Carsten Schmidt

Künstlerische Abschlussprüfung “mit Auszeichnung,” Folkwang University, ​Germany. MM, Artist Diploma, Indiana University. MMA, DMA, Yale University. Extensive performance and broadcast activities as soloist, conductor, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestras throughout Europe, North America, and Japan; repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the music of today, including more than 100 premieres and numerous master classes, lectures, and workshops at educational and research institutions. Special interests include: keyboard literature and performance practices, early keyboard instruments, and the interaction of poetry and music in song repertoire. Since 1998, artistic director, Staunton Music Festival; former artistic director, International Schubert Festival, Amsterdam; research fellow, Newberry Library; fellow, German National Scholarship Foundation. SLC, 1998–

Undergraduate Courses 2022-2023

Music

Advanced Theory: Advanced Tonal Theory and Analysis

Component

This course will focus on the analysis of tonal music, with a particular emphasis on chromatic harmony. Our goal will be to quickly develop a basic understanding and skill in this area and then refine them in the analysis of complete movements and works. Our repertoire will range from Bach to Brahms, and we will try to incorporate music that class participants might be studying in their lessons or ensembles.

Faculty

Awareness Through Movement™

Component—Fall

This course will offer a selection from the thousands of Awareness Through Movement lessons developed by Moshe Feldenkrais. The lessons consist of verbal instructions for carefully-designed movement sequences. The movements allow students to better sense and feel themselves and thereby develop new and improved organizational patterns. The gentle movements are done in comfortable positions (lying, sitting, and standing), and many performing artists have found them to be hugely helpful in developing greater ease, reducing unwanted tension and performance anxiety, and preventing injuries. Another benefit is the often increased capacity for learning and, perhaps most importantly, an increased enjoyment of performing and the creative process.

Faculty

Baroque Ensemble

Component—Spring

This performance ensemble focuses on music from roughly 1600 to 1750 and is open to both instrumentalists and singers. Using modern instruments, we will explore the rich and diverse musical world of the Baroque. Regular coachings will be supported by sessions exploring a variety of performance practice issues, such as ornamentation, notational conventions, continuo playing, and editions.

Faculty

First-Year Studies: Music

FYS

This course is designed for students with all levels of prior music experience, from beginning to advanced. Each student will be enrolled in a full music program that reflects Sarah Lawrence College’s educational philosophy of closely integrating theory and practice in the study of music. The music program (also called a Music Third) consists of a number of components: individual instruction in voice, an instrument, or composition; courses in history and/or theory; participation in an ensemble; and concert attendance. We will regularly attend performances on campus, as well as in New York City at, for instance, the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. We mostly will start with live musical experiences in order to generate our investigations. The seminar will also feature frequent in-class performances by guest artists, class members, and the instructor. The music that we study in class will range from the early 16th century to the early 21st. Our emphasis will be on Western classical music and will occasionally include jazz, non-Western, and popular music traditions, as well. In order to develop and improve their insights and their ability to share those insights with others, students will write regular short papers and give short presentations and will also complete a larger paper in the spring. Students will have individual and small group conferences with the instructor to work on specific projects.

Faculty

Survey of Western Music

Component

This course is a chronological survey of Western music from the Middle Ages to the present. It will explore the cyclical nature of music that mirrors philosophical and theoretical ideas established in Ancient Greece and how that cycle most notably reappears every 300 years: the Ars nova of the 14th century, Le nuove musiche of the 17th century, and the New Music of the 20th century and beyond. The course involves reading, listening, and class discussions that focus on significant compositions of the Western musical tradition, the evolution of form, questions of aesthetics, and historical perspective. There will be occasional quizzes during the fall term; short, written summary papers or class presentations are required in the spring.

Faculty

Previous Courses

Music

Advanced Theory: Advanced Tonal Theory and Analysis

Component

This course will focus on the analysis of tonal music, with a particular emphasis on chromatic harmony. Our goal will be to quickly develop basic understanding and skill in this area and then refine them in the analysis of complete movements and works. Our repertoire will range from Bach to Brahms, and we will try to incorporate music that class participants might be studying in their lessons or ensembles.

Faculty

Awareness Through Movement for Performing Artists

Open, Component—Spring

This course will offer a selection from the thousands of Awareness Through Movement™ lessons developed by Moshe Feldenkrais. The lessons consist of verbal instructions for carefully-designed movement sequences. The movements allow students to better sense and feel themselves and thereby develop new and improved organizational patterns. The gentle movements are done in comfortable positions (lying, sitting, and standing); many performing artists have found the movements to be hugely helpful in developing greater ease, reducing unwanted tension and performance anxiety, and preventing injuries. Another benefit is the often increased capacity for learning and, perhaps most importantly, an increased enjoyment of performing and the creative process. The course will meet on Zoom, and the meeting time will be determined after students have registered. We will find a time that works for all.

