Kristi Brown-Montesano, Chair of Music History at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, received her Ph.D. in musicology from UC Berkeley, with a specialization in 18th-century western European music. A trained vocalist, studying with Stephanie Friedman and Jeffrey Thomas, Brown-Montesano was a long-time member of the American Bach Soloists. Her book Understanding The Women of Mozart's Operas (Univ. of Calif. Press, 2007), offers a detailed study of the female characters in the Da Ponte operas (The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte) and The Magic Flute, re-evaluating critical assumptions about these fascinating roles. Brown-Montesano other areas of research include the uses of classical concert music in film, trends in marketing opera, postwar reception of J.S. Bach in American popular culture, Wagnerian influences on the films of Lars von Trier, gender politics in contemporary classical-music culture, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s choice of the violin for his fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. In 2014, she was honored to participate in the UCLA Musicology Department’s Distinguished Lecture Series; in 2017, she was a panelist and presenter at the first “Women in Music Festival” at Mount Saint Mary’s University. As a teacher and “public musicologist,” Brown-Montesano values connections with students, teachers, musicians and audience members. In addition to collaborations with LA Opera, Brown-Montesano has worked as an educator with the LA Philharmonic, Orange County Philharmonic Society, La Jolla Music Society, Opera League of Los Angeles, Le Salon de Musiques chamber series, and Mason House Concerts. (

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