Linda Pearse

Associate Professor — Music History
HH 417

Dr. Linda Pearse is trained in musicology and performance studies. An active and engaged teacher and researcher, her work engages with art music prior to 1700, intercultural encounter, historiography and music history pedagogy.


Canadian performer and musicologist Linda Pearse specializes in the musical repertoire of the seventeenth century. Pearse is Associate Professor of Music at Mount Allison University (New Brunswick) and serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at McGill University. Following studies at the Schola Cantorum (Basel), a career in Europe included regular performances with the Stuttgart Philharmoniker, the Stuttgart Opera House, the Basel Symphony, La Cetra, piano possibile, and the Stuttgart Musical Theater. Studies in performance at Indiana University Bloomington and musicology at McGill University round out her diverse international musical experiences. Pearse is Artistic Director of the San Francisco Early Music Baroque Workshop (USA) and the Sackville Festival of Early Music (Canada).

Pearse’s research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) as well as the Canada Council for the Arts, FACTOR Canada and other bodies, focuses on intercultural encounters, music history pedagogy, and the performance of early European art music, drawing on historiographical, performative, and traditional musicological frameworks. 

An enthusiastic and dedicated pedagogue, Pearse co-directs a research team with Margaret Walker (Queen’s, PI) and Sandria P. Bouliane (Laval, co-applicant) that brings together undergrad and graduate students from the three universities for the project “Changing Colonial Narratives in Music History” (SSHRC IDG 2021). In addition to directing a research lab in the summer months, she supports students working on Independent Student Research Grant projects, Experiential Learning courses, and Independent studies. Many of her students go on to study at Canada’s finest graduate institutions and to engage successfully in myriad other professional directions (e.g., arts administration, music education, music therapy). Her written publications bring her perspectives and experiences as a performer together with her consideration of intercultural encounter, musicology, and pedagogy. 

In the artistic realm, Pearse creates intercultural projects with her collaborators Ann Waltner and John Watkins (University of Minnesota) that weave music, texts, images, and soundscapes. 

How Do We Listen? tells the truth of the surviving family of a Shubenacadie Indian Residential School survivor, Virginia Acquin. The project combines soundscape, music, and text to create a performance which engages with historical and present cultural and religious contact in New Brunswick, all with an eye to the complex identities of Indigenous, specifically Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq, and non-Indigenous peoples who reside in the region that is now known as the Province of New Brunswick (SSHRC IDG 2015; SSHRC Connection 2017; premiere Oct 2019; for documentary film and articles see links below). 

The truths shared and spoken by Pearse's collaborator Angela Acquin (Wolastoqew) about her grandmother’s experiences at the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School lead the narrative and structure the performance. The work employs Indigenous music, seventeenth-century sacred Italian and German music, and newly commissioned compositions by jazz composer, Joel Miller. In addition to Acquin’s personal account, a spoken script includes contemporary Indigenous poetry by Rita Joe (Mi’kmaq; 1996) and Mihku Paul (Wolastoqiyik; 2012), historical documents, segments of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report (2015), and a script by Waltner. The musicians (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) perform soundscapes and whisper clusters that respond to and comment on the texts, and in part, are intended to represent the lost voices of the thousands of Indigenous children who died or succumbed to disease, drug abuse, or alcoholism as a result of their experiences at the Indian Residential Schools. The project is supported by film director and Elder Brian Francis (Mi'kmaq), and Elder J. J. Bear (Wolastoqiyik) who provided language support, directed smudge ceremonies, and shared his personal account of a Residential Day School in New Brunswick. (See links for documentary films and published articles.)

Other intercultural projects include Matteo Ricci: His Map and Music that premiered in China (2010), and that considers Matteo Ricci’s Map of the World (1602), writings by Chinese literati, and the music that might have surrounded him. Venetia 1500, a work inspired by the Barbari aerial woodcut of Venice (c.1500), weaves new music by Canadian Kevin Morse (Mount Allison), early European art music, texts, and images, to explore the gritty world of Venice in the sixteenth century, and finding resonance with Maritime cultures in decline (2015). 

Since 2008, Pearse has directed the early brass and string ensemble ¡Sacabuche! Extensive touring has included performances in Beijing (China), Hong Kong and Macau (China), Hawaii, Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver Island, Calgary, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, New York, San Francisco, Bloomington (IN), Madison (WI), Kansas City, and Houston. In addition to work with ¡Sacabuche!, Pearse has performed with Tafelmusik, La Rose des Vents, Pacific MusicWorks (Seattle), The Toronto Consort, Music of the Baroque (Jane Glover), Ensemble Caprice (Montréal), and the Spiritus Chamber Choir (Timothy Shantz). 

With ¡Sacabuche! she has released two albums on the ATMA label: 17th-Century Italian Motets with Trombone (Sept 2015) and Hidden Treasures: 17th-Century Music of Habsburg and Bohemian (April 2021). She has recorded for broadcast with Harmonia (NPR), IPR, and WFIU, and with Cappella Artemisia. Her critical edition of Seventeenth-Century Italian Motets with Trombone is published with A-R Editions (April 2014).


