Nicole Grimes

Ph.D. Trinity College Dublin

Nicole Grimes’s research is focused at the intersection between German music criticism, music analysis and music aesthetics from the late-eighteenth century to the present day. She is fascinated by the interdisciplinary relationship between music and philosophy, and music and literature. Her monograph, Brahms’s Elegies: The Poetics of Loss in Nineteenth-Century German Culture explores the reciprocal relationship between Brahms’s music as it relates to loss and the German intellectual tradition. Her other 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 published articles and book chapters on Brahms, Schoenberg, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Wolfgang Rihm and on topics in music aesthetics in various peer-review journals including Music Analysis, and Nineteenth-Century Music Review.

Since 2015 Grimes has been a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Music Analysis, and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Brahms Society since 2016. 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. Her research has also been funded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, Humboldt University, Berlin, 2007–2008) and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (University College Dublin, 2009–2010).

Grimes served as the chair of the organizing committee for the international conference The Intellectual Worlds of Johannes Brahms which took place at the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts on 1–3 February 2019.

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.”

Recent lectures:

“A Disembodied Head for Mythic Justice: Brahms, Tantalus, and Gesang Der Parzen,” University of California, Santa Barbara, 29 December, 2017

"Performing Wagner in Israel,” Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, UCI, 12 December, 2017

"On Silencing Brahms: Ethics and Aesthetics in E. M. Forster's Howards End,"  "Music Aesthetics in Britain in the Long-Nineteenth Century," King's College London, 15-16 December 2017


Authored book

Brahms’s Elegies: The Poetics of Loss in German Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Edited books

Rethinking Hanslick: Music, Formalism, and Expression, ed. Nicole Grimes, Siobhán Donovan, and Wolfgang Marx (Rochester NY: University of Rochester Press, 2013).

Mendelssohn Perspectives, ed. Nicole Grimes and Angela R. Mace (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012).

Peer-review articles

“Brahms’s Ascending Circle: Hölderlin, Schicksalslied, and the Process of Recollection,” Nineteenth-Century Music Review 11/1 (July 2014): 1–36.

Eduard Hanslick,” Oxford Bibliographies Online (Autumn 2014), .

“The Schoenberg/Brahms Critical Tradition Reconsidered,” Music Analysis 31/ii–iii (Autumn 2012): 127–75.

“Brahms’s Poetic Allusions through Hanslick’s Critical Lens,” American Brahms Society Newsletter 29/2 (Autumn 2011): 5–9.

 “A Critical Inferno? Hoplit, Hanslick, and Liszt’s Dante Symphony,” Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland 7 (2011–12): 3–22.

“‘Come Rise to Higher Spheres!” Tradition Transcended in Brahms’s Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 78,” in Ad Parnassum: A Journal of Eighteenth-and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music 6/11 (April 2009): 129–152 [with Dillon R. Parmer].

“In Search of Absolute Inwardness and Spiritual Subjectivity? The Historical and Ideological Context of Schumann’s ‘Neue Bahnen’,” International Review for the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 39/2 (December 2008): 139–163.

Book contributions

“Giving Voice to Spectralism: Donnacha Dennehy and The Embodiment of Sound,” in Oxford Handbook to Spectral and Post-Spectral Music, ed. Bryan Christian and Amy Bauer (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

“Brahms as a Vanishing Point in the Music of Wolfgang Rihm: Reflections on Klavierstück Nr 6,” Music Preferred: Essays in Musicology, Cultural History, and Analysis Honour of Harry White, ed. Lorraine Byrne Bodley (Vienna: Hollitzer Wissenschaftsverlag, 2018), 512–547.

“Philosophy,” in Johannes Brahms in Context, ed. Katy Hamilton and Natasha Loges, Music in Context Series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).

“The Sense of an Ending: Adorno, Brahms, and Music’s Return to the Land of Childhood,” Irish Musical Analysis (Irish Musical Studies, Vol. 11), ed. Gareth Cox and Julian Horton (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014), 104–24.

“German Liberalism, Nationalism, and Humanism in Hanslick’s Writings on Brahms,” in Nicole Grimes, Siobhán Donovan, and Wolfgang Marx, eds, Rethinking Hanslick: Music, Formalism, and Expression (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2013), 160–84.

“Chronology” and “Introduction,” in Nicole Grimes, Siobhán Donovan, and Wolfgang Marx, eds, Rethinking Hanslick: Music, Formalism, and Expression (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2013), xii–xiv, and 1–11 respectively.

“‘Wordless Judaism, Like the Songs of Mendelssohn’? Hanslick, Mendelssohn and Cultural Politics in Late Nineteenth-Century Vienna,” in Nicole Grimes and Angela R. Mace, eds, Mendelssohn Perspectives (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), 49–62.

“Introduction” (with Angela R. Mace), in Nicole Grimes and Angela R. Mace, eds, Mendelssohn Perspectives (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), 1–6.


Katy Hamilton and Natasha Loges (eds), Brahms in the Home and the Concert Hall: Between Public and Private Performance; and Paul Berry, Brahms Among Friends: Listening, Performance, and the Rhetoric of Allusion, commissioned for Music & Letters (April 2016): 169–173.

Constantin Floros, Free but Alone: A Life for Poetic Music, commissioned for Nineteenth-Century Music Review 9/2 (December 2012): 341–46.

Theophil Antonicek, Gernot Gruber and Christoph Landerer, eds, Eduard Hanslick zum Gedenken: Bericht des Symposiums zum Anlass seines 100. Todestags, commissioned for the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland 7 (2011–2012): 67–76.

Walter Frisch and Kevin C. Karnes, eds, Brahms and His World (Princeton: Princeton University Press) commissioned for Music Analysis 31/1 (Spring 2011): 140–150.

Kevin C. Karnes, Music Criticism and the Challenge of History: Shaping Modern Musical Thought in Late Nineteenth-Century Vienna, commissioned for the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland 4 (2008–2009): 79–83.

Schoenberg, String Quartets, Aron Quartet with Anna Maria Pammer, sop., Preiser Records, PR 90572, commissioned for Nineteenth-Century Music Review 2/2 (2005): 220–22.

Associate Professor
CAC 3045