Curriculum Vitae


harpsichordist – keyboardist – composer

james dorsa cv
Harpsichordist/Composer James Dorsa is a Southern California native and on the faculty member at California State University Northridge where, in addition to applied harpsichord, he teaches courses in music appreciation, theory, history, and performance practice. He performs solo harpsichord concerts both locally and abroad strongly favoring the rarely performed modern repertoire. His harpsichord compositions enjoy regular performances from numerous renowned harpsichordists worldwide. His Jupiter’s Moons won first place at the 2008 Aliénor Composition Competition and was a required piece for the 2012 Jurow Competition.

From 1987 until 1992 he performed with groups representing a vast assortment of
musical styles at some of the biggest Hollywood venues of the time. He still performs with various groups throughout the southland.
Focusing recently on core harpsichord repertoire Dr. Dorsa will be recording J.S. Bach’s
Clavier-Ubüng I “the Six Keyboard Partitas” in January of 2016.


Los Angeles, CA (818) 919-9198


Formal  Degrees

  • Doctor of Musical Arts (A.Mus.D.) in Harpsichord Performance,
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2007)
  • Master of Music (M.M.) in Harpsichord Performance,
    California State University, Northridge (2004)
  • Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Composition,
    California State University, Northridge (2001)

University Teaching

  • California State University, Northridge (2008–present) Lecturer/Harpsichord Instructor
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2004-2007) Harpsichord Instructor

Harpsichord Compositions

  • Wanda of Kraków (2016): Harpsichord Solo
  • Hollywood (2016): Harpsichord and Soprano Saxophone
  • Pod jedną gwiazdką [Under One Small Star] (2016): Song in Polish for harpsichord and soprano. Poem by
    Wisława Szymborska
  • Jekyll and Hyde (2016)
  • Martinique (2014): Third Place – 2015 Ninth Aliénor International Harpsichord Composition Competition. Dedicated to Monika Forys
  • Microorganisms (2012) Performed at Eighth Aliénor International Harpsichord Composition Competition
  • The Tea Party (2009) Written for and premiered at 2009 Boston Early Music Festival.
  • Melting Away to Nothing (2008), for Harpsichord and Soprano. Text by US Poet Laureate Charles Simic. Commissioned by Elaine Funaro. Premiered at Duke University by Elaine Funaro
  • Jupiter’s Moons (2007) First Place: Seventh Aliénor International Harpsichord Composition Competition, Jupiter’s Moons 2008. Featured in semi-final round of 2012 Jurow Competition at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Recorded and performed by harpsichordists  around the world and considered standard repertoire in many conservatories

Compositions not using  harpsichord

  • Pan’s Labyrinth (formerly Constant Variables) for Flute and Oboe
  • Resistance, for flute, bassoon, piano, and percussion
  • Decahedron, for solo guitar
  • Enchantment, for solo piano
  • Do not go gentle into that good night, for soprano, bassoon, viola, piano