Julia Sutton, musicologist and dance historian, died peacefully in a nursing home on July 1 after a short illness. She was professor emerita of New England Conservatory of Music, where she served as chair of the Music History/Musicology department for over twenty years as well as teaching in the Performance of Early Music department and directing the Collegium Terpsichore.
A life-long enthusiastic dancer and teacher of American squares and contradances, international folk, and English country dance, Dr. Sutton devoted her scholarship to the interconnections between music and the dance in Western cultures. She directed and reconstructed the dances for the New York Pro Musica's five cross-country tours of An Entertainment for Elizabeth, the Pennsylvania Orchestra Association's Renaissance Revisited, the Ensemble for Early Music's Renaissance Revels, and a production of the great Florentine Intermedio of 1589, The Descent of Rhythm and Harmony (Cavalieri). She was a guest lecturer at many universities and colleges, and presented workshops and courses on aspects of Renaissance dance and music in the United States and Europe.
Dr. Sutton wrote numerous articles on Renaissance music and dance for scholarly publications including The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and The International Encyclopedia of Dance. She published a new edition of the French dance manual by Thoinot Arbeau, Orchesography, and translated and edited the Italian manual by Fabritio Caroso, Nobiltà di dame. Her most recently completed publication is a teaching video, Il Ballarino. In 2009, as editor-in-chief, she published the scholarly edition of Dances for the Sun King: André Lorin's Livre de Contredance.
Dr. Sutton was active in the founding of SDHS. Dance Chronicle has published an “In Memoriam”, by Barbara Sparti and Nona Monahin.