Česká centra, Czech Centres

Česká centra / Czech centres - logo


May 21, 2020 7:00 PM

Michael Beckerman: Czech Music and Infectious Disease

A talk on the impact infectious diseases had on key Czech composers (Leoš Janáček, Bedřich Smetana, Vítězslava Kaprálová) and their music.



May 21 at 7 PM (EDT)

For many of us, the Covid crisis is our first experience with life-changing infectious disease. But it is doubtful that we can fully understand the history of Czech music without acknowledging the impact of such illnesses on the careers, lifespans and imaginations of Czech composers. From Smetana's syphilis to Kapralova's premature death, this online talk by Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music and Collegiate Professor of Music at NYU, will explore the manifold ways in which infectious disease has shaped musical developments.

Michael Beckerman is Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music and Collegiate Professor at New York University. He is the author of six books including New Worlds of Dvořák, Martinů’s Mysterious Accident, and Janáček as Theorist, and has written widely on Czech topics, film music, Mozart, orientalism, music of the Roma, and most recently, composition in the camps and the question of the relationship between form and musical meaning. Beckerman has been a regular contributor to The New York Times, has appeared on many episodes of Live From Lincoln Center, and has lectured throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He has been the recipient of many prizes and honors, including two ASCAP Deems Taylor awards; an honorary doctorate from Palacký University in the Czech Republic; the Janáček and Dvořák medals and other awards from the Czech government; a Distinguished Alumni award from Hofstra University; and a Golden Dozen teaching award from NYU. He was recently made an honorary member of the Czech Musicological Society and will receive the Harrison Medal from the Irish Musicological Society. He has taught at Columbia University, Washington University, the University of Chicago, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Central European University, Charles University in Prague, and New York University where, from 2004-13 he served as department Chair. From 2011-15 he served as Distinguished Professor of History at Lancaster University in England and he was the Leonard Bernstein Scholar in Residence of The New York Philharmonic from 2016-18, as well as serving as Vice-President of the Dvořák American Heritage Association, actively contributing to its programs furthering knowledge and understanding of Dvořák’s legacy and Czech musical culture. 

This event is co-organized with Dvořák American Heritage Association.





May 21, 2020 7:00 PM


Czech Centre

Remind me
This event has already started.