• Headshot of Desautels Faculty of Music Senior Scholar Kurt Markstrom
  • Senior Scholar, Desautels Faculty of Music

    Taché Hall
    150 Dafoe Road
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus)
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2




Dr. Kurt Sven Markstrom is a retired professor of music history at the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba. He completed a Bachelors and Masters of Music at the University of Alberta, as well as a Masters of Library Science.

After working as a library consultant, he enrolled in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto, where completed a PhD in 1993, with a dissertation on the operas of Neapolitan composer Leonardo Vinci and Post-doctorate with a study of the early career of Vinci’s rival Nicola Porpora, both the dissertation and postdoc under Carl Morey.

During these years Dr. Markstrom worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and a lecturer at the School of Continuing Studies. In 1999 he obtained his current position at University of Manitoba. He has contributed to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Dizionario biografico degli italiani.

His book The Operas of Leonardo Vinci, Napoletano was published in 2006 by Pendragon Press. He has also reconstructed the Porpora Vespers composed for the girls and women of the Ospedaletto in Venice in 1744, which was published by A-R Editions in 2015. Dr. Markstrom is also a founding member of the Comitato Scientifico of the The Collected Works of Leonardo Vinci / Leonardo Vinci Opera Omnia.



Ongoing research and creative works

As part of his studies of Vinci, Dr. Markstrom prepared a performance edition of Vinci’s opera Eraclea (Naples 1725), which received its modern première at the Festival dell’Aurora in Crotone in 2005. As part of his Porpora studies, he reconstructed and prepared a performance edition of the Vespers 1744 which received its modern première in Winnipeg in 2007. The latter was also performed in Strasbourg in 2010 and at the Festivals Ambronay and Ribeauvillé in 2011, and excerpts were recorded during the performances at the Festival Ambronay for Ambronay/Harmonia Mundi. He is currently working on a scholarly edition of Leonardo Vinci’s opera Catone in Utica (Rome 1728), which will be one of the inaugural volumes in the planned collected works of Vinci, the Opera Omnia Leonardo Vinci, to be published by Bärenreiter Verlag. His score was used as the basis for the performance edition prepared for Max Cencic’s production of the Catone in Utica, which was recorded on Decca and featured in concert performances in Wiesbaden, Bergen, Bucharest and Vienna, as well as a gala staged production at the court theatre at Palace of Versailles in 2015. He has also prepared a new edition of the first Canadian opera, Colas et Colinette (Montreal, 1790) and is currently writing a book on the poet and composer Joseph Quesnel.