Research Areas: Musicology
Nick Stevens studies modernist and new music at Case Western Reserve University. His forthcoming dissertation investigates the drama, music, and multimedia spectacle of contemporary operas with anti-heroine protagonists, with an eye towards their influential antecedent: Alban Berg’s Lulu. In all of his work, Stevens, a fifth-year PhD student in musicology, seeks to engage with the forms, processes, and modes of mediation available to composers and performers since the early twentieth century. His interests lie between opera, cinema, ritual, and performance art, and range from the arcane to the popular.
Berg, a composer who sought to reconcile personal idiosyncrasy and popular reference with strict compositional procedures, remains at the center of Stevens’s thinking about musical modernism. Other areas of research have included the critical works of Theodor Adorno, the Hollywood career of George Antheil, and issues of time and history in Hector Berlioz’s Les Troyens. Stevens, a horn player, treats writing, speaking, teaching, and performance as connected, valuable modes of communication: regions within a continuum, rather than rigidly circumscribed activities.