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Fall 2022 Music Hum Mini-Core — Music and Politics on Stage: Richard Wagner to Nina Simone

Fall 2022 Mini Core

Music and Politics on Stage: Richard Wagner to Nina Simone | Benjamin Steege, Associate Professor of Music, Music Theory, Historical Musicology

With the expansion of the concert going public in mid-nineteenth-century Europe and America, many composers began to cultivate unprecedented political ambitions for their work. Music came to be valued not merely as a medium of entertainment or religious observance, but as a potential tool of social transformation. Yet it is unclear whether musicians’ technical means were ever suited to the new ends they pursued. Over three evenings, we will address this question through exploration of three landmark examples: Richard Wagner’s The Rhinegold (1854) (first installment of the epic four-opera cycle, The Ring of the Nibelung), Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s Weimar-era social commentary, The Threepenny Opera (1928), and Nina Simone’s 1964 concert at Carnegie Hall, a musical watershed of the Civil Rights Era.

Session 1 | Monday, October 31
Richard Wagner

Session 2 | Monday, November 7
Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht

Session 3 | Monday, November 14
Nina Simone



Monday, October 31
Monday, November 7
Monday, November 14

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Refreshments will be provided.


Tickets: $160 for three evenings
($100 for Young Alumni in class years 2013-2022)


To be confirmed upon registration


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Registration opens about five weeks prior to the start of class. Have questions about the course or registration?

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