Benjamin Binder, Assistant Professor of Musicianship at Duquesne University will give a lecture titled “Revealing the Soul Where Gesture Can Only Conceal The Face”: Innigkeit in the Music of Schumann.
Benjamin Binder joined the musicianship faculty of the Mary Pappert School of Music in the fall of 2008, after holding a two-year teaching position at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. At Duquesne, Dr. Binder teaches music history and theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is also a collaborative pianist, and he believes passionately in the close connection between scholarship and performance, a connection which he actively pursues in his own professional life and encourages his students to explore in his courses. Dr. Binder holds a master’s degree in piano performance from Washington University and a Ph.D. in musicology from Princeton University. He has presented papers at regional and national meetings of the American Musicological Society on topics ranging from modern stagings of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion to the concept of inwardness in Schumann’s songs. This spring, Dr. Binder’s article on the complex relationship between anti-Semitism and musical transcendence in Wagner’s opera Parsifal, entitled “Kundry and the Jewish Voice,” will appear in the journal Current Musicology. Dr. Binder’s enthusiasm for the music of Schumann is reflected by his upcoming research projects: a series of articles on Schumann’s songs, a scholarly edition of the songs of other composers that Schumann reviewed in the German press, and a book-length study of Schumann’s beloved piano work Carnaval. In general, his teaching and scholarly interests include European music and culture of the "long" nineteenth century, German Romanticism, Schubert and Schumann, the German Lied, J.S. Bach, subjectivity in music, performance and analysis, music and text, theories of chromaticism, and the political uses of music. As a pianist, Dr. Binder has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and a participant in the Cleveland Institute of Music Art Song Festival. He is currently planning a series of concerts for the 2010-11 season devoted to the songs of Schumann, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. In his continuing effort to bridge the gap between the classical repertoire and the concerns of today’s musical scene, Dr. Binder is also commissioning composers to contribute to a recording project based on Carnaval. Each composer will write a piece based on one of the movements of Schumann’s piano work, and Dr. Binder will then record this “Nouveau Carnaval” side by side with Schumann’s original.