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< All Fellows and Scholars

Mr. Mackenzie Pierce

J. Mackenzie Pierce
2018-2019 Sosland Fellow

“Life and Death for Music: Evaluating the Cultural Aftermath of the Holocaust in Poland”

Professional Background

J. Mackenzie Pierce is currently a PhD candidate in Musicology at Cornell University (United States). As a Sosland Fellow at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Mr. Pierce will be conducting research for the project, “Life and Death for Music: Evaluating the Cultural Aftermath of the Holocaust in Poland.”

Mr. Pierce is fluent in English and Polish, and has reading abilities in French, German, Russian, and Ukrainian.

Mr. Pierce is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including the Don M. Randel Teaching and Research Fellowship at Cornell University (2016-17) and the Cornell Council for the Arts Grant (2018), where he organized a performance and scholarship festival, “Forbidden Songs: Lost Music of Midcentury Poland.” He has also authored numerous publications including, “Writing at the Speed of Sound: Music Stenography and Recording Beyond the Phonograph” in 19th-Century Music (2017), and has a forthcoming book chapter in Perfect Pitch: The Music of Roman Palester entitled, “Entangled Lives: Rehearing the Holocaust through the Musical and Familial Ties of Occupied Warsaw” (2018).

Fellowship Research

While in residence at the Museum, Mr. Pierce will conduct research on the lives of classical musicians from Poland and their experiences in the Holocaust. He seeks to reveal how both survivors and the widespread silence surrounding Jewish victimhood shaped postwar musical life in Poland. His research examines the Holocaust in terms of its impact on broader histories of musical culture, tracing individuals from the 1930s, across WWII, into times of rebuilding or exile.

Mr. Pierce will be in residence through April 30, 2019, and can be contacted at his Museum email