Dr. Philip Ewell is an Associate Professor of Music Theory at Hunter College of the City University of New York, where he serves as Director of Graduate Studies in the music department. His specialties include Russian music and music theory, Russian opera, modal theory, and critical-race studies. He received the 2019–2020 “Presidential Award for Excellence in Creative Work” at Hunter College, and he is the “Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellow” of the American Council of Learned Societies for 2020–2021. In August 2020 he received the “Graduate Center Award for Excellence in Mentoring,” which recognized his “ongoing, long-term, commitment to students at all stages of graduate research.” He is also a “Virtual Scholar in Residence” at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music for 2020–2021. As a result of his ACLS award, he is currently working on a monograph—to be published by the “Music and Social Justice” series at the University of Michigan Press—combining race and feminist studies with music and music theory. Finally, he is under contract at W.W. Norton to coauthor a new music theory textbook, “The Practicing Music Theorist,” which will be a modernized, reframed, and inclusive textbook based on recent developments in music theory pedagogy.
The Question of the Week is, "How can classical music confront its own history of exclusion?" Dr. Ewell and I discuss his experience presenting his paper on race, how classical music and institutions operate through a white racial frame, his advice on how to approach those who do not want to discuss issues in classical music, the inclusive theory textbook he and his colleagues are currently formulating, and his recommendations on those who want to learn more about diversity and equity in classical music.
Dr. Ewell's website - http://philipewell.com
Dr. Ewell's presentation Music Theory and the White Racial Frame - https://vimeo.com/372726003
Fact Check - At the end of our conversation, I refer to three recent police shootings and mistakenly called thirteen-year old victim, Adam Toledo, African-American when he is actually Mexican-American. Dr. Ewell corrected me and I wanted to include a fact check note in the show notes to verify this correction.
This Season Finale episode of Con Fuoco is dedicated to George Perry Floyd Jr. (October 14, 1973 - May 25, 2020)