He graduated from the Schola Cantorum in Basel and the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, and obtained a doctorate in Musicology from the University of Utrecht.


Member of Villa I Tatti (Harvard University) in 2003-2004, he currently is an affiliated researcher at the University of Tours, a member of the college of the confederal doctoral program in Italian civilization (Switzerland), and a member of the committee for the Mediterranean and Balkans program of the 21st Quinquennial Congress of the International Musicological Society. He is also a member of the scientific boards of the magazine “Journal” of the Alamire Foundation. and the series "La tradizione musicale" by Edizioni del Galluzzo.


As a musicologist, Memelsdorff has published twenty-five articles on late medieval polyphony in specialised journals.

He is the author of a monograph on the history and codicology of Codex Faenza 117, and is preparing another volume on the same manuscript for Brepols. He has co-authored a volume on the re-elaboration of musical repertoires and another on the restoration of cultural artifacts.


As a musician, he has been a member of Hespèrion XX/XXI under Jordi Savall since 1981, and has formed a duo with Andreas Staier since 1984. Until 1986, he performed in orchestras led by conductors such as Alan Curtis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and Zoltan Pesko.

n 1987, he founded and has since directed the ensemble Mala Punica, specialising in late medieval polyphony. Mala Punica has performed over four hundred concerts in major early music venues in Europe and America and has released eight CDs that have received more than forty international awards.

Memelsdorff and Mala Punica have been Artists in Residence at the University of California Davis, Amuz in Antwerp, Fondation Royaumont in Paris, and Distinguished Blodgett Artists at Harvard University in 2014.

Since 2016, he has also performed in the study of Franco-Caribbean music from the 18th century. As a Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Christoph Wolff, he has given lectures on the subject and also conducted a concert at Harvard University in February-March 2020.


He was a full professor of music at the Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland) and at the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan (Italy), and is currently a full professor at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, where he has collaborated in both the programmes of the Master’s degree in Music Research and Performance of Early Music.

He has been a regular or guest professor at various music institutions in Europe, America, and Japan, including the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and the Conservatories of Boston, Bremen, Cologne, Copenhagen, Dublin, Haifa, Jerusalem, Lyon, Maastricht, Mainz, The Hague, and the Royal Academy of London.

He has also been invited by universities such as Berkeley, Davis, Harvard, North Carolina, Oxford, Pavia, Pisa, Rome, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Saarland, Salamanca, Würzburg, as well as the Universidad Católica de Buenos Aires and the City University of New York.

In the spring of 2010, he delivered a series of six lectures entitled "The Music of Theory: Theorist-Composers in Late Medieval Italy" at the University of California, Berkeley. In December of the same year, he was selected for a position as a full professor of historical musicology, and in 2015 as a music professor at Harvard University.