Music Theory specializing in Contemporary Music
Ben Levy is an Assistant Professor of Music Theory specializing in contemporary music. His primary focus has been the music of György Ligeti and other avant-garde composers who use texture and timbre as structural elements in their music. His article “Shades of the Studio: Electronic Influences on Ligeti’s Apparitions,” published in Perspectives of New Music, received the Society for Music Theory’s Emerging Scholar Award in 2011 and an article on the composer’s Requiem and Lux aeterna will appear in Twentieth-Century Music. Dr. Levy is currently completing a book tracing Ligeti’s radical change in style during the 1950s and 60s, based on study of the composer’s sketches held at the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel. He has also published essays in books through PFAU Verlag and Pendragon Press and has presented his research at national and international conferences across Europe and North America. In addition to his work on Ligeti, Dr. Levy has written on Iannis Xenakis and Morton Feldman, and he is currently working as the translator and editor of the Schoenberg-Webern Correspondence, which will be published as part of Oxford University Press’s series, Schoenberg in Words.
Dr. Levy holds a doctorate from the University of Maryland, where he received the Davis Award for Outstanding Graduate Research and a Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, and a bachelor’s degree in Music and Classics from Washington University in St. Louis. Before arriving at U.C. Santa Barbara, he served on the faculty at Arizona State University and has also taught at Towson University, the University of Maryland, and the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University.