I am a musicologist and historical keyboardist specializing in the history, performance practices, and cultural contexts of music in 17th- and 18th-century Europe. My work includes Women and Musical Salons in the Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press, 2022), Music and Jewish Culture in Early Modern Italy: New Perspectives (co-edited with Lynette Bowring and Liza Malamut, Indiana University Press, 2022), Curious and Modern Inventions: Instrumental Music as Discovery in Galileo’s Italy (University of Chicago Press, 2016) and Sara Levy’s World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin (University of Rochester Press, 2018), co-edited with Nancy Sinkoff.

My work as a scholar is informed by my experience as a performer; in my three recordings with the Raritan Players, the ensemble that I direct, the acts of performance and research are mutually elaborative. The first of these recordings, In Sara Levy’s Salon (Acis Productions, 2017), has been called “simply mesmerizing” (Early Music America) and “a fascinating concept, brilliantly realised” (Classical Music). A sequel to this recording, Sisters, Face to Face: The Bach Legacy in Women’s Hands (Acis Productions, 2019), received the American Musicological Society’s Noah Greenberg Award for contributions to historical performance. Most recently, In the Salon of Madame Brillon: Music and Friendship in Benjamin Franklin’s Paris, includes multiple world-premiere recordings of compositions by Madame Brillon. I have also been honored to receive the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Cross-disciplinary Research from Rutgers University-New Brunswick.


PhD (2008), MPhil (2005), and MA (2004) in Music History, Yale University.

MA (2004) in Jewish Studies, Yeshiva University

MMus (2002) in Harpsichord Performance, The Royal College of Music, London

BA (2000) in Music, Cornell University

Other Publications

I try to keep my ORCID profile up-to-date (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5683-7780), and you can also find a list of my publications in my CV, attached above.


Blog Posts


    The web site for the Raritan Players, the period-instrument chamber group that I founded, is at https://www.raritanplayers.org. There you can find information about recent and upcoming performance projects that center especially on women’s performance practices in the eighteenth century.

    With a wonderful team of Aresty Undergraduate Research Fellows, I help to curate a web site that presents specialist research on Women in Art Music (WAM!) to a broad, public audience (https://wam.rutgers.edu).

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    I attend the American Musicological Society meeting every year, and I am always happy to meet new people there! I frequently present colloquia and lecture-recitals at other universities.

    Unfortunately, a number of performances in 2020 have been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The conference The Salon and the Senses in the Long Eighteenth Century, which I am co-organizing with my Rutgers colleague Jennifer Jones, has been postponed to March, 2021.


    American Musicological Society

    Society for Seventeenth-Century Music

    American Bach Society

    Association for Jewish Studies

    Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies


    Rebecca Cypess

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