Famed music historian Richard Taruskin will visit Belmont

taruskinRichard Taruskin is like the Will Durant of contemporary musicology. He is a brilliant and prodigious author whose erudite writings can fill an entire book shelf.

Taruskin, a music history professor at the University of California at Berkeley, will be in Nashville on Monday, March 25 to give a series of lectures at Belmont University. His appearance is part of the university’s year-long celebration of its new McAfee Concert Hall.

“We’re celebrating all aspects of musical life at Belmont this year,” says Terry Klefstad, a musicologist at Belmont. “We’re bringing in Richard Taruskin as part of our celebration of musical learning.”

Certainly, they don’t come any more learned than Richard Taruskin. He is the author of – among many other things – the six-volume Oxford History of Western Music. That magnum opus clocks in at 4,272 pages, and every word was written by Taruskin. It took him 13 years to complete the project.

Taruskin is perhaps best known for his prolific essays in The New York Times. But he is also one of the world’s leading authorities on Russian music, especially the works of Igor Stravinsky. That makes Taruskin quite a hot commodity this year, since Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is about to mark its 100th anniversary – it premiered in Paris on May 29, 1913.

Taruskin’s Belmont lecture boasts the intriguing title “Suicide Notes, Faked Memoirs, Toasts to Killers: The Wonderful World of Russian Music.” The lecture starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 25 at McAfee Concert Hall, 2100 Belmont Blvd. The event is free.

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About John Pitcher

John Pitcher is the chief classical music, jazz and dance critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He has been a classical music critic for the Washington Post, the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, National Public Radio’s Performance Today (NPR), ArtNowNashville.com and the Nashville Scene. His writings about music and the arts have also appeared in Symphony Magazine, American Record Guide and Stagebill Magazine, among other publications. Pitcher earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied arts writing with Judith Crist and Phyllis Garland. His work has received the New York State Associated Press award for outstanding classical music criticism.