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Anne Harley, D.M.A.

Board Member


  • D.M.A., Historical Performance (voice), Boston University, 2006

  • Opera Certificate, Boston University Opera Institute, Boston University, 1996

  • M.M., Voice Performance, Boston University, 1994

  • B.A., Comparative Literature (French and Russian), Yale College, 1989


ANNE DOROTHY HARLEY is Professor of Music at Scripps College where she has led the voice area and has taught music history and interdisciplinary humanities since 2009. As part of her research, teaching, and service, she has regularly led projects that unite faculty, students, community groups, and visiting scholars from various disciplines in the creation of commissioned music at Scripps.  Harley’s solo performances appear on Hänssler Profil, Naxos, Sony Classics, Canteloupe, Musica Omnia, einKlang, Bridge Records, and BMOP/sound, among others.

In 2012, she founded the new music commissioning series, Voices Of The Pearl ( As director of the project, Harley produces, premieres, and records newly composed song cycles, setting texts by and about women esoteric practitioners from all spiritual traditions. She has garnered four NEA grants, and four grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and a Salzburg Mozarteum residency, premiering and recording works by Karola Obermüller, Moshe Shulman (funded by the Harvard’s Fromm Commission), Marjorie Merryman, Chinary Ung, Bill Alves, Yii Kah Hoe, and Jodi Goble, among others. Working with scholars of female spiritual leaders, over the past decade Harley has curated a series of new compositions that illuminate and reclaim women’s writings that have been lost to the mainstream. Her work functions to diversify the US recital hall in other ways as well: most of her commissions set text in languages not usually heard in the classical recital hall (Farsi, Mandarin, Khmer, Pali, Kannada, Hebrew, for example) and most composers she has commissioned are either non-male, or of color, or both.

Harley’s written scholarship investigates interdisciplinary and intercultural comparative embodied performance pedagogy. She has written and presented on historical performance practice, vocal pedagogy in theatre and music disciplines, and the construction of performance collaborations across language and cultural divides. She has held visiting professorships in Germany and the People’s Republic of China, in both music and theatre departments. In 2023-24, she is a Scholar in Residence at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School, researching the connection between voice and psyche and ways embodied sounding practices have been employed in spiritual practices.

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