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Dr. James L. Martin
Professor of Music
Cornell College


1983  Doctor of Music, Northwestern University, Music 
1975  Master of Music, University of Illinois, Music 
1973  Bachelor of Music, Butler University, Music 
American Conservatory of Music (1966-69) 

Teaching, Research Interests 

Music Theory 
John Cage 
Music History


Courses Taught 

Music Theory 
Mozart & Beethoven 
Wagner & Wagnerism 
Wagner's Ring Cycle 
Revolutionary Music of the 20th Century 
Rock Music 
Music History
Music Listening and Understanding


Professor Martin has given close to 200 public piano performances in his career, which include solo recitals, lecture recitals, chamber music performances, and concerto soloist appearances with orchestra.

Click here for repertoire list.


Martin, James. “Confronting One’s Nazi Past: German Political History with Respect to Wagner and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg at Bayreuth.”  Wagner News, September, 2012.
Martin James. review: Herbert Lindenberger's Situating Opera: Period, Genre, Reception (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010), for the interdisciplinary, literary, cross-cultural journal The Comparatist, 2012
Martin, James. Wagner’s Character Beckmesser from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg as Prototype of the Jewish Exile in Germany Wagner News, 2011
Martin, James. "Opera Meets Video: The Tristan Project" Wagner News. Summer/Fall 2007
Martin, James. ""Wagner's Tristan und Isolde: Its Place in Artistic and Analytical History." Wagner News, January 2006.
Martin, James. "The Distress of An Injury." Clavier, December 2005.
Martin, James. "Wagner's Anti-Semitic Orientation: Historical Context, Influences, and Pecularities." Wagner News. December 2004.
Martin, James. "The Question of Misogyny in Parsifal" Wagner News, December 2003.
Martin, James. "Wagner's Leads as Leaders." Wagner News, June 2003.
Martin, James. "Wolfram and Wagner meet in Chicago in 2002: Commentary and Brief Analysis of the 2002 Lyric Opera Production of Richard Wagner's Parsifal." Wagner News, July 2002.
Martin, James. "Reflections on Bayreuth 2001: W./R.Wagner Redeemed." Wagner News, October 2001.
Martin, James. "Richard's Wagner's Influences on James Joyce." Wagner News cover article, June 2000.
Martin, James.  "The Structure of the Diabelli Variations of Beethoven." The Beethoven Journal, Spring 1997.
Martin, James.  "The Importance of Beginnings in Beethoven's Fourth Fortepiano Concerto." The Beethoven Journal, Spring 1996.
Martin, James.  "The Status of the Piano in Duo Chamber Music." Clavier, January 1994.
Martin, James.  "Practicing Scales." Clavier, September 1993.
Martin, James.  "Schumann, Hoffman, and Kreisleriana." Clavier, July/August 1991.
Martin, James.  "Beethoven and the Importance of Difficulty." Piano Quarterly, Summer 1991.


CD Solo Piano: Beethoven: Sonata in C minor Op. 111; Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit; Chopin: Scherzo in E Major, three Etudes, two Mazurkas (1998)

There are also other CDs in the Cornell Library.

Papers and Lectures Presented

Disappearance in late-Beethoven The Problem of Werktreue
Early Atonality   Beethoven and the French Revolution 
Kurt Weill's Die Dreigroschenoper  Rock Music and Racism 
John Cage:  Music and Ideas   Teaching Piano 
Being a Pianist   Rock Music and Sexism 
Mozart Operas   Music and Education in our Schools 
The Fine Arts within the Liberal Arts   Beginnings in Wagner's Ring Cycle 
Mozart and the Dramatic   Wagner and Joyce:  A Study of Influence 
Chopin's Nocturne in B Major, Op. 62, No. 1 The Place of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in History
Religion and Art: Wolfram, Wagner, and the Grail Orality and Hunger: Metaphors of Kwakiutl Culture and Cosmology
The Opera Diva as Locus of Gendered Contention Wagner and Anti-Semitism
Parsifal and Misogyny Verdi's Otello
Brahms Symphony No. 4: Brahms the Intellectual Dishonorable Honor: Seeing Wagner's Tristan und Isolde Through Honor and Custom
Wagner and Modernism The Tristan Project
Verdi's Aida

Confronting One’s Nazi Past: Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at Bayreuth 2009

Wagner's Das Rheingold

Wagner’s Character Beckmesser from Meistersinger as Prototype of the Jewish Exile in Germany

Awards, Honors

2013-14 & 2014-15 Richard and Norma Small Distinguished Professor at Cornell College

2013-2016  NEH "Enduring Questions" Grant

2009 summer, NEH Faculty Fellow Stanford University (seminar)
2007 Guest lecture within St John’s College visiting lecture series
2006-2009 Board of Directors for the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra
2002 summer, NEH Faculty Fellow Princeton University (seminar)
2001 Two guest lectures for Chicago Symphony Orchestra (part of a lecture series associated with that season’s concentration upon works of Wagner)
1999-2000, Director and Fellow: Newberry Library Program in the Humanities
1999 Guest lecture for The Wagner Society of America
1996-97, fall semester Guest Professor for Chicago Arts Program
1994 summer, NEH Faculty Fellow Columbia University (seminar)


1981-present  Professor of Music, Cornell College.
1979-81  Assistant Professor of Music, Austin Peay State University.
1977-79  Choral Accompanying Graduate Assistantship, Northwestern University
1973-76  Piano Instructor (Graduate Assistantship), University of Illinois

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