John Bergsagel

In this Oral History Interview, eminent musicologist John Bergsagel discusses his friendship with the composer and scholar Egon Wellesz (1885-1974), who was his mentor and colleague at the University of Oxford in the 1950s and 60s, as well as his identity as a composer and his breadth of expertise as a scholar. The interview covers Wellesz’s role in the development of the music faculty, connections with fellow emigre musicians and his work with the International Society of Contemporary Music and Monumenta Musicae Byzantinaem.


John Bergsagel is Emeritus Professor of Musicology at the University of Copenhagen. Born in Canada of Norwegian parents in 1928, he was educated in Canada, USA, and England, where he taught at Oxford and Manchester Universities before moving to Denmark. He has done research and published on a wide range of subjects with especial emphasis on medieval and renaissance music and on music in the late romantic/early modern period. He is a member of the national Academies of both Denmark and Norway and of Academia Europaea. In 1993 he was made Ridder (Knight) of the Order of Dannebrog (Denmark) and in 2008 honoured by his colleagues with a Festschrift.

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