Refereed Publications 

Pearse, D. Linda. 2019 (released in 2021). “Expanding University Music Ensemble Curricula: Lessons from an Intercultural Artistic Collaboration.” Special Issue: Decolonizing Music Pedagogies. Edited by Margaret Walker and Robin Attas. Intersections: Canadian Journal of Music 39(1): 21–40.

Pearse, D. Linda, Angee Acquin, Robin Attas, and Ann Waltner. 2019. “Unpacking a Moment: Decolonization in the Performing Arts?” MUSICultures: Journal of the Canadian Society for Traditional Music 46: 1–31. 

Pearse, D. Linda, Ann Waltner, Nicholas Godsoe. 2017. “Historically Informed Soundscape: Mediating Past and Present.” Journal of Sonic Studies 15. [peer-reviewed online journal]

Waltner, Ann, Qin Fang, D. Linda Pearse. 2010. “Performing Matteo Ricci: His Map and Music.” Ming Studies, Journal of the Society for Ming Studies 62: 1–24.


Pearse, D. Linda, ed. 2014. “Seventeenth-Century Italian Concerted Motets with Trombone.” Vol. 19, Series 2. Collegium Musicum. A-R Editions, Yale University: Middleton, WI.


Pearse. D. Linda. 2020. Review of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Brass Instruments. Edited by Trevor Herbert, Arnold Meyers, and John Wallace. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2019. International Trombone Association Journal.

Pearse, D. Linda. 2018. Review of The Sixteenth-Century Trombone: Dimensions, Materials and Techniques. Hannes Vereecke. Épitome musical. Turnhout: Brepols, 2016. 254 pp. €75. Renaissance Quarterly 71(3): 1180–1182.

Pearse, D. Linda. July 2015. Review of Berühmte Posaunen-Virtuosen: Friedrich August Belcke, Carl Traugott Queisser, Albert Robert Müller, Joseph Serafin Alschausky & Posaunisten des Gewandhausorchesters Leipzig [Famous Trombone Virtuosos: Friedrich August Belcke, Carl Traugott Queisser, Albert Robert Müller, Joseph Serafin Alschausky & Trombonists of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra] by Rolf Handrow (Reichenberg, Germany: Crescendo-Brass GbR, 2014). Printed in German. International Trombone Association Journal 43(3): 49–50. 

Pearse, D. Linda. 2013. Review of “The Trombone in the Renaissance: A History in Pictures and Documents” by Stewart Carter (Bucina: Historic Brass Society; Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2012). Historic Brass Society Journal (December): 57–61.

Non-Refereed Publications 

Pearse, D. Linda. 2016. “Immediate Feedback: Principles from the Performing Arts Studio.” In Mount A Teaches, 195–212. Edited by Louise Wasylkiw and Jennifer Tomes. Friesen Press: Victoria BC.

Work In Progress

Weiner, Howard, Charlotte Leonard, and D. Linda Pearse (submission, December 2020). A Catalogue of Early Trombone Repertoire. Brepols. Epitome Musical


PhD Musicology, McGill University (ABD)

Doctor of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, 2011

Master of Music, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Basel, Switzerland, 2006

F. M. Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course, Basel, Swizterland, 2002

Artist Diploma, Hochschule für Musik, Trossingen, Germany, 2000

Bachelor of Music, McGill University, Montréal, 1996 


Pearse, D. Linda. April 2021. Audio Recording. Hidden Treasures: Seventeenth-century Instrumental and Sacred music from Habsburg and Czech Archives. Recorded in Montréal, May 2019, 61 minutes. ¡Sacabuche! Label: ATMA Classique. 

Pearse, D. Linda, Angela Acquin, Brian Francis (Mi’kmaq), Ann Waltner. August 2020; forthcoming. How do we listen? Video-documentary for educational purposes. Nova Media Productions. Filmed October 1–4, 2019.

Pearse, D. Linda, artistic director. Video Recording. 2017. Excerpts from Hidden Treasures: The Austrian Habsburgs and the Kroměřiž Archives. Filmed September 22, 2017 in Sackville, NB by Améri Ka Productions. ¡Sacabuche!

Pearse, D. Linda. Video Recording. 2017. Collaborative Communities, ¡Sacabuche!

Pearse, D. Linda. Video Recording. 2016. Matteo Ricci: His Map and Music. Direct Light Studios, San Francisco, CA USA.

Pearse, D. Linda. CD Recording. 2015. Seventeenth-Century Italian Motets, ¡Sacabuche! Recorded in Montréal, ATMA Classique.

