Dr. Ludim Pedroza is an associate professor in the School of Music; she works primarily in the areas of music history and Latin music studies, teaching the undergraduate history and analysis II survey and graduate courses in a variety of topics. Among these are the surveys History of Music in Latin America, and Music in the United States, as well as the specialized courses on the music and aesthetics of the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Romantic era.
Dr. Pedroza’s research focuses on several interrelated topics: philosophy of performance, the histories of music institutions in the Americas, the crossroads between academic musical culture and popular music, and, the aesthetic analysis of Latin American music. Her publications include the article “Merengue Meets the Symphony Orchestra” (American Music, 2014), which investigates the place of Latin American dance genres in the history of the Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl and analyzes the August 2012 joint concert of merengue composer-artist Juan Luis Guerra with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel’s baton. Her pieces on El Sistema examine the history of Venezuela’s renowned system of orchestral education and its complex cultural dialogues with popular music and the U.S. music academy. These include “Music as Life-Saving Project” (Symposium, 2014) and “Of Orchestras, Mythos, and the Idealization of Symphonic Practice” (Latin American Music Review, 2015). Her in-depth study of philosophy of performance—“Music as Communitas: Franz Liszt, Clara Schumann, and the Musical Work” (JMR, 2010)—probes the historical formation of the concept of the musical work in the hands of these two influential pianists and in relation to the powerful Romantic aesthetics of Idealism.
A native of Venezuela, Dr. Pedroza studied piano for ten years at the conservatory Vicente Emilio Sojo in the city of Barquisimeto. Consequently, she earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in piano performance from Antillean College (Puerto Rico) and West Texas A&M University, and the Ph. D. in fine arts from Texas Tech University.
As a pianist, Dr. Pedroza favors particularly Latin American, twentieth-century, and contemporary repertoires. She was an active performer and accompanist until 2008 and now applies her pianistic expertise to the research and analysis of repertoires currently under-represented in the music academy.
Teaching and Research: Detailed Profile
Dr. Pedroza’s teaching approach brings to light the hidden connections that many composers, conventionally labeled classical, forged with the rich vernacular and popular musics of their eras. She probes the complex interactions between the activities of performance and composition, thus providing a platform for musicians to consider important questions about intentionality, individuality, and parameters of genre. And, she provides students with tools for the appreciation of Latin American musics as both sound-objects that provoke sophisticated aesthetic experiences, and, cultural prisms that project the complex socio-political context around them. The study of current musicological publications and the practice of versatile research approaches are requirements in her courses.
Pedroza investigates the aesthetic mobility and mutability of musical practice, in particular, the historical soundscapes, genres, and artists who excel at challenging ideological, marketing, and national/continental boundaries. She seeks to understand the dynamics of affection and idealization that contribute to the canonization of repertoires in various genres. And she adds to the conceptual platforms for the study of the distinctive musical experiences we encounter through Latin American musics, thus counteracting the conventional tendencies that drive listeners, critics, and scholars to stereotype these musics as exhilarating, intoxicating, entertaining, yet mute in the terrain of serious aesthetic analysis.
Sample of Articles
“Of Orchestras, Mythos, and the Idealization of Symphonic Practice: The Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela in the (Collateral) History of El Sistema.” Latin American Music Review 36, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2015): 68-93.
“Music as Life-Saving Project: Venezuela’s El Sistema” in American Neo-idealistic Imagination.” Symposium: Journal of the College Music Society 54 (Spring 2014) (http://symposium.music.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=category&id=266:volume-54&Itemid=124 )
Sample of Presentations
June 2013: “The Symphony Orchestra as Caribbean Reincarnation: Revisiting the Classical/Pop Schism at the Hollywood Bowl.” 2013 College Music Society International Conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
September 2012: “Music as Communitas: Ecstasy and Dogma in the Performance Aesthetics of Franz Liszt and Clara Schumann.” Guest Skype Lecture at the Aesthetics of Music and Sound Seminar Series, hosted by the Institute for the Study of Culture at the University of Southern Denmark.
October 2011: “Save the Children or Save the Music: Venezuela’s El Sistema as Syncretic Aesthetic and Pedagogical Export.” 50th Anniversary Conference - Latin American Music Center at Indiana University.
September 2008: “Folk Dance in the Latin American Art Tradition: An Overview of the Venezuelan Joropo at the Piano.” 2008 College Music Society National Conference. Atlanta.