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Leon Botstein: The 23rd Mary Stevens Reckford Memorial Lecture in European Studies
February 16 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
Conductor, musicologist and Bard College President Leon Botstein will deliver the lecture “Sounding Forms: What Music and Its Practice Reveal about Modern European History.”
Exploring the character of music in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Botstein examines its rhetoric, structure, logic, and qualities in an effort to see what the culture of active participation and listening tells us about politics and society. Starting with the generation of Chopin and their reception of Beethoven, Botstein weaves theories about the nature of music and its perception using examples from the repertoire, concluding with the dominant figures pre-1945: Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Shostakovich.
Dr. Leon Botstein has been the president of Bard College since 1975, where he is also the Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities. Dr. Botstein’s accomplishments at Bard College speak to his long time advocacy for the reform of education and the right of disadvantaged populations to its access.
Since 1992, Leon Botstein has also been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra and a conductor of international renown.
Leon Botstein received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Harvard. Additional honors include the National Arts Club Gold Medal, the Centennial Medal of the Harvard Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences, the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, and the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2009, he received the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award, and was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2010. He is also the 2012 recipient of both Longy Conservatory’s Leonard Bernstein Award for the Elevation of Music in Society and the University of Chicago’s Alumni Medal and most recently received and Honorary Doctor of Music from Sewanee: The University of the South.
About the Reckford Lecture: The IAH hosts the annual Mary Stevens Reckford Memorial Lecture in European Studies, established in 1990 by UNC Classics Professor Kenneth J. Reckford to honor his wife, Mary Stevens Reckford (February 25, 1934 – November 12, 1987).
The lecture is designed to appeal to educated lay people, rather than specialists. Speakers are asked to provide “pleasure, instruction, an interdisciplinary approach and a sense of shared humanity.”
A graduate of Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mary Reckford took graduate courses at UNC through the Evening College for five years, studying such topics as Renaissance intellectual history, St. Augustine, sixteenth-century English literature, Arthurian literature, the Mediterranean world in the sixteenth century, and the history of science from the late-medieval period through the eighteenth century. She was mother to the Reckford’s five children, Rachel, Joseph, Jonathan, Sam and Sarah.