Shirley Hunt

2022 Hearst Fellow

Research at AAS

Shirley Hunt's research examines performance traditions and cultural contexts surrounding bowed string instruments in early nineteenth-century New England, with a specific focus on the early New England bass viols and violins housed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As a result of her research at AAS, Hunt performed and video-recorded numerous musical selections on the instruments housed in MFA collection. During the AAS public program Early Nineteenth-Century Musical Performance Traditions, held on May 24, 2022, Hunt showed many of these videos and further discussed her research with a hybrid audience.


About the Fellow

Internationally respected Baroque cellist Shirley Hunt has performed and recorded with the nation's leading period instrument ensembles for over a decade. In 2020, she became the first woman, the first American, and the first person of color to release a complete recording of J.S. Bach's Suites and Sonatas for cello and viola da gamba with harpsichord on period instruments. In February 2022, Hunt held a Hearst Foundations Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society, where she pursued original research on early 19th-century performance practice in New England. She is a founding member of the Cramer Quartet, a period instrument string quartet that performs both historical and contemporary repertoire on gut strings.

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