Kira Alvarez


Lansstraße 5-9
14195 Berlin


Doctoral Candidate, Graduate School of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin

Stanford University, M.A., History; M.A., Musicology

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, M. A., Religious History

      Passed the university Hebrew language proficiency exam

Swarthmore College, B.A., Religion and History

      Additional B.A. coursework in religion and history at the University of        


Kira Alvarez specializes in international history and works in the intersection of music, religion, and politics. She seeks to understand the ways in which music operates across cultural and national boundaries. She is also interested in musical diplomacy, and in understanding how musical institutions and figures can act as cultural ambassadors for political causes. Her current research examines how, in the course of the twentieth century, the United States became a premier site for the interaction between the classical music world, and social and political movements.


Kira has enjoyed teaching a variety of history and musicology courses, most recently at Stanford University. Furthermore, as a practitioner of music, she believes in the importance of sustaining an active musical life, and has performed in and soloed with a variety of music ensembles on the piano, violin, and Baroque violin. She has won numerous music competitions on both instruments.


She has presented her research at the American Musicological Society Annual Meeting, Boston University Graduate Student Conference in Musicology and Ethnomusicology, Midwest Jewish Studies Association Annual Conference, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Research Interests

  • Music as Cultural Diplomacy
  • Music and Nationalism
  • Cultural History of the United States in the 20th Century
  • Biography and Historiography


Dissertation project: “My Heart is in the East, but I am in the West:” Nationalism and the Classical Music World in the United States and Mandatory Palestine, 1920-1948

Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft