LEWISTON – Robert Cogan and Pozzi Escot, known internationally as composers and as music theorists in the relationships between music and such disciplines as math and physics, will spend a weeklong residency at Bates College.

They will offer a joint lecture, “Poetics and Science of Music,” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, in the Keck Classroom (G52) in Pettengill Hall, Andrews Road.

Music by Escot and Cogan will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, in Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St.

The musicians will include members of the avant-garde Second Instrumental Unit; soprano Joan Heller, head of the voice department at the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University; and the Bates College Symphony Orchestra.

Both faculty members at the New England Conservatory, Cogan and Escot will visit Bates under the auspices of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Their visit was initiated by professor of physics John Smedley, one of several faculty at Bates who explore the relationship between music and physics.

The residency is underwritten by a curriculum development grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and has been coordinated by the Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates.

Triple threat

Cogan has a threefold career: as composer, music theorist and teacher. For more than 30 years, he has been chair of graduate theoretical studies and professor of composition at the conservatory. His 1984 book “New Images of Musical Sound” won the Society for Music Theory’s Distinguished Publication Award in 1987.

More recently, he published “Music Seen, Music Heard” and “The Sounds of Song.” Cogan’s compositions have been performed by the Cleveland Orchestra, major regional orchestras in Germany and at festivals such as Avignon and Tanglewood.

Escot is a professor of composition and music theory at the conservatory and also is a professor at Wheaton College. She is editor-in-chief of the journal Sonus and president of the International Society of Hildegard von Bingen Studies. She is regarded as a pioneer in the study of the relationship between music and mathematics.

In 1975, Escot was named one of the five most remarkable women composers of the 20th century. That same year the New York Philharmonic premiered her Fifth Symphony, to critical acclaim. She and Cogan co-wrote “Sonic Design: The Nature of Sound” and “Music and Sonic Design: Practice and Problems.” She recently completed two books, “The Poetics of Simple Mathematics in Music” and “Oh How Wondrous – Hildegard von Bingen, Ten Essays.”

While at Bates, Cogan and Escot will visit classes in music theory, physics and psychology.

Their lecture and the concert are open to the public at no cost.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.