CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois musicologist William Kinderman has been selected to receive the prestigious Humboldt Research Award.
The award, given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, in Bonn, Germany, is named for the Prussian naturalist and explorer, and recognizes lifetime research achievements. The award includes a prize of 60,000 Euros (about $85,000 at current exchange rates). Recipients also are invited to conduct research of their choice with colleagues in Germany.
The foundation grants up to 100 such awards annually. Recipients must first be nominated, then elected for recognition by a panel of international scholars from a variety of disciplines.
Kinderman, a faculty member in the School of Music, said Humboldts are "awarded most often in the natural sciences, and not so often in the humanities and fine arts."
Kinderman is the author of several articles and books on major European classical composers, from Bach to Mahler. His most recent books are "Mozart's Piano Music" (2006), and a newly published, expanded edition of the comprehensive study "Beethoven." Forthcoming titles are "Genetic Criticism and the Creative Process: Essays From Music, Literature and Theater" (an edited volume with Joseph Jones), and "Genetic Criticism of Music: Essays on the Creative Process, From Mozart to Kurtag."
Kinderman will use his Humboldt award to continue his work on the creative process of composers of stature, which, he said, "is based in part on study of primary sources such as sketchbooks and other manuscripts" and on "integrating musical analysis and aesthetics."
He will travel to Germany to carry out his research beginning in August. During his year abroad, he also will serve as guest professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich from October through February 2010. There, he will teach courses in German on Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner and on Thomas Mann and music. The visiting professorship is sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service.
Joining Kinderman in Germany will be his wife, Katherine Syer, also a U. of I. musicologist. Syer plans to continue her work, supported by a previous grant from the Humboldt Foundation, on the stage history of Wagner's Ring cycle.