Jonathan Bellman, professor of music history and literature, and head of academic studies in music at the University of Northern Colorado, will deliver a lecture and piano performance titled, “After Silence, That Which Comes Nearest” as part of the Comparison Project’s spring 2014 programming. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at the St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center, 1150 28th Street.
Bellman earned piano performance degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Illinois, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance practices at Stanford University. His research interests include musical style, musical exoticism, the music and performance practices of Frédéric Chopin, and the concert music of George Gershwin.
Bellman is a noted author. Oxford University Press published his most recent book, Chopin’s Polish Ballade: Op. 38 as Narrative of National Martyrdom, in 2010. Additionally, his work has appeared in several journals including The Journal of Musicological Research, Musical Quarterly, Nineteenth-Century Music, Early Music, Historical Performance, and The Journal of Musicology.
Bellman’s lecture performance will discuss music’s ability to express the inexpressible. He suggests that poets and philosophers have long agreed that music has the ability to reach beyond verbal language. By the mid-nineteenth century, the expressive vocabulary of western music was highly developed and well understood; today though, Bellman suggests its subtleties are largely forgotten, challenging the audience to think about the expectations of the listener.
Eric Saylor, associate professor of music history and musicology at Drake University, will offer a response following Bellman’s lecture.
The Comparison Project is generously supported by the Drake University Humanities Center, Humanities Iowa, the Medbury Fund, The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship at Drake University, the Des Moines Area Religious Council, and Cultivating Compassion: The Richard Deming Foundation.
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