EVANSTON, ILL.---Drew Edward Davies, associate professor of musicology at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music, is the recipient of the inaugural J.M. Thomson Prize for the best article by an early career scholar published in the journal Early Music in 2011.
The article, titled "Villancicos from Mexico City for the Virgin of Guadalupe," appeared in the May 2011 issue of the quarterly publication, considered the go-to journal for research in Medieval to Baroque music and historical performance issues. Davies' essay contextualizes the Guadalupan villancico—a Spanish-Language genre of church music based upon an ingenious poetic tradition—within the larger Mexican villancico repertoire, and considers the dialogue between the local and the transatlantic in the process of building a new musical repertoire for the Virgin of Guadalupe during the late seventeenth century. This work is part of Davies' ongoing research in religious music in Mexican cathedrals and is one of the first scholarly articles to look at early music that celebrates the Virgin of Guadalupe, the most characteristic Mexican religious symbol, during the time of her feast day's development.
Davies presented preliminary versions of this research twice in 2011: at the annual conference of the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music in Minneapolis, and at a colloquium at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He said he is honored to be the first recipient of Early Music's new award.
The J.M. Thomson Prize is named after the late New Zealander considered to be one of the most important scholars in the history of performance practice. In 1973, he founded Early Music in Britain and served as its editor-in-chief for the journal's first ten years.