Jessica P. Waldoff

Music Department

Director of Academics

Ph.D., Cornell University

Fields: 18th-and 19th-Century Music History, Mozart, Opera, Song

• CV (PDF) »

Office Phone: 508-793-2298
Office: Brooks 456
PO Box: 151A
Office Hours:



Jessica Waldoff, Professor of Music, is an internationally recognized scholar of late eighteenth-century music whose approaches draw on both literary theory and cultural studies. She is the author of Recognition in Mozart’s Operas (Oxford University Press, 2006; paperback edition, 2011) and a variety of essays on the music of Mozart and Haydn included in Mozart in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Engaging Haydn: Culture, Context, and Criticism (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Recognition: The Poetics of Narrative—Interdisciplinary Studies on Anagnorisis (Peter Lang, 2009), Mozart Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2006), The Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Haydn Studies (Cambridge University Press, 1998), Opera Buffa in Mozart’s Vienna (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Wolfgang Amadè Mozart: Essays on his Life and his Music (Oxford University Press, 1996), and elsewhere. She has lectured widely both here and abroad and written essays for several European opera houses including the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. She is currently working on two new projects: The Cambridge Companion to “The Magic Flute” (Cambridge University Press) and a book on the role of sensibility in eighteenth-century music.

Professor Waldoff attended Amherst College, where she majored in Music and English, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University where she studied with James Webster, Neal Zaslaw, and Don Michael Randel, specializing in the music of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Her studies at Cornell, including the dissertation year, were supported by a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, a Cornell Sage Graduate Fellowship, and several smaller awards. While at Cornell she was a recipient of the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award.

Since joining the Holy Cross faculty in 1995, Professor Waldoff has served the Department of Music in many different administrative capacities: as Department Chair, Graduate Studies Advisor, Study Abroad Advisor, and Director of Academics. She has also been an active member of several scholarly societies, recently serving as President of the Mozart Society of America. Professor Waldoff enjoys teaching music of many periods and traditions and always with an emphasis on understanding music in context. She has also taught First Year Program, Montserrat, and College Honors Program courses. In 2007, Holy Cross awarded her the Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship. 



  • History of Western Music
  • Song Through the Ages
  • Senior Seminar
  • Opera on Screen
  • Music as Expression