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In her research, Sarah Le Van has been primarily fascinated with the correspondance, or relationship, between the various art forms particularly during the 19th and early 20th century, whether it be music, literature, and visual media. She is currently exploring the idea of an "interart aesthetic" in Debussy's works. Ms. Le Van hopes to trace the composer's trajectory from his interest in Pre-Raphaelite art to his affinity for symbolist painters and writers such as Whistler and Baudelaire, especially as expressed in  Pelléas et Mélisande. This opera reveals Pre-Raphaelite themes that were also espoused by the Symbolists, their artistic descendants. The shared symbolist and interart philosophy of both Whistler and Baudelaire (by way of Poe, for example), and the way Debussy communicates these ideas musically in his opera are areas she would like to investigate further. 


  • “The Influence of the Pre-Raphaelites in Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue” - April 2018

  • “Devils, their Place in Medieval Mentalities, and the Psychology of Fear in Le mystère de la Passion by Arnoul Gréban" - Spring 2017

  • “Gustave Flaubert’s Symphonic Form: A Musical Analysis of the Country Fair in Madame Bovary"    - Fall 2016

  • “Canto 30: Maestro Adamo e Sinone come un Narciso in L'Inferno di Dante” -  April 2018                                             


  • Ivy League Undergraduate Research Journal, University of Pennsylvania - Summer 2018

    • ​Published “Gustave Flaubert’s Symphonic Form: A Musical Analysis of the Country Fair in Madame Bovary

  • Stanford Undergraduate Research Conference, Stanford University - Spring 2018

  • Princeton Research Day, Princeton University - Spring 2018

  • Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium, University of Pennsylvania - Fall 2017

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