Saturday, May 12 at 4:00 pm

Speaker Series: Jeremy Yudkin on Bob Dylan: Highway 61 to Blonde on Blonde

Join us on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. when we welcome back Jeremy Yudkin to the Library’s Speaker Series.

After his extraordinary initial successes in the early 1960s, Bob Dylan settled into creating some of his early masterpieces.  Highway 61 Revisited contains several classics, including “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Ballad of a Thin Man,” “Desolation Row,” and “Highway 61” itself.  Then came the remarkable Blonde on Blonde, a double album, with four sides of visionary music and surreal imagery, that climaxed with the extraordinary “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.”  This talk will discuss the poetry and music that made these songs so special and that laid the groundwork for Dylan’s receipt of the Nobel Prize in 2016.

Jeremy Yudkin is professor of music and Director of the Center for Beethoven Research at Boston University.  He also serves as Associated Faculty of the Center for Judaic Studies and the Department of African American Studies.  He served for many years as Visiting Professor of Music at Oxford University.  He received his B.A. and M.A. in Classics and Modern Languages from Cambridge University and his Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from Stanford University.  He is the recipient of fellowships from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship, Boston University’s Center for the Humanities, the Camargo Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Professor Yudkin’s principal fields of research include medieval music, early Beethoven, popular music, and jazz.  He has taught classes on medieval polyphony, the Beatles, Beethoven, Bartok, Bob Dylan, and Miles Davis among many others.  Jeremy Yudkin is perhaps best known for his definitive textbook Music in Medieval Europe and his highly successful music-appreciation textbook Understanding Music, which is used by approximately twenty thousand students across North America every year.  The video Inside the Orchestra that he produced, detailing the history and function of the classical symphony orchestra, was the winner of a 2005 Telly Award for outstanding non-broadcast educational video.

He is a contributor to The Harvard Dictionary of Music, has served as an advisor to the Smithsonian Institution for the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz, and is a consultant on jazz to the Oxford English Dictionary.  He is the author of nine books.  Jeremy travels around the country presenting lectures on music for One-Day University, and his Boston University course on Bob Dylan was the subject of a feature article in the Washington Post, as well as of national news in South Korea and Canada.  For the past thirty-three years he has presented the pre-concert lectures for the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood.  These are presented every Friday and Saturday afternoon throughout the summer at the Lenox Library.

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