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Justin Vickers

Professor of Music
School of Music
Cook Hall - CH 108
Office Hours
Arranged by e-mail appointment.
  • About
  • Education
  • Awards & Honors
  • Research


Dr. Vickers earned his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also completed the coursework for the Ph.D. in Musicology.

Current Courses

237.002Applied Music (Advanced Voice)

137.002Applied Music (Voice)

437.002Applied Music-Voice

165.001Opera and Stage Performance Workshop

265.001Opera and Stage Performance Workshop

465.001Opera and Stage Performance Workshop

Teaching Interests & Areas

Applied voice; Health and well-being of the singing voice; Instilling personal responsibility for musical preparation and lifelong study skills; Song literature with particular interest in complete song cycles; Opera.

Research Interests & Areas

I champion the creation of new vocal music. I am actively involved in commissioning and premiering new song cycles and bringing them to the concert hall and the recording studio. My vocal repertoire includes virtually all of Benjamin Britten's song cycles, alongside an ever-increasing number of major British song cycles.

After an enjoyable career on the operatic stage, I am currently working on writing a number of opera librettos with American composers.

Increasingly, I devote a great deal of my time to musicological research and writing. I am presently writing "The Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts: A History of the Britten and Pears Era, 1948–1986" for The Boydell Press. I have edited and contributed to "Benjamin Britten in Context" (Cambridge University Press, 2022) and "Benjamin Britten Studies: Essays on An Inexplicit Art" (The Boydell Press, 2016), in addition to multiple published essays and chapters on British music, including my 2009 discovery and premiere of Britten's "Epilogue" to his Holocaust-inspired song cycle "The Holy Sonnets of John Donne" (Musical Times and "Literary Britten: Words and Music in Benjamin Britten's Vocal Works").

My archival research focuses almost exclusively on Benjamin Britten's founding of the English Opera Group (1947) and the Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts (1948); Musicology with a primary focus on the twentieth-century British Isles; the career and repertoire of tenor Peter Pears and his extensive commissions and premieres of new vocal works, as well as the influence of his seminal recordings of such works.

I am genuinely thrilled to work with advanced undergraduate and graduate students on independent studies and master's theses related to any of my areas of specialization.

DMA Voice Performance and Literature

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MM Voice Performance

University of Kentucky

BM Voice Performance

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2023 Eva Judd O'Meara Award for Best Review Published in NOTES

NOTES: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association

2022-2023 Exploratory Seminar – Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies

Harvard University and the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies

2022 University Outstanding Researcher Award

Illinois State University

2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award to the United Kingdom

U.S. / U.K. Fulbright Commission and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) and Institute of International Education (IIE)

Magazine/Trade Publication

Vickers, J. "Reflections in an archive: The (im)possibilities of it all". Kevin Bersett (EDs). Redbird Scholar (2022): 2.

Grants & Contracts

U.S. Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom. US-UK Fulbright Commission. Federal. (2021)