The College of Arts and Architecture

Laura Brown

Laura Brown

Laura Brown has been named as a recipient of a graduate student summer residency from the Institute for the Arts and Humanities. The residency program provides eight advanced students in the arts and humanities throughout the University with a $4,000 summer stipend and the use of an office in Ihlseng Cottage, enabling them to devote the summer session to work on their theses, dissertations or degree-required final creative projects.

From Erie, Pennsylvania, Laura is pursuing the Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate degree in musicology along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian. Her research project, "The Early Compositional Education of Sergey Prokofiev: A Survey of Pedagogy, Aesthetics, and Influence," is advised by Dr. Charles Youmans.

In her summer residency, Laura will investigate "the generation of composers with careers most active around the time leading up to the Russian Revolution, and assess the influence of these transitional composers on Prokofiev’s early compositional education. Bridging the gap between the well-known composers of the late-nineteenth century (Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, etc.) and the giants who would emerge in the twentieth-century Soviet state (Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Khachaturian, etc.), many of these composers served as educators around the turn of the century, and the manifestation of this aesthetic link in the area of technical training has the potential to reshape the way modern musicians and scholars think about some of the greatest musical minds of the 20th century. The ultimate objectives of this study are twofold:  first, it endeavors to uncover details regarding Prokofiev’s early compositional training, and secondly, it seeks to use Prokofiev’s educational experiences as a case study for interpreting the degree to which aesthetic, artistic, and political leanings seeped into pedagogy in early 20th-century Russia."

Upon graduation, Laura plans to pursue musicology at the doctoral level, focusing her research on Russian music. She is also one of the winners of the school's 2013 Brewster Award for her paper titled "Renard: Stravinsky, Afanasyev, and the Russian Folk Tale Idiom."

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