Ruth Griffioen

Adjunct Associate Professor (Musicology), Instructor of Recorder

Office: Ewell 210A
Phone: (757) 259-0259
Email: [[rvbgri]]
Website: {{}}

  • BA (Music History/Recorder Performance), Calvin College, 1980
  • PhD (Historical Musicology), Stanford University, 1988
Areas of Specialization
  • Director of the Early Music Ensemble, click here for news story about Griffioen's student, Evan Callaway ('12) building a contrabass recorder for his Monroe project.
  • Instructor of Recorder

Ruth van Baak Griffioen studied music at Calvin College, recorder at the University of Michigan, and musicology at Stanford University. She spent two years in Utrecht on a Fulbright Fellowship, researching the music of the 17th-century Dutch carillonneur and recorder virtuoso Jacob van Eyck; the resulting book was published by the Dutch Musicological Society in 1991 and is now in its third printing. She has taught early music history and performance at Calvin, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania, and, on and off since 1994, at the College of William & Mary. Her latest published projects have been a Listener's Guide to Bach's St. Matthew Passion (March 2003) and Storms, Ice, and Whales, a translation of a first person account of a 1923-1924 Antarctic whaling adventure, written and illustrated by her ancestor, the Dutch landscape artist Willem van der Does (September 2003). Dr. Griffioen performs professionally as a recorder player in the mid-Atlantic area, giving several dozen performances per year.  Last season included concerts with Virginia Opera (Handel's Agrippina) and in Rio de Janiero (featuring modern Brazilian music for the recorder); for the 2009 season she will be performing at The National Gallery in Washington DC and at Duke University.  Most often, Ruth performs with The Wren Masters, a W&M faculty baroque quartet with Tom Marshall, Susan Via, and Sarah Glosson. For all further information, including courses, publications, and performances, see