Siglind Bruhn’s Personal Home Page







Siglind Bruhn

Siglind 3/2016

Siglind Bruhn, born 11 October 1951 in Hamburg, Germany, is a music analyst/musicologist, concert pianist, and interdisciplinary scholar. Since 1993 she has been affiliated with the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities as a full-time researcher in the fields of “Music and Literature” and “Music in Interdisciplinary Dialogue.” In addition she was, from 2002 to 2010, a Distinguished Senior Research Fellow at the University of Copenhagen’s Center for Christianity and the Arts and, for the period 2004-2009, chercheur invité at the Sorbonne’s Institut d’esthétique des arts contemporains. During the years 2014-2018, she has served as Guest Professor for Music of the 20th and 21st centuries at the Music Academies in Kraków and Katowice, Poland. In 2001 she was elected to the European Academy of Arts and Sciences; in 2008 she received an honorary doctorate from Linnaeus University, Sweden. 

Before coming to the United States, Siglind taught at the University of Hong Kong, where she was the Director of Studies for the Program in Piano Performance Pedagogy (1987-1993), and at the Pianisten-Akademie in Ansbach, whose founding director she was (1984-1987). Globally, she is or has been active on the Executive Board of the Danish National Research Foundation’s International Postdoctoral Center, on the Executive Board of the International Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Symmetry, as Vice President of the International Association for Word and Music Studies, and as Commission Chair in the International Society for Music Education. She has been a Visiting Professor at the Central Conservatory in Beijing and a visiting artist/visiting lecturer in most West European countries as well as in China, Taiwan, Australia, South Africa, Namibia, Mexico, Ecuador, and on various American campuses. 

Since 1993, Siglind has been devoting herself fully to research and writing. In 1997, she was honored by being named the youngest (and first female) Life Research Associate at the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities. Internationally, she is an active member on research teams such as the Équipe scientifique d’herméneutique musicale (based at the University of Strasbourg, France), the Nordic Society for Interarts Studies (based at the University of Lund, Sweden), and the Musical Signification Project (based at the University of Helsinki, Finland). Besides contributing numerous articles to scholarly journals and chapters to anthologies in both Europe and the United States, she has authored over 40 books. One of them, Musical Ekphrasis: Composers Responding to Poetry and Painting, has inspired dissertations in several countries. As a co-author, she has edited five volumes of scholarly essays and three issues of a scholarly journal. She also serves as general editor of the book series INTERPLAY: Music in Interdisciplinary Dialogue, published by Pendragon Press, and has translated one music-theoretical book from English into German.

Her most recent completed research projects are four book trilogies: comprehensive studies in three volumes of the piano, vocal, and instrumental compositions of Olivier Messiaen (in English and German: 2006-2008), Paul Hindemith (in German only: 2009-2012), Claude Debussy (in English and German: 2017-2019), and Maurice Ravel (in German only: 2020-2022). Wherever applicable, indivual works have been interpreted in light of the poetry and visual art that inspired them. She is currently working on a in-depth study of Alban Berg's tonal language.

As a concert pianist, Sigilind started performing at the age of 13 and has since given solo and chamber music recitals in twenty-three countries on all five continents. She has recorded extensively with classical radio stations in several countries and can be heard on two LPs and four CDs.

Siglind holds three post-graduate degrees: a Master-of-Music equivalent in piano performance, piano pedagogy, and music theory from the Musikhochschule Stuttgart [Staatsexamen für das künstlerische Hauptfach Klavier]; a Master of Arts in Romance literatures and philosophy from the University of Munich, and a Ph.D. [Dr.phil., summa cum laude] in music analysis, musicology, and psychology from the University of Vienna, earned with a dissertation on questions of musical hermeneutics in Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck.

(Last updated January 2023)