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Phillip Ewell – Mentoring Artist Talk via Zoom
May 23, 2022, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PMFree and open to all via Zoom
Presentation followed by Q & A. Free and open to all via Zoom. Click here for Zoom Registration.
Philip Ewell is an associate professor of music at Hunter College of the City University of New York, where he is Director of Graduate Studies in the Music Department. He is also on the faculty of the CUNY Graduate Center, where he recently received the 2020–2021 “Graduate Center Award for Excellence in Mentoring,” which recognized his “ongoing, long-term, commitment to students at all stages of graduate research.” He was named the “Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellow” of the American Council of Learned Societies for 2020–2021 in light of recent work in critical-race studies in music. As a result of this ACLS grant, he is working on a monograph—under contract at the University of Michigan Press’s Music and Social Justice series—that examines race, gender, and other identities in American music theory. Ewell is currently serving as “Virtual Scholar in Residence” at the University of Pacific’s Conservatory of Music for 2020–2021. Finally, he is coauthoring a new music theory textbook, The Practicing Music Theorist—under contract with W.W. Norton—that will be a modernized, reframed, and inclusive textbook based on recent developments in music theory pedagogy.
Ewell’s research specialties include critical-race studies, Russian music and music theory, modal theory, hiphop and popular music, and cello performance. He has over 30 published items in top journals in the U.S. and abroad. His most recent work entails a critical-race examination of music theory. Ewell’s plenary talk, “Music Theory’s White Racial Frame,” given at the Society for Music Theory Annual Conference in November 2019, was immediately heralded as an important intervention not just in music theory, but in the academic study of music in the U.S., and in classical music writ large. His follow-up article, “Music Theory and the White Racial Frame,” and six-part blog, “Confronting Racism and Sexism in American Music Theory,” have garnered worldwide attention. This work has been featured in media outlets such as the BBC, The New Yorker, NPR, and Van Magazine.
Ewell began playing cello at the age of nine. He plays both classical and contemporary music, playing either his acoustic cellos or his five-string electric cello. He has concertized in North America, Europe, and Asia, under the batons of conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Jorge Mester, and Alexander Polishchuk, and in backup bands for artists such as Stan Getz, Johnny Mathis, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. He has a BA in music from Stanford University, an MM in cello performance from Queens College (CUNY), and a certificate in cello performance from the St. Petersburg (Russia) Conservatory. He finished his PhD in music theory from Yale University, and also studied music theory, as a visiting student, with Yuri Kholopov at the Moscow Conservatory.