Robert Hasegawa is a music theorist and composer, currently teaching at the Eastman School of Music, where he has been since 2009 after receiving his PhD from Harvard University in 2008. Robert’s scholarly interests include the music of György Ligeti, the French “spectralist” composers, and American experimentalists like Harry Partch, Alvin Lucier, and James Tenney. His dissertation explores how recent findings in the psychology of aural perception can be used to analyze harmony in music by composers from Debussy to La Monte Young.
Robert first became interested in music theory as an undergraduate at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, where he studied theory and composition with Laurence Wallach. After graduating from Simon’s Rock, he earned an M.A. in music theory from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a thesis on the music of the “New Complexity” composer Brian Ferneyhough. During his doctoral studies at Harvard, he worked with theorists David Lewin, David Cohen, Christopher Hasty, and Alexander Rehding. In addition to his theoretical work, Robert remains active as a composer: recent compositions include works performed by White Rabbit, cellist Frances-Marie Uitti, Stephen Drury, and the Callithumpian Consort.
Robert’s article “Gérard Grisey and the ‘Nature’ of Harmony” received the Music Analysis 25th Anniversary Competition Award, and will appear in that journal in 2009. Other recent projects include a chapter on extended just intonation for the forthcoming book Théorie et composition musicales au vingtième siècle, and editing a special issue of Contemporary Music Review on the work of the American composer/theorist James Tenney.