University of Arizona
College of Fine Arts - School of Music

Choral Studies

Distinguished Speakers Series – Students and Alumni/ae

James Higgs

The Life and Music of Marianna von Martines

James Higgs is a DMA student in choral conducting at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music studying with Dr. Elizabeth Schauer. Currently James is pianist and organist at Abounding Grace Lutheran Church in Tucson. As both soloist and collaborative pianist, James has performed throughout Southern California and in Austria, Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic. James was awarded the John Bloom Choral Scholarship at the University of Arizona and in the past received scholarships to attend Songfest at the Colburn School and Brevard Music Festival as a collaborative pianist where he performed in art song recitals, concerto competitions, and master classes for Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, and Graham Johnson. 

An advocate for new vocal works, James has also performed in master classes of composers Jake Heggie, Ben Moore, and Richard Pearson Thomas. As a soloist, James has appeared in master classes of Sergei Babayan and Daniel Shapiro. Originally from the East Bay in Northern California, James moved to Southern California to attend Chapman University’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and then a Master of Music in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music where he studied art song, chamber music, and opera with Dr. Alan Smith. Past teachers include Dr. Ruby Cheng-Goya, Frank Wiens, and Dr. Hye-Young Kim.

Recommended Reading

  • Beer, Anna. “Martines.” In Sounds and Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women of Classical Music, 127-158. London: Oneworld Publications, 2016.
  • Fremar, Karen Lynn. “The life and selected works of Marianna Martines (1744-1812)”. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Kansas, 1983.
  • Gjerdingen, Robert O. Music in the Galant Style. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Godt, Irving. “Marianna in Vienna: A Martines Chronology.” The Journal of Musicology 16, no. 1 (1998): 136-58.
  • Godt, Irving. “Marianna in Italy: The International Reputation of Marianna Martines (1744-1812).” The Journal of Musicology 13, no. 4 (1995): 538-61.
  • Godt, Irving. Marianna Martines: A Woman Composer in the Vienna of Mozart and Haydn. Edited by John A. Rice. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2010.

Recommended Listening

  • Martines, Marianna. Quarta Messa für Soli, Chor, und Orchester. Chorgemeinschaft Kirchendorf, Peter Loosli, cond. Furore: Salto Records International, 2007, compact disc.
  • Martines, Marianna. Marianna Martines: La Tempesta. La Floridiana, Nicoleta Paraschivescu, cond. and harpsichord. Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH, 2015, compact disc.
  • Martines, Marianna. Marianna Martines: Il Primo Amore. La Floridiana, Nicoleta Paraschivescu, cond. and harpsichord. Sony Music Entertainment, 2012, compact disc.
  • Salzburger Hofmusik’s performance of the first movement of Martines’s Dixit Dominus conducted by Wolgang Brunner
  • Complete work in addition to other works by Martines will be published by Chandos Records.