Hearing a note or chord played perfectly in tune still has the power to send shivers through Ross W. Duffin.
“It’s transcendent,” said Duffin, the Fynette H. Kulas Professor of Music, “precisely because it is such a rare achievement.”
Duffin’s life in music could be defined the same way.
As one of the world’s elite authorities in historical performance practice—how music from earlier centuries was performed—Duffin has re-discovered and revived music rarely or never before heard in modern times. He’s also advocated for its performance on historical instruments, a once-obscure notion now celebrated by a thriving international community of artists, audiences and scholars.
“Even beautiful music can lose something when taken out of its original context,” Duffin said. “Performing it this way can get us closer to its essence, beauty and meaning.”
Duffin will be honored as one of four new Distinguished University Professors during fall convocation Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 4:30 p.m. at Severance Hall.