LISA URKEVICH, PhD, is currently Senior Advisor, Music, to the General Culture Authority of Saudi Arabia. Previously, she was a Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology at the American University of Kuwait where she was the founding Division Head (Dean) of the Arts and Humanities. In 2015-2016 she served as a visiting fellow at Harvard University. Before moving to the Middle East, as a two-time Senior Fulbright Scholar, Urkevich was a professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology at Boston University where she held a joint position in the College of Fine Arts, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She has taught both western and non-western music courses at a variety of institutions including Bucknell University and the University of Maryland. She holds four degrees in music: PhD University of Maryland, MM Florida State University, BS Towson University, BA University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Urkevich is a specialist in the performing culture of the Arabian Peninsula, where she has undertaken fieldwork for almost two decades. She is the author of Music and Traditions of the Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar (New York/London: Routledge: 2015), lauded as “among a handful of the best books on traditional music” (Roots World), and “one of the most comprehensive books on music anywhere in the Middle East and North Africa” (The National).
Along with ethnomusicological work, Urkevich is an established historical musicologist. Through her Renaissance music publications, she proved in two separate studies that precious surviving music books were not the possessions of royal men as formerly believed but were the books of women (Anne Boleyn; and Anne of France). Her findings have an impact on a myriad of factors, including the dating and source stemmas of major compositions.
Urkevich is a former editor of the International CPE Bach Edition, for whom she worked for two years. For seven years she was the Film/Video Reviews Editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music (UNESCO). She is the 2015 recipient of the Alumna of the Year Award at the University of Maryland. www.urkevich.com