Brigham Young University

  • BM in Music Education, Boston University


My dissertation examines Russian artistic emigration to the United States in the early twentieth century and its impact on American musical practice. During this period, the United States was unprecedented migration out of a turbulent Russian Empire, and émigré artists became critical global emissaries of Russianness. As artists arrived in increasing numbers, they began to negotiate parameters of Russianness through performance and composition. My research shows that these artists worked in complex and thus far unknown collaborative networks, and I examine the foundational roles that musical networks played in defining a simultaneously localized and transnational sense of what it meant to be Russian in America. By illuminating both the ways in which Russianness was framed through musical performance and the impact of Russian musical production on American music, my project joins a growing body of research countering the xenophobic othering of immigrant communities. Utilizing document-based historical evidence, I provide a more nuanced understanding of identity, place, nation, gender, and culture in an increasingly globalized society.    

Jamie Blake

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