Wednesday through Friday, March 22-24, René Rusch (University of Michigan) will visit the Indiana University Department of Music Theory. Prof. Rusch will deliver two talks on the music of Franz Schubert as well as hold individual meetings with graduate students. She will also lead a workshop titled “From Perceptions to Representations” that explores the value and context provided by transcriptions.
These events are presented by the Five Friends Master Class Series in honor of Jacobs School student and Music Theory AI, Robert Samels. More info below.
Wednesday, March 22 | 3:30 PM
M267 (Cook Music Library, 2nd floor)
“Contemporary Schubert Criticism, Musical Aesthetics, and Poetics”
Thursday, March 23 | 5:00 PM
“Transforming the Familiar into the Foreign: Schubert’s Last Piano Sonata Revisited”
René Rusch is an associate professor of music theory at the University of Michigan (U-M) School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Prior to joining the Department of Music Theory at U-M in 2015, she taught at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, from 2007 to 2015. In addition to specializing in the music of Franz Schubert, Rusch’s research interests include late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century harmony and form as well as jazz theory. Her papers often adopt an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing from literary theory, philosophy, and historiography. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Music Theory, Music Analysis, Music Theory Online, and the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland. She is currently completing her monograph, Schubert’s Instrumental Music and Poetics of Interpretation is forthcoming on Indiana University Press. She has presented her research at the Society for Music Theory’s (SMT) annual and regional meetings, the New England Conference of Music Theorists, the Society for Music Analysis Conference, the European Music Analysis Conference, the Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, and the International Conference on Music Theory and Analysis. In 2006, Rusch received the Arthur J. Komar Award from Music Theory Midwest for a paper presentation derived from her thesis. In 2011, she was awarded a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for her work on Schubert. She is the recipient of the 2014 Schulich School of Music Teaching Award at McGill University. Rusch has also won first prize in several piano competitions, including the Music Teachers National Association’s Performance Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs’ District and Regional Competitions. Rusch has served on the editorial boards of Music Theory Online, Intégral, and Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy; the SMT-Jazz Award Committee; and the Program Committee for SMT. She has also served as Co-editor and Editor-in-chief of Music Theory Online. She began a three-year appointment on SMT-V’s editorial board in November 2022.
About the Five Friends Master Class Series
The Five Friends Master Class Series honoring the lives of five talented Jacobs School of Music students—Chris Carducci, Garth Eppley, Georgina Joshi, Zachary Novak, and Robert Samels—was established in 2012 with a gift of $1 million from the Georgina Joshi Foundation, Inc. This annual series of lectures, master classes, and residencies by a number of the world’s leading musicians and teachers focuses on areas of interest most relevant to the lives of the five friends—voice performance, choral conducting, early music, music theory, composition, and opera. The Georgina Joshi Foundation was established in 2007 as the vision of Georgina Joshi’s mother, Louise Addicott-Joshi, to provide educational and career development opportunities for young musicians and to encourage and support public performance of music. The gift to the school establishes a permanent way for the world to learn about each of the five friends, their musical talents and passions, and to encourage the development of similar talents and passions in current and future music students. The establishment of this endowment by the families is administered by the IU Foundation.
Bass-baritone and composer Robert Samels was born on June 2, 1981, and died in a plane crash on April 20, 2006. He was a doctoral student in choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and had studied voice with Giorgio Tozzi and Costanza Cuccaro. He began his vocal studies with Alfred Anderson at the University of Akron and Andreas Poulimenos at Bowling Green State University. Samels had recently 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, and as Joseph and Herod in the collegiate premiere of El Nino by John Adams. In September 2005, he conducted the premiere of his own opera, Pilatvs. As a member of the Wolf Trap Opera Company for 2006, he would have added three roles that summer, including Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, Friar Laurence in Roméo et Juliette, and Pluto in Telemann’s Orpheus. Other opera credits included the title roles of Don Pasquale and Il Turco in Italia, as well as Leporello in Don Giovanni, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the summer of 2004, he performed Creon in the New York premiere of John Eaton’s Antigone. Samels also frequently performed in the oratorio repertoire. In the spring of 2005, he was selected as a semi-finalist in the annual competition of the Oratorio Society of New York. He was an announcer with public radio station WFIU, as well as the host and producer of its Cantabile program. A soloist with Aguavá New Music Studio, he had recently performed a concert at the Library of Congress. Samels was an associate instructor in the Jacobs School’s Music Theory Department, where was loved and admired by his students.