Dr Inge van Rij

AProf Inge van Rij profile picture

Associate Professor, Musicology (Music Studies) School of Music


BA BMus MMus Well, PhD Camb


  • Associate Professor, Musicology (Music Studies)


Dr Inge van Rij teaches papers on historical, critical and analytical approaches to music, with a particular focus on nineteenth-century European art music. She also supervises postgraduate research in a range of musicological topics.

A native Wellingtonian, Inge completed a BMus in Violin Performance, a BA in English Literature, and an MMus in Musicology at Victoria University of Wellington. As a recipient of a Commonwealth Scholarship, she continued her studies at Cambridge University, where she gained a PhD in Musicology and a Diploma in German. During this period she also conducted research in Austria and Germany, funded by awards from the Goethe Institut and the DAAD, before returning to Wellington in 2002 to take up a position in the School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington.

Inge’s research centres on nineteenth-century European art music, particularly the vocal music of Brahms and Berlioz, viewed from a range of historical, critical, analytical, and interdisciplinary perspectives encompassing intersections with literature, fine arts, history, and postcolonial theory. She was awarded a Marsden Grant to conduct research for her first book, Brahms’s Song Collections (Cambridge University Press, 2006). Inge’s second book for Cambridge University Press on The Other Worlds of Hector Berlioz was published in 2015, and she has also published on this research in 19th-Century Music and the Cambridge Opera Journal. Inge’s work on colonial New Zealand and the discourse of Western art music is forthcoming in both Women and Music and Music and Letters. She is also a regular presenter at international musicology conferences, including the biennial 19th-Century Music Conference, the Royal Musical Association Annual Conference, and the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society. Additionally, Inge has served as President of the New Zealand Musicological Society, and she is currently a member of the Comité de lecture for the Revue de Musicologie.

Music Studies research

Inge van Rij’s research centres on nineteenth-century Western art music, approached from a range of historical, critical, and analytical perspectives and drawing on interdisciplinary studies to illuminate both the historical and contemporary significance of this repertoire. Within nineteenth-century studies, Inge’s research has centred around two major projects, focussing on Brahms and Berlioz respectively. Most recently, Inge’s research has also explored questions of colonial identity and gender in relation to art music in New Zealand.



Inge van Rij, Brahms’s Song Collections,Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Through an investigation of the implications of Brahms's publication of songs in what he described as 'song bouquets' (typically disregarded by performers and scholars alike), this book offers new ways of thinking about not only Brahms’s Lieder, but also about fundamental issues such as the interconnectedness of the arts, and the relationships between work, performance, and reception. The book was funded by a Marsden Grant.

Inge van Rij, The Other Worlds of Hector Berlioz, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Examining Berlioz's constructions of otherness in both his writings and music, and drawing both on a distinctive New Zealand perspective as well as on new archival research conducted in France, this research explores the role of gender, technology, and exoticism in the formulation of Western art music’s aesthetics of transcendence. In particular, the book examines the ways in which Berlioz situates orchestral performers and conductors within the developing discourse around the ‘other worldliness’ of composers’ works.

Other publications

Inge van Rij, ‘“Der Hort des Minnesangs”: Recycling songs in the “Thunersonate”’, in Spätphase(n)?—Johannes Brahms’ Werke der 1880er und 1890er Jahre: Internationales musikwissenschaftliches Symposium, Meiningen 2008, edited by Maren Goltz, Wolfgang Sandberger, and Christiane Wiesenfeldt, 313–24. Munich: Henle-Verlag, 2010.

Inge van Rij, ‘There is no anachronism’: Indian Dancing Girls in Ancient Carthage in Berlioz’s Les Troyens’, 19th-Century Music 33/1 (2009): 3-24.

Inge van Rij, ‘Back to (the music of) the future: Aesthetics of technology in Berlioz’s Euphonia and Damnation de Faust’, Cambridge Opera Journal 22/3 (2012): 257-300.

Inge van Rij, ‘A living, fleshy bond:’ The electric telegraph as medium of musical thought and embodiment', 19th-Century Music 39/1 (2015): 142-66

Inge van Rij, ‘Votes and notes: Exhibiting and contesting gender in the orchestra of the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition (1889-90)’, Women and Music 21 (2017), forthcoming.

Inge van Rij, Walking backwards into the future’: Music, museum culture, and the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition (1889-90), Music and Letters, forthcoming.