Zachary Bernstein (Ph.D. 2015, Music Theory) to Join Faculty of Eastman School of Music

April 3, 2015

Zachary Bernstein (Ph.D. 2015, Music Theory) has been appointed to the faculty of Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he will serve as an assistant professor of music theory.

The appointment marks the latest achievement for Bernstein, who is currently a full-time instructor of music theory at the University of Alabama. His compositions have been performed by a number of leading ensembles, including the Cygnus Ensemble, Collage New Music, and Strata. He is a recipient of the GC's Enhanced Chancellor's Fellowship and Dissertation Year Fellowship. Last year, he was awarded the Patricia Carpenter Emerging Scholar Award by the Music Theory Society of New York State.

A Juilliard alumnus, Bernstein has also presented papers at conferences throughout the United States and Europe including the annual meetings of he Society for Music Theory and the Society for American Music. His research interests include twelve-tone music, the music and thought of Milton Babbitt, Schenkerian theory, Spectralism, and 18th-century speculative theory. 

At the Graduate Center, Bernstein studied under Joseph Straus, William Rothstein, and Jeff Nichols. He is scheduled to receive his diploma in May.

"My years at the Graduate Center have been transformative," he said. "The concrete benefits it has given me are the ones that are easiest to enumerate: two generous fellowships funding my studies and dissertation; three additional grants; mentoring and workshops in all aspects of professional development; experience organizing two concerts and two conferences; and interactions with many of the top scholars in the field."

However, the abstract benefits have perhaps mattered most, Bernstein noted.
"The web of social connections, support, expectations, and friendships that collectively form the 'atmosphere' of a place - it is here that the Graduate Center shines brightest," he said. "There is a culture of achievement at the GC, of scrappy strivers doing things, and getting things done. The Graduate Center bills itself as the 'Life of the Mind in the Heart of the City,' and there's plenty of high-level thought here, but this is not a school of navel-gazers. There's so much activity here, one can't help but get swept up in it."