The Jacobs School welcomes music theorist Janet Schmalfeldt for residency

newpicThe Jacobs School of Music Theory Department will host a series of academic activities and two public talks with music theorist Janet Schmalfeldt, professor of music at Tufts University, March 20-22.

Schmalfeldt’s visit is part of the Five Friends Master Class Series and the Robert Samels Visiting Scholar series.

“The offering of the Five Friends Master Classes Series for Jacobs School of Music Students makes me so happy,” said Clayton Samels, father of Robert Samels. “I know that Robert would be happy, too. What a great way to honor these friends. What a wonderful opportunity for Jacobs School of Music students.”

Public lectures offered during her visit are as follows:

Wednesday, March 20, Ford-Crawford Hall, 3:30 p.m.:
“Brahms, Again the ‘Master of Allusion,’ with his Godson in Mind”
This lecture will include performances by Jacobs student Jessica Beebe, soprano

Friday, March 22, Sweeney Hall, 4:30 p.m.:
“On Becoming a Performer of Schumann’s Die Davidsbündlertänze

“Janet Schmalfeldt’s broad musical and scholarly interests, complemented by her talents as a performer, make her a natural fit with the ideals of the Robert Samels Visiting Scholar Program and the Five Friends Series,” said Julian Hook, chair of the Department of Music Theory. “Her presence on campus for a few days will be a treat for the Jacobs School of Music and the music theory department.”

Janet Schmalfeldt holds a Master of Musical Arts degree in piano from the Yale School of Music and a Ph.D. in music theory from Yale University. She has taught at McGill University and at Yale, where she was awarded the Clauss Prize for Excellency in Teaching in 1993; she joined the Music Department at Tufts University in 1995.

She is the author of a book on Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck and has published widely on late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century music; her most recent publication is a book entitled In the Process of Becoming: Analytic and Philosophical Perspectives on Form in Early Nineteenth-Century Music (Oxford University Press, 2011).

During the years 1993-95, she served as President of the New England Conference of Music Theorists; in November of 1999, she completed a two-year term as President of the Society for Music Theory. She has held seminars on musical form, performance, and analysis in Brazil, Italy, and the Netherlands and has given invited papers in Utrecht, Ghent, Tallinn, Freiburg, Warsaw, and Maynooth.

Her performances as pianist have included chamber, concerto, and solo music.

Robert Samels

Robert Samels

Robert Samels taught as an AI in the Jacobs School of Music Department of Music Theory. He was in charge of T231 (a sophomore aural skills course) and was loved and admired by his students. As a bass-baritone Samels appeared as Mr. Gibbs in the world-premiere of Our Town by Ned Rorem, as Marco in the collegiate premiere of William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge, as well as Joseph and Herod in the collegiate premiere of El Niño by John Adams. In the spring of 2005, he was selected as a semi-finalist in the annual competition of the Oratorio Society of New York and, in September of that year, he conducted the premiere of his own opera Pilatvs. Samels began his vocal studies with Alfred Anderson at the University of Akron and Andreas Poulimenos at Bowling Green State University. He was a doctoral student in choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and studied voice with Giorgio Tozzi and Costanza Cuccaro.

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