Theorist Lester to Speak at UO

Joel Lester

October 28, 2015—On Friday, Nov. 20, the UO School of Music and Dance will offer two free, public events featuring the visiting music scholar Joel Lester.

Lester, who will be in residence on the UO campus as a guest of the university’s music theory program, will coach students performing Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire in a session open to the public beginning at 10 a.m. in room 173 of the Frohnmayer Music Building.

Beginning at 3:15 p.m. at Collier House (at the intersection of University Street and Johnson Lane on the UO campus), Lester will deliver a free public lecture, the culminating event of his residency.

Entitled “Words, Words, Words,” the talk will explore how words can both open our ears and minds to musical effects, and at the same time close our ears and minds; how precision can clarify, or obscure; and what Shakespeare and Tolstoy (and some movie versions of their works) can tell us about musical form.

The School of Music and Dance has named Lester a 2015 Trotter Visiting Professor, a mark of distinction reserved for honored guest artists and scholars.

“Joel Lester is one of the world’s foremost scholars in music analysis and the history of music theory,” noted Jack Boss, professor of music theory at the UO.

“He is also a well-known chamber musician and a lively and engaging speaker,” Boss added. “We look forward to him sharing his expertise with our students and with others in our community.”

Lester is a scholar, professor, violinist, and administrator. He served as dean of the Mannes College of Music from 1996-2011, and was violinist from 1970-91 in the Da Capo Chamber Players.

Among Lester’s many books and articles are Compositional Theory in the Eighteenth Century (Harvard University Press, 1992; winner of the Wallace Berry Publication Award of the Society for Music Theory), Bach’s Works for Solo Violin (Oxford University Press, 1999; winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award), and the textbook Analytic Approaches to 20th-Century Music (W.W. Norton, 1989).

Events Schedule: Friday, Nov. 20

10 a.m., Room 173, Frohnmayer Music Building
Coaching of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire
Free admission; open to the public

3:15 p.m., Collier House
Public Lecture: "Words, Words, Words"
Free admission; open to the public