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Guest lecturer to speak on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in the new millennium

Dr. Alexander Rehding, Fanny Peabody Professor of Music at Harvard University, will offer a lecture entitled “A Ninth for the New Millenium” at the Creative Arts Center, Monday January 22, 2018.

This lecture, which will begin at 4:00pm in Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (Room 200A), is free and open to the public.

A number of scholars in the 1990s lamented that we can no longer truly hear Beethoven’ Ninth, and exhorted us to listen with fresh ears. A recent radical rendition of Beethoven’s Ninth should make them prick up their ears: Leif Inge’s 9 Beet Stretch (2002), a digital installation stretching the sounds of a CD recording of the Ninth to a length of 24 hours. At this glacial pace, the phrases, motives, and rhythms of Beethoven’s music are almost unrecognizable. Is it in fact still the Ninth? In this talk, Rehding argues that this digital installation responds to a number of specific cultural and philosophical challenges of the turn of the millennium—temporality, monumentality, and selfhood. Leif Inge’s innovative 9 Beet Stretch is an appropriate version of the Ninth for the digital age, for our time.

Rehding is a music theorist with a focus on intellectual history and media theory. This has taken his work in a number of different directions from Ancient Greek music to the Eurovision Song Contest—and even into outer space. His research has contributed to Riemannian theory, the history of music theory, sound studies, and media archaeology, reaching into the digital humanities and ecomusicology. Working with the Sound Lab, Rehding’s recent work has particularly explored the interaction of music theory with culture and technology. Rehding has been awarded numerous awards and fellowships, including Guggenheim, ACLS, Mellon, Humboldt, and Radcliffe. He was awarded the Royal Musical Association’s Dent Medal in 2014.

For more information about the Jan. 22 event, contact Evan MacCarthy, WVU assistant professor of Musicology, phone: 304-293-4513, or email EAMacCarthy@mail.wvu.edu.