PRI Broadcast Recording. 2014. A Baroque Christmas in the New World, with Indiana University Historic Performance Institute, Public Radio International (PRI) – Harmonia, Christmas Broadcast 2014, recorded October 23–26, 2014

Smith, Candace. Audio Recording. 2006. Raphaella Aleotti: Le Monache di San Vito. Cappella Artemesia, Italy. Role: Performer

SRF Broadcast recording. 2004. Adolf Wölfli. Ruedi Häusermann (director). Theater Basel, Basel,
Switzerland. Role: Performer

Gordon, Michael (composer). Audio Recording. 2002. Decasia. Basel Sinfonietta. Basel, Switzerland. Role: Performer

Grants, awards & honours


The Newberry Library, Short-Term Fellowship, “Sounds of the Early Modern Period”, Newberry Library, Chicago, 2018

Paul Paré Award of Excellence 2016–2018, for excellence in Research, Scholarship, or Creative Activity, Mount Allison University

External Grants (selection only)

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Insight Development Grant. 2021–2022. Changing Colonial Narratives in Music History. Co-Applicant; with Margaret Walker (PI, Queen’s) and Sandria P. Bouliane (Co-Applicant, Laval), $61,793 

SSHRC, Connection Grant for Indigenous Research Capacity. 2018–2020. Principal Investigator; $48,811

Factor Canada, Juried Recording Projects, ¡Sacabuche! recording project, post=production costs of a recording of early Habsburg music, 2019. Two years, $6,900.

Canada Council for the Arts, Travel Grant, Arts Abroad, supporting travel for tour to Honolulu and Kona, Hawaii, 2017, $9,300. 

Canada Council for the Arts, Explore and Create, supporting a recording of early Habsburg music, 2017. Two years, $15,000.

New Brunswick Arts Board, Career Development Grant, Arts by Invitation, September 2017. One year, $1758.33

Canada Council for the Arts, Recording Grant for “Hidden Treasures.” 2016–2018 (extended to 2020), $15,000. 

SSHRC, Insight Development Grant, Musical Mappings in the Early Modern World: Encounters, Exchanges, Collisions, June 2015. Lead applicant – Pearse; Collaborators – Ann Waltner and John Watkins (University of Minnesota); Two years, $67,485

Factor Canada, Juried Recording Projects, ¡Sacabuche! recording project, 17th Century Italian Motets with Trombone, 2014–2015; One year, $10,000

New Brunswick Arts Board, Arts by Invitation, ¡Sacabuche! Minneapolis Tour, Matteo Ricci: His Map and Music, Venetia 1500, Italy Invades Poland!, April 2014; One year, $1,750 

Canada Council for the Arts, Travel Grants to Musicians, ¡Sacabuche! Matteo Ricci: His Map and Music, Tour to China, June 2013; One year, $2,000

New Brunswick Arts Board, Documentation Grant, ¡Sacabuche! Venetia 1500, 2012–2013; Two years, $7,000

Internal Grants (2011–present)

President’s Research and Creativity Award (PRCA), Mount Allison University. Funding for student RAs to work in research lab activity (2021–23)

Marjorie Young Bell Fund, Category A, Sabbatical Leaves, 2021

Marjorie Young Bell Fund, Category B Conference Travel, 2020 (extended to 2022)

Marjorie Young Bell Fine Arts and Music Awards, “How Do We Listen? Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Collaboration in Performance and Film”, support for Indigenous Speaker, October 2019

PRCA. Funding for research and creative activity (2016–18, extended to 2020)

MTA Connects SSHRC Aid to Small Universities Fund 2016, Collaborative Workshop on Creative and Scholarly Practice, Mount Allison University, for a workshop with Indigenous musicians in September 2017

Marjorie Young Bell Fund 2015, Category B Conference Travel, funding to support travel costs for "Early Music: From Manuscript to Market," paper presentation and residency in Bloomington, IN, USA October 2–6
Bridge Funding 2014, for reworking a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (see SSHRC IDG, Musical Mappings, above) 
J.E.A. Crake Foundation 2014, funding for Colloquium and Workshops for students with visiting professional artists of the 17th-Century Italian Motets recording and concert
Special Projects Fund 2014, Music Department, funding for Colloquium and Workshops for students with visiting professional artists of the 17th-Century Italian Motets recording and concert

Marjorie Young Bell Fine Arts Award 2014, funding for Colloquium and Workshops for students with visiting professional artists of the 17th-Century Italian Motets recording and concert

Marjorie Young Bell Fund 2014, Category A Sabbatical Leaves, Research Trip to Vienna, research on early manuscripts and prints leading to the creation of a Catalogue of Early Music for Trombone.

President’s Research and Creative Activities Fund 2014, funding for continued work on SSHRC IDG proposal project (received 4A ranking), 2014
CultureWorks Grant, funding for exploratory conversations about the Venetia 1500 project.
President’s Research and Creativity Fund 2013, funding for an audio recording of 17th-Century Italian Motets with Trombones

Marjorie Young Bell Fund 2013, Category B Conference Travel, funding for travel to lecture and perform at the Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival, August 2013 
Special Projects Fund 2013, Music Department, funding for visiting artists, North American Works for Bass Trombone concert

Special Projects Fund 2013, Music Department, funding for visiting artists, Atlantic Brass
Marjorie Young Bell Fund 2012, Category B Conference Travel, funding to present paper at the International Historic Brass Symposium, New York, NY, USA, July 12, 2012

Marjorie Young Bell Faculty Fellowship 2012–2014, funding for the creation of the interdisciplinary project Venetia 1500, premiered in Sackville, September 29, 2013. Title: 2012–2014 Marjorie Young Bell Faculty Fellow