The J. Merrill Knapp Research Fellowship


The Board of Directors of The American Handel Society invites applications for the J. Merrill Knapp Research Fellowship to support scholarly projects related to Handel and his world. One or more fellowships may be awarded on even-numbered years to a total of $2,000. Requests for funding may include, but are not limited to, purchase of microfilms, travel for research, and production expenses for publication. This fellowship may be used on its own or to augment other grants or fellowships.

In awarding the Knapp Fellowship, preference will be given to graduate students, scholars in the early stages of their careers, and independent scholars with no source of institutional support.

The deadline for the 2016 award will be March 1, 2016. There is no application form. Each applicant should submit an outline of the project, a budget showing how and when the funds will be used, and a description of other funding for the same project applied for and/or received. In addition, applicants should have two letters of recommendation sent directly to the Knapp Fellowship Committee. Electronic submissions are preferred; letters of recommendation as well as the application itself can be emailed to Roger Freitas at Paper submissions can be mailed to Professor Roger Freitas,

Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs Street, Rochester NY 14604.

We encourage Handel researchers to consider the following fellowships as well

The winners of the Knapp Fellowship since its establishment in 1989:


Recipient Affiliation Supported Research
1989 David Ross Hurley University of Chicago To complete the recipient's dissertation: "Handel's Compositional Process: A Study of Selected Oratorios"
1990 Richard G. King Stanford University To study Handelian biographical archives in the Netherlands
1991 John Winemiller University of Chicago To complete archival research on Handel's self-borrowings from his abandoned opera, Titus (1731/32) and thereby complete his dissertation, "Aspects of neoclassicism in Handel's compositional aesthetic."
1993 Michael Corn University of Illinois -
1993 Channan Willner City University of New York To complete the recipient's dissertation on the analysis of Handel's music
1995 Mark Risinger Harvard University To study Handel autographs in London and Cambridge, England
1996 Barbara Durost Claremont Graduate School To study manuscript sources of William Croft's works in England and to search for concordances in major collections of single songs and anthologies in English libraries, and thereby shed light in Handel's activities during the same period
1998 Todd Gilman Massachusetts Institute of Technology To study sources and materials by the English composer and Handel contemporary, Thomas Augustine Arne, at the Britten-Pears library in Aldeburth, England
1999 Kenneth McLeod Massachusetts Institute of Technology To study sources for Eccles' and Handel's Semele in London to assist with the completion of his project, "Masculine Anxiety in Handel's Semele"
2000 Stanley Pelkey Gordon College To explore the the formation of canonical repertoires in Georgian Britain and the influence that those canons, and especially the music of Handel, had on compositional practices in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
2001 Major Peter C. Giotta (Asst. Professor of English) United States Military Academy (West Point) 'That Divine Poet': Milton, Handel, and Samson agonistes."Prof. Giotta will use the Fellowship for a research trip to England to explore how Handel's oratorio Samson affected the reception of Milton's poetry in the 18th century.
2002 Minji Kim Brandeis University To support travel to London for research on the topic "Handel's Israel in Egypt: a Three-Anthem Oratorio."
2003 Zachariah Victor Yale University To support work on "An Interdisciplinary Study of Vocal Genres and the Pastoral in the Music of Alessandro Scarlatti, 1693-1707," including connections between Handel and Scarlatti as cantata composers.
2004 Ilias Chrissochoidis Stanford University To support research on the political context of Handel's Esther in 1732.
2005 Nathan Link Yale University To support travel to Hamburg to study the Handel's conducting scores at the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek.
2009 Thomas McGeary Independent scholar To pay for the provision of numerous illustrations for the 2009 essay in Early Music, "Handel as Art Collector: Art, Connoisseurship and Taste in Hanoverian Britain."
2011 Alison Desimone University of Michigan To support travel to London and Venice for the dissertation "Female Opera Singers and the Performance of Identity in Early Eighteenth-Century London."
2011 Andrew Woolley University of Southhampton To support travel to London, Cambridge and Chichester for the project "Research on the William Walond Manuscript of Keyboard Music in the Gerald Coke Handel Collection at the Foundling Museum Library, London, UK, and Related Sources."
2012 Regina Compton Eastman School of Music To support travel to London to conduct research for her dissertation "Gesture in Handel's Recitative."


Carlo Lanfossi University of Pennsylvania

To support travel to view in situ the sources of numerous pasticci involving Handel in some way for his project “Handel as Arranger and Producer: Listening to Pasticci in Eighteenth-Century London.”

2016 Matthew Gardner (runner-up) Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main

To support travel to view in situ sources of the oratorio Deborah as he prepares the critical edition for the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe.