Dr. Benjamin BinderAssistant Professor of Music
Mary Pappert School of Music
School of Music 215
Education:Ph.D., Musicology, Princeton University, 2006
M.A., Musicology, Princeton University, 2000
M.M., Piano Performance, Washington University, 1997
Benjamin Binder joined the musicianship faculty of the Mary Pappert School of Music in the fall of 2008, after holding a two-year teaching position at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. At Duquesne, Dr. Binder teaches music history and theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is also a collaborative pianist, and he believes passionately in the close connection between scholarship and performance, a connection which he actively pursues in his own professional life and encourages his students to explore in his courses.
Dr. Binder holds a master's degree in piano performance from Washington University and a Ph.D. in musicology from Princeton University. He has presented papers at regional, national, and international scholarly conferences, including meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium, on topics ranging from modern stagings of Bach's St. Matthew Passion to the concept of inwardness in Schumann's songs. In 2009, Dr. Binder's article on the complex relationship between anti-Semitism and musical transcendence in Wagner's opera Parsifal, entitled -Kundry and the Jewish Voice,' was published in the journal Current Musicology. Dr. Binder's enthusiasm for the music of Schumann is reflected by his upcoming research projects: a series of articles on Schumann's songs and a scholarly edition of the songs of other composers that Schumann reviewed in the German press. In general, his teaching and scholarly interests include European music and culture of the "long" nineteenth century, German Romanticism, Schubert and Schumann, the German Lied, J.S. Bach, subjectivity in music, performance and analysis, music and text, theories of chromaticism, and the political uses of music.
As a pianist, Dr. Binder has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and a participant in the Cleveland Institute of Music Art Song Festival. He has accompanied vocal recitals throughout North America, working with singers from companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and Sarasota Opera. He is the artistic and general director of the Pittsburgh Song Collaborative (http://www.pghsong.org), an ever-expanding consortium of outstanding professional singers and pianists dedicated to developing a passionate and abiding audience for classical art song in the Pittsburgh area and beyond. In his continuing effort to bridge the gap between the classical repertoire and the concerns of today's musical scene, Dr. Binder has also commissioned 14 young and dynamic composers from the US and UK to contribute to a recording project based on Schumann's beloved piano work Carnaval. These composers have written new pieces each based on one of the movements of Carnaval. Thus far, Dr. Binder has performed some of these works at Boston University, MIT, and Duquesne. In 2012, he will record this -Nouveau Carnaval- side by side with Schumann's original on Everglade Records.
Dr. Binder is also the director and co-founder of the Vancouver International Song Institute's Interdisciplinary Song Scholarship and Performance program (http://songinstitute.ca/songmusicology.html).