Expert on Russian music gives faculty research lecture on Stravinsky



Richard Taruskin

22 March 2001 | What does Igor Stravinsky mean to people today? If anyone can answer that question — or provide a reason to care about the answer — it would probably be Richard Taruskin, who is giving the first of this year’s Faculty Research Lectures on April 4.

Taruskin, who is the Class of 1955 Professor of Music, will speak on the topic “Stravinsky and Us.” The only academic to be included in the BBC Music Magazine’s recent list of the 60 most powerful figures in the musical world today, Taruskin has taught at Berkeley since 1987.

He has also been called the “doyen of Russian music studies in the West,” by the Times Literary Supplement. His Stravinsky monograph won five major prizes in 1996, including the gold medal from Great Britain’s Royal Philharmonic Society, the organization that commissioned Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

A former choral director and viola de gamba soloist with many recordings to his credit, Taruskin revolutionized the study of performance practice in a celebrated series of essays now collected in his “Text and Act” (1995), recently described by a critic as “one of the key documents in the history of late 20th century music.”

He is also the author of a comprehensive study of Russian music in its cultural setting called “Defining Russia Musically” and some 160 articles on Russian composers and their works in the authoritative New Grove Dictionary of Opera. His writings, which have been translated into eight languages, appear regularly in the New York Times and the New Republic, as well as many scholarly journals.

His lecture will be at 5 p.m., April 4, in Wheeler Auditorium. The Faculty Research Lectures were established in 1912 to give the university community a chance to hear the results of research conducted by its own faculty.

Berkeley’s greatest faculty luminaries have been among those selected to deliver Faculty Research Lectures, including Charles Mills Gayley in 1921, Ernest Lawrence in 1938, Luis Alvarez in 1962, Czeslaw Milosz in 1980, and Y. T. Lee in 1993.

Frank Shu, professor of astronomy, will deliver the second Faculty Research Lecture of 2001 on April 18.

Visit for information on the Faculty Research Lectures.


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