Schulenberg publishes new Bach biography

Schulenberg publishes new Bach biography

A new biography by Wagner College music history professor David Schulenberg, “Bach,” has been published by Oxford University Press.

The latest title in OUP’s Master Musicians series, Schulenberg’s “Bach” examines the life and works of the famous 18th century composer through the lens of current scholarship and contemporary views on musical performance. The book surveys Johann Sebastian Bach’s vast musical output for general readers, presenting a new view of Bach as a ferociously creative but potentially off-putting figure who aspired to be the equal of the pastors and professors beside whom he worked on a daily basis.

David Schulenberg joined the Wagner College Music Department faculty in 2001. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard, his master’s from Stanford and his doctorate from Stony Brook University.

Schulenberg is not only a publishing musicologist but also an active performer on historical keyboard instruments such as the harpsichord. Many students have heard him play Bach on the harpsichord in his Campus Hall office, and his Wagner faculty website includes recordings from campus performances.

While at Wagner, Schulenberg previously published books on two of Bach’s sons, composers Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel. He also prepared the second edition of his “Keyboard Music of J. S. Bach” and the third edition of his textbook and anthology, “Music of the Baroque,” well known to Wagner’s music majors.

In May 2019 he gave a keynote lecture-recital for the Second International Conference on Performance and Creativity at Hong Kong Baptist University. Last October he was keynote speaker for a meeting of the North American Haydn Society in Boston, and in February he spoke on “Mozart and the Bach Tradition” for a joint meeting of the American Bach Society and the Mozart Society of America at Stanford University.

A regular pre-concert lecturer at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Manhattan, he delivered his most recent presentation there electronically as New York began to shut down last March. His talk on the Bach motets is available online.