A ‘Thriller’ for Beck
April 28, 2010
The inauguration of Eleonora “Nora” Beck as the James W. Rogers Professor of Music was an eclectic affair, complete with video footage of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk, snippets from classical musical scores, and a faculty pop band performance. Beck is currently working on an article about classical music’s influence on Michael Jackson, which was the subject of her February 9 inauguration lecture.
“Nora inspires us all—teachers and students alike—with the joy and dedication she brings to her work,” says Julio de Paula, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Her knowledge, passion, and expertise bring music, history, and ideas to life in ways that her students may never have experienced before.”
Over the years, Beck has received many awards for her teaching, including the undergraduate college’s Teacher of the Year in 1998 and the Arnold L. Graves and Lois S. Graves Award for excellence in teaching in the humanities in 2000. The American Musicology Society honored Beck as its Master Teacher of the Year in 2007, making her only the third professor to receive this recognition.
As a scholar, Beck has written extensively on the subject of Italian medieval and Renaissance music and art. Her books include Singing in the Garden: Music and Culture in the Tuscan Trecento and Giotto’s Harmony: Music and Art in Padua at the Crossroads of the Renaissance. Also an author of fiction, Beck published Fiammetta, which won an honorary mention in the Writers Digest International self-published book competition.
The James W. Rogers Professorship in Music was endowed in 1995 through the generosity of the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation and the leadership of Lewis & Clark trustee John Rogers. Gilbert Seeley was awarded the first Rogers Professorship in Music in 1996; he retired in 2007. The professorship honors the late James Rogers B.S. ’64, a gifted musician who sang with the Lewis & Clark chorus and traveled with the choir on its annual tours.