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Holmes / D'Accone Fellowship

William F. Holmes / Frank D’Accone Dissertation Fellowship in
Opera Studies




The Holmes / D’Accone Fellowship for dissertation research recognizes academic achievement and future promise in the study of opera. Any full-time graduate student registered in good standing for a doctorate at a North American university who has had a dissertation proposal in the subfield of opera studies approved at the time of the application is eligible to apply, regardless of the stage of dissertation work.

Competition and Application Procedures

The current year’s application round is now closed. The next application is due on or before 15 December 2020, 5:00 p.m. EST.

Applications will be considered by the review committee in a blind process: applications should contain no indication of applicant name or institution.

Applicants will be requested to upload the following materials:

1. A project description (no more than 1,000 characters).

2. A dissertation prospectus. The prospectus should include a detailed rationale of the project (supported by, but not limited to, an assessment of relevant secondary literature), an overview of each chapter, all written in prose, as well as a bibliography, and a clear statement of progress to date.

3. Another writing sample, whether from the dissertation, a seminar paper, the text of a talk, or a work that is published or intended for publication.

Applicants should also arrange for a letter from the registrar or departmental Director of Graduate Studies attesting to having had the dissertation proposal approved, to be submitted using the form available here.

Please note: letters of recommendation and a curriculum vitae are not required.

Important notes:

  1. Applicants must submit items 1-3, above, in an anonymous form, i.e., without name or evidence of institutional affiliation in any document (including text, headers, footers, footnotes and document properties).
  2. AMS members: please sign in to your account before starting the application. 
  3. Start your application process early. You may save an incomplete form and continue later.  Note: if you are a non-member or not signed in, your changes are saved via your browser cache only. Be sure to save your work appropriately.
  4. You MUST click the 'Submit' button at the end of the form (page 3) in order to submit your application. Applications not submitted by the deadline cannot be considered.
  5. Upon submission of your application form a confirmation page will appear. Please SAVE or PRINT your submission receipt and your Submission Number. If you do not see the confirmation page, please contact the AMS office to confirm receipt of your submission.
  6. A confirmation email will be sent to applicants on 18 December. If you submitted an application and do not receive a confirmation email, contact the AMS office.
  7. DO NOT plan to submit less than one day prior to deadline. Upload speeds slow with increased traffic and accidents happen!
  8. Pro tip: draft your responses in a document you can save locally on your computer and then simply copy and paste them into the form.



The Holmes/D’Accone Opera Studies Fellowship is awarded solely on the basis of academic merit. Fellows receive a six-month stipend, currently set at $12,000. They may also elect to accept the award on a non-stipendiary basis (thus freeing scarce resources for others). Fellowships are not deferrable or renewable. The fellowship is intended for full-time study. It cannot be held concurrently with a comparable or year-long fellowship unless accepted on an nonstipendiary basis. It may be held consecutively with a short-term fellowship or short-term teaching/TA position, where short-term is defined as six months or fewer. Awardees who possess a full-year fellowship or teaching position from their home institution for the fellowship year must make arrangements to decrease their existing funding to a half-year stipend, or accept the Holmes / D’Accone fellowship on a nonstipendiary basis. There are no provisions for the payment of tuition: it is hoped that graduate schools will provide tuition fellowships or waivers.

Fellows are selected in the spring, announced in the August issue of the AMS Newsletter, and given formal recognition at the Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation of the Society.

The endowment carries the names of two music historians of the early modern period with long and distinguished careers at the University of California. William C. Holmes (1928–99), a scholar of 17th-century music who edited and wrote about operas by Cesti and Scarlatti before turning to the works of Verdi, was professor of music at the University of California, Irvine (1968–94). His Opera Observed: Views of a Florentine Impresario in the Early Eighteenth Century was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1993. Music Observed: Studies in Memory of William C. Holmes appeared in 2004 (Detroit Monographs in Musicology / Studies in Music, no. 42; Harmonie Park Press).

Frank A. D’Accone was professor of music at UCLA (1968–94), where he served as chair of the Departments of Music and Musicology. He has published extensively on Renaissance music in Tuscany and has edited and written about Scarlatti’s first opera. His foundational work, including many editions, has documented the lives and works of a number of Florentine composers as well as musical practices of their times. He served as general editor of Corpus mensurabilis musicae (1983–2002) and co-editor of Musica Disciplina (1989–2002). His The Civic Muse: Music and Musicians in Siena During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1997. A Festschrift, Musica Franca: Essays in Honor of Frank A. D’Accone, appeared in 1996 (Pendragon). D’Accone is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he was named Honorary Member of the Society in 2006.

The Endowment was established by Frank D’Accone in memory of Bill Holmes.