University of Pittsburgh

Lecture: Professor Tony Lin

November 30, 2017 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Professor Tony Lin will give a lecture titled "Duets: Music and Russian Literature."


Almost all the classics of the Russian operatic repertory, such as Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades, are based on works of Russian literature. In this talk, I will discuss both literature set to music and representations of music and musicians in literature, focusing on the former i.e. the notion of "transposition" – the retelling of a narrative in a different genre. Using several telling examples, I will consider the literary and artistic implications when a story gets transposed. Does the composer stay faithful to the text or change it significantly to better align with his artistic agenda? What is the effect of reading a literary text in comparison to seeing its musical counterpart?

Tony Lin received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where he wrote a dissertation on the history of Fryderyk Chopin’s reception in Russian and Polish culture. Prior to his time at UC Berkeley, Tony earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Slavic studies, as well as a Bachelor of Music in piano performance, from Northwestern University. As the recipient of numerous fellowships, including two Fulbright grants and a Critical Language Scholarship, Tony has studied and lived in Russia, Poland, and Germany. He has taught Russian and Polish languages and literature at Connecticut College and currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.

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