Carolann Buff is assistant professor of music in choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she specializes in choral musicology.
Buff is responsible for courses in choral literature as well as advising doctoral thesis projects and examinations at both the master’s degree and doctoral level. She also is closely engaged with the Historical Performance Institute at IU as a guest lecturer and conductor for the early music ensemble Concentus.
Buff is a scholar, teacher, and musician regarded for both her research on late medieval motets and expertise in historical performance. Her principal research interests include 14th- and early 15th-century musical style, but she is equally at home in the study of sacred music repertoires from all eras. Her dissertation, “Ciconia’s Equal-Cantus Motets and the Creation of Early-Fifteenth-Century Style,” and her essay “The Italian Job: Ciconia, Du Fay, and the Musical Aesthetics of the Fifteenth-Century Italian Motet” (in Qui musicam in se habet:Essays in Honor of Alejandro Enrique Planchart), explore the motet genre in the period between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the musical Renaissance. She has presented papers internationally, including at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, the Society for Music Theory, the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the Renaissance Society of America, the Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference in Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Ireland, Indiana University’s Historical Performance: Theory, Practice and Interdisciplinarity Conference, the biennial Early Music Analysis Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Music Theory, and an international symposium on Philippe de Vitry at Yale University.
Recently, Buff was on the faculty of the Delaware Choral Academy’s Summer Symposium in Aix-en-Provence, France. In addition to daily lessons and seminars with the conducting scholars, she conducted several works from the Middle Ages and Renaissance for a concert at the 12th-century Silvacane Abbey.
Buff appears frequently with several early music ensembles and as a soloist with numerous period instrument orchestras. She is a founding member of the internationally renowned medieval trio Liber unUsualis and recorded two critically acclaimed CDs of fourteenth-century polyphony with the ensemble, Unrequited: Machaut and the French Ars Nova and Flyleaves: Music in English Manuscripts. Buff has toured around the world with the Boston Camerata in the ballet Borrowed Light, a stunning collaboration with the Tero Saarinen Dance Company. She has recorded with the Renaissance choir Cut Circle and can be heard on the group’s much-admired CD De Orto and Josquin: Music in the Sistine Chapel around 1490 and appears on a critically acclaimed recording of Du Fay’s cantus firmus Masses. Buff has also performed with the women’s ensemble Tapestry and can be heard on its CD Sapphire Night, which received the 2005 ECHO Klassik prize in Germany.
Before arriving at IU, Buff was an assistant professor of choral musicology in the Department of Conducting, Organ, and Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Musicology from Princeton University, an M.M. in Early Music Performance from Longy School of Music, and a B.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of California, Santa Barbara.