Music theory and performance are often thought of as separate — you study the structures and history of music, or you master an instrument or your own voice. For Andrew White ’12, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago who studies how pianists practiced their instrument in the 19th century, putting the two together is “very intuitive.” White was able to make the two work in tandem as a Notre Dame undergraduate, where the Department of Music offers a unique blend of music performance and theory.
For Christopher Chowrimootoo, there’s nothing unusual about a musicologist teaching in the Great Books program. That’s because, like his research, the Program of Liberal Studies is fundamentally interdisciplinary. He primarily tries to bring music into wider conversations about the “middlebrow” in literature, film studies, and cultural history. This originally pejorative term implied cultural aspiration, using “highbrow” art to achieve a higher social and aesthetic status.
Three Notre Dame faculty members in the Department of Music teamed up with members of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and two Chicago artists to film a dramatic performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire, to be released in January.