Associate Professor of Music
Chair of the Arts
Eugene Lang Building
As a musician I strive to balance the pleasures of making music with the rigors of thinking about it (or do I mean the pleasures of thinking about it and the rigors of making it?). The piano is my instrument but I enjoy many kinds of music, especially because they can all lead to rich discoveries about the world and about one’s self. As an undergraduate I studied piano at the Eastman School of Music and in Vienna on my junior year abroad, then at the Liszt Academy in Budapest on a Fulbright scholarship. For graduate studies I focused on contemporary and avant-garde music and performance, and received my PhD from the University of California-San Diego.
Before joining the Lang Arts faculty in 2003, I taught at the University of South Carolina and at Whitman College, a liberal arts college in Washington State. Both of those teaching experiences positively shaped my approach to critical pedagogy and curriculum development at Lang. At South Carolina my students were music majors in instrumental and vocal performance; at Whitman I taught in the Core Curriculum, an overview of the great texts of Antiquity and Modernity for first-year students of widely-varied academic goals. My own undergraduate career took me from the narrow focus of a music conservatory curriculum to a broader liberal arts education at the University of Rochester while I still continued my studies and performing at Eastman. So I’m a strong advocate for a well-rounded education that focuses on the arts as well as their place in the larger contexts of history and culture. That’s why arriving at Lang College to teach in the interdisciplinary Arts in Context program was exactly what I had always wanted to do.
My scholarly work focuses on the meanings of musical performance in relation to cultural ideologies and forms of technology. I co-edited a defining collection of essays about the politics and poetics of the Eurovision Song Contest, the world’s largest and longest-running annual televised competition for popular music. My new book, titled Dreams of Love: Playing the Romantic Pianist, is a wide-ranging study of the concert pianist as a popular cultural icon, focusing on the role of technology in producing and perpetuating the mythology of the pianist’s romantic allure over the past two centuries. Visual music is another research focus area for me, especially as it relates to modes of sensory perception, or perceptual practices, which inform visual and musical creativity. In 2013 I was a Fulbright Visiting Professor in the University of Vienna’s Department of Musicology, where I researched Oskar Rainer’s musical graphics movement and lectured on the topic of visual music. Twenty-five years before I had been a student in Vienna on my junior year abroad, so it was an amazing experience to return again, this time to teach.
In June and July 2016 I will be teaching my "Music in Berlin" course for the third time through the Freie Universität Berlin's summer program.
PhD, Critical Studies & Experimental Practices in Music, University of California-San Diego;
MA, Music, University of California-San Diego;
BA, Music, Eastman School of Music/University of Rochester
American Musicological Society
Society for Music Theory
“The Camp Sincerity of Christmas Carols,” in Music and Camp (Wesleyan University Press, forthcoming)
“Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein: Verbindungen von Ton und Bild beim diesjährigen Eurovision Song Contest,” Österreichische Musikzeitschrift (2015)
“Austria, ORF, and Conchita Wurst,” in Texte 14: Public Service Media in Europe (ORF, 2015)
Dreams of Love: Playing the Romantic Pianist (Oxford University Press, 2014)
“Schumann’s Melodramatic Afterlife,” in Rethinking Schumann (Oxford University Press, 2010)
Co-editor of A Song for Europe: Popular Music and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest (Ashgate, 2007)
“Transcription, Transgression, and the (Pro)Creative Urge,” in Queer Episodes in Music and Modern Identity (University of Illinois Press, 2002)
"Concerto con amore: ‘Relationship’ and the Soundtrack Piano Concerto," in ECHO: An Online Journal (2000)
“Hollywood’s Embattled Icon” in Piano Roles: 300 Years of Life with the Piano (Yale University Press, 2000)
Music performance, music history, music and politics, visual music, gender and sexuality, European studies
Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna (2013)
German Chancellor Scholarship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1999-2000, 2012)
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (2003)
AMS 50 Fellowship from the American Musicological Society (2000)
A Arts in New York City
Music in Film
Fund of Western Music