Loren Ludwig is a performer-scholar based in Baltimore, MD.

Loren studied viola da gamba at Oberlin Conservatory and holds a PhD in Critical and Comparative Studies in Music from the University of Virginia.

[CURRENT]: Excited that the BBC3 turned my research on civil rights luminary and early music pioneer Bayard Rustin into a Sunday Feature that will run on Jan. 21, 2024. BBC3 writes, “Rustin’s great enthusiasm for Early Music and how he used it within his political work has been brought to life by the academic research of musicologist Loren Ludwig, who speaks to Joseph [McHardy] about his research on Rustin. Joseph and Loren dig deep into Rustin’s 1952 album, which combined Early Music with African American Spirituals, and they explore the radical roots of the Early Music revival in the United States.” [/CURRENT]

As a viol player, Loren performs widely as a soloist and chamber musician. He is a co-founder of critically acclaimed ensembles LeStrange Viols, the 17th century string band ACRONYM, and Science Ficta.

As a scholar of early modern musical culture, Loren researches what he terms polyphonic intimacy, the idea that music in the Western tradition is constructed to foster social relationships among its performers and listeners. Loren has served as musicology faculty at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, Grinnell College, and the New Zealand School of Music. Loren teaches chamber music and performance practice at residencies and festivals across four continents.

In Baltimore, Loren serves as a lecturer in Johns Hopkins University’s Medicine, Science, and Humanities Major. He teaches a course he developed called “Music as Medicine,” a seminar in which students discover the deeply intertwined histories of music and medicine in the West (Pythagoras identified foremost as a healer; the stethoscope was developed by a flute maker; etc.) and engage with guests working across the many professional intersections of music and medicine (research, clinical practice, environmental and community interventions, etc.). Loren also develops and delivers programming at the nexus of the arts, humanities, and health on the JH Medical Campus as the Program Coordinator for the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Program in Arts, Humanities, & Health.

Current (music) research projects include the reconstruction of a lost tradition of ensemble string playing in New England c1800 and archival work in VA and MD uncovering evidence of the participation by African American musicians in colonial musical culture. For ongoing, public-facing content related to this work, please visit the publications area of my website.

Recent projects include articles on the history of tuning and temperament (“Bach, the Viola da Gamba, and Temperament in the Early Eighteenth Century” in BACH: Journal of the Riemenscheider Bach Institute 53), and on the history of the American early music revival (articles on the early music activism of civil rights luminary Bayard Rustin in Emag and the twin birth of Minimalism and early music revivalism in post-war New York [Routledge]). My ongoing research on New England viols and the rich culture of vernacular stringed instrument building and music making is (sporadically) chronicled in this blog.

Articles documenting my discovery of the secret origins of 17th-century alchemist Michael Maier’s 50 alchemical fugues in his magnum opus Atalanta Fugiens (1618), as well as my research on the presence of use of the viola da gamba in colonial Virginia and Maryland (and world premiere recordings of viola da music from Virginia), are linked on my publications page.

Please direct inquiries to LML4F[at]virginia[dot]edu