Geoffrey Block received his BA in music history and literature from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1970 and his MA (1973) and PhD (1979) in music history and theory from Harvard University. His dissertation on compositional process in Beethoven’s first and second piano concertos was aided by manuscript research in Germany as a Fulbright Fellow (1975-76). He joined the faculty of the University of Puget Sound in 1980 and was named Distinguished Professor of Music History in 2008.
A prolific and wide-ranging scholar, Block has published most extensively on the music of Charles Ives and American musical theater, particularly the life and work of Richard Rodgers. His books include Charles Ives: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood, 1988), Charles Ives: “Concord” Sonata (Cambridge University Press, 1996), Charles Ives and the Classical Tradition, co-ed. (Yale University Press, 1996), Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from “Show Boat” to Sondheim and Lloyd Webber (Oxford University Press 1997; 2nd ed. 2009), The Richard Rodgers Reader, ed. (Oxford, 2002), and Richard Rodgers (Yale, 2003). Block was also General Editor of the Yale Broadway Masters Series between1998-2010 and currently serves as Series Editor of Oxford’s Broadway Legacies since 2008.
Block’s Beethoven writings include essays in Beethoven Essays: Studies in Honor of Elliot Forbes, ed. Lewis Lockwood and Phyllis Benjamin (Harvard University Press, 1984), Beethoven’s Composition Process, ed. William Kinderman (University of Nebraska Press, 1991), and Beethoven Newsletter.
In her Seattle Times review of Experiencing Beethoven Melinda Bargreen writes: “Block presents brilliant in-depth analyses of several Beethoven works in different genres, including symphonies and piano sonatas, his only opera, his songs, the late piano music and the Op. 131 String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor. . . Block’s book is aimed at both the general reader and the Beethoven fan, and even those in that latter category may well add considerably to their store of knowledge about this titan of music.”
Dr. Block will share some of his favorite Beethoven music and recordings including the 1st Piano Concerto and the Symphony No. 5.