Nicholas Mathew

Associate Professor Fellow
Mathew Image

Nicholas Mathew’s (Music) book project brings urban studies and a material history of commerce and commodity circulation to the study of the late eighteenth century music of Joseph Haydn. Haydn began his life under the ancient feudal protocols of court service, but ended it as an entrepreneur in the vibrant market society of London, as one of the foremost musical celebrities in Europe. Mathew re-hears Hayden’s music as continuous with a lively metropolitan culture of commerce and contends that his music was produced and consumed before the discourses of aesthetics and economics — considered mutually hostile by later generations of romantic-modernists — had gone their separate ways. Haydn’s music, Mathew argues, has much to teach us about the shared origin of aesthetic and market value, about the place of music in market societies, and about how music helped to structure the psychic and aesthetic economies of modern subjectivity.