Nicole Grimes studied historical musicology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich. She was awarded a PhD at TCD in 2008 for her dissertation “Brahms’s Critics: Continuity and Discontinuity in the Critical Reception of Johannes Brahms.” Since that time, her research has focused at the intersection between German music criticism, music analysis and music aesthetics from the late-eighteenth century to the present day. She is particularly fascinated by the intertextual relationship between music and philosophy, and music and literature. She is currently finishing a book called Brahms’s Elegies: The Poetics of Loss in German Culture which is concerned with the reciprocal relationship between Brahms’s music and the Austro-German intellectual tradition.
Grimes is also engaged in writing a monograph on Brahms’s Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121. She has published articles on Brahms, Schoenberg, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and topics in music aesthetics in various peer-review journals including Music Analysis, and Nineteenth-Century Music Review, amongst others. Her books include Rethinking Hanslick: Music, Formalism and Expression (co-edited with Siobhán Donovan and Wolfgang Marx), and Mendelssohn Perspectives (co-edited with Angela R. Mace). She has been the chair of the organizing committee for a number of high profile international conferences including “Eduard Hanslick: Aesthetic, Critical, and Cultural Contexts” (University College Dublin, 2009) and “Music, Marxism, and the Frankfurt School” (University College Dublin, 2014, in association with the University of California, Irvine).
Other research that Grimes is currently undertaking includes a large-scale project called “The Constellation of Aesthetic Humanism in German Music: History, Memory, and (Non-)Linear Time.” She is also writing a chapter on the music of Donnacha Dennehy for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Spectral Music.
Since 2015 Grimes has been a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Music Analysis. Before taking up her post at UCI, she held faculty positions at Royal Holloway, University of London, University College Dublin, and Keele University. From 2011–2014 she was a Marie Curie Fellow, funded by the European Commission, with joint affiliation at the University of California, Irvine and University College Dublin.