Thomas L. Riis, Emeritus Joseph Negler Professor of Musicology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, earned a BA from Oberlin College and an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan. In 2001, he served as the Albert Seay Distinguished Visiting Professor at Colorado College.
Riis is a specialist in musical theatre, and writes and lectures frequently on many topics in 19th- and 20th-century American music. His book “Just Before Jazz”—devoted to African-American Broadway shows—received an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 1995.
As a Fulbright Senior Scholar, he taught in Lüneburg, Germany, 2005-2006. His other interests include medieval song, historical performance practice and the music of Frank Loesser. Riis remains active as a conductor, choral singer, viola player and cellist.