Laura Risk

Faculty Member Laura Risk
Assistant Professor
Music and Culture


Laura Risk is an Assistant Professor of Music and Society in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and is cross-appointed in the Graduate Department of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. Her research examines the formation of musical genres and the mechanics of innovation within aural musical communities, with a focus on traditional music from Quebec. She also works on a variety of applied ethnomusicology projects, ranging from archiving historic recordings and producing community CDs to designing professional development workshops for community music educators.

Laura has published articles in Ethnomusicology, MUSICultures, and the SAGE Encyclopedia of Music and Culture, and has chapters in two forthcoming volumes: Contemporary Musical Expressions and Cultural Resonances in Canada (McGill-Queen’s University Press) and Trans-Atlantic Transactions (University of Aberdeen NAFCo Series). She is a co-author of The Glengarry Collection: The Highland Fiddle Music of Aonghas Grant and co-producer of the CD Douglastown: Music and Song from the Gaspé Coast, for which she received the 2014 Prix Mnémo.

Laura holds a PhD in Musicology from McGill University, where she was awarded the 2017 Governor General’s Gold Medal in Human Sciences. Her research has received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Société et culture (FRQSC), the GRAMMY Museum Grants Program, and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. She is currently Editor of the online journal Music in Action ( Laura is a collaborating member of the Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la littérature et la culture québécoises (CRILCQ) and a member of the Institute for Music in Canada. She is also active as a performer and teacher of traditional fiddle music.