Faculty

Awareness Through Movement™ for Musicians

Component

This course will offer a selection from the thousands of Awareness Through Movement™ lessons developed by Moshe Feldenkrais. The lessons consist of verbal instructions for carefully designed movement sequences. The movements allow the students to better sense and feel themselves and thereby develop new and improved organizational patterns. The gentle movements are done in comfortable positions (lying, sitting, and standing), and many instrumentalists and singers have found them to be hugely helpful in developing greater ease, reducing unwanted tension and performance anxiety, and in preventing injuries. Another benefit is the often increased capacity for learning and, perhaps most importantly, an increased enjoyment of music making and the creative process.

Faculty

Baroque Ensemble

Component—Spring

This performance ensemble focuses on music from roughly 1600 to 1750 and is open to both instrumentalists and singers. Using modern instruments, we will explore the rich and diverse musical world of the Baroque. Regular coachings will be supported by sessions exploring a variety of performance practice issues, such as ornamentation, notational conventions, continuo playing, and editions.

Faculty

First-Year Studies in Music

Open, FYS—Year

This course is designed for students with all levels of prior music experience, from beginning to advanced. Each student will be enrolled in a full music program that reflects Sarah Lawrence College’s educational philosophy of closely integrating theory and practice in the study of music. The music program (also called a Music Third) consists of a number of components: individual instruction in voice, an instrument, or composition; courses in history and/or theory; participation in an ensemble; and concert attendance. In addition, all students in this course will be members of a weekly seminar that provides a forum to explore a broad range of musical topics in both artistic and critical ways. Throughout the year, we will attend numerous performances on campus, as well as in New York City; for instance, at the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. We mostly will start with live musical experiences in order to generate our investigations. The seminar will also feature frequent in-class performances by guest artists, class members, and the instructor. The music that we study in class will range from the early 16th century to the early 21st. Our emphasis will be on Western classical music and will occasionally include jazz, non-Western, and popular music traditions, as well. In order to develop and improve their insights and their ability to share those insights with others, students will write regular response papers and give short presentations. In the spring, students will also undertake a larger research project.

Faculty

Four Masterpieces of Baroque Music

Component—Spring

This course will present an in-depth study of four exceptional and important musical works of the Baroque era: Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, Lully’s Armide, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Handel’s Hercules. We will examine these works in the context of the biography of the composers, the history of their genres, and performance practices. Much of our time will be spent with score analysis. The course will meet on Zoom, and the meeting time will be determined after students have registered. We will find a time that works for all.

Faculty

Johann Sebastian Bach

Component

Bach’s roots are deep, arguably reaching back to the Middle Ages. This course, which will offer a thorough introduction to his works and life, will consider some of those roots but also his influence on later generations. This seminar will trace the development of Bach’s musical language and discuss his extraordinary contributions to almost all the genres important in his time, including cantatas, concertos, suites, passions, orchestral music, and pedagogical keyboard works. Analysis of his music is at the core of this course and will be combined with discussion of readings that address topics of biography, theology, performance practice, and reception history. In-class performances will be a regular feature of this seminar. Reading knowledge of music is essential, and some background in music theory is highly recommended.

Faculty

Music and the Romantic Imagination

Open, 3-credit seminar—Fall

This course will examine a broad range of musical works from the 19th century, including symphonies by Beethoven, Berlioz, Tschaikovsky, and Mahler; song cycles by Schubert and Schumann; piano music by Mendelssohn, Wieck, Chopin, and Liszt; chamber music by Brahms and Franck; and operas by Verdi, Wagner, Bizet, and Mussorgski. Our primary focus will be on attentive and analytical listening. We will also draw on a variety of documents and secondary literature to try to understand the development of the major romantic genres and music traditions in the context of important societal and artistic forces of their time. We will include consideration of the changing image of the composer, music as autobiographical expression, nationalism, folklore and mythology, music for domestic performance, public concert life, virtuosity, and the role that literature and art had in providing inspiration to musical compositions. Course requirements include listening and reading assignments, class participation, in-class essay exams, and a presentation. Students who take this course as a seminar will also complete a term paper. While there will be no conferences, occasional individual consultations will help to shape the presentations and papers.

Faculty

Words and Music

Component—Fall

See course description under Lectures and Seminars.

Faculty