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Virtual: Robert Buxton and Jocelyn Neal, ‘Cities of Music: Vienna and Nashville’

October 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Cities usually become influential because of their economic or political prominence in national histories, but they can also become famous symbols for cultural and artistic creativity. This seminar focuses on two very different cities that share a reputation for exceptional musical cultures. Since the post-1780 era of Mozart and Schubert, Vienna has been known as a city of great classical composers, and twentieth-century Nashville became equally prominent as the center of country music and the Grand ole Opry. This Dialogues seminar will analyze how these two “cities of music” attracted creative composers and performers by developing institutional networks that sustained a distinctive musical culture. The program will include musical interludes as well as historical perspectives to explain how two cities came to be known as major centers of European and American music.

Hear about ‘Cities of Music: Vienna and Nashville’ from two experts, Robert Buxton, speaking on Vienna, and Jocelyn Neal, who will focus on Nashville.


Robert Buxton is a lecturer (piano) in the UNC Department of Music. He completed a doctorate in musical arts in piano performance at the University of North Texas in 2018, where he also received a master’s of music, studying with Vladimir Viardo. Previously, he studied with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music, where he received a bachelor of music degree and attended the Precollege. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in venues such as Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall, the Scuola di Musica in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana (Lucca, Italy), the Maison Erard (Amsterdam, Netherlands), and in Japan. Interviews and recordings of his playing have been featured on classical radio stations in New York and Kyoto. He performs weekly solo and chamber lecture-recitals at retirement homes and schools, aiming to bring live classical music to a wider audience.

Jocelyn Neal is the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term professor of music and adjunct professor of American Studies at UNC. She received a bachelor of arts degree in music from Rice University in 1993, a master of arts degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1995, and a doctorate of philosophy in music theory from the Eastman School of Music in 2002. Neal teaches music theory, analysis, and popular music courses; her research addresses commercial country music, rhythm and meter, and dance/music interactions in popular music. She was a Fellow at the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory (2005 and 2008). She has served as a member of the editorial boards for Music Theory Spectrum and Music Theory Online, as co-editor of Southern Cultures (2009-2014), and a series co-editor for Tracking Pop. She served as director of the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC from 2012 to 2013.


Saturday, October 24 at 9:00 a.m.

Viennese Music of Laughter and Tears from Romanticism to Modernism
Robert Buxton, lecturer in Piano, Department of Music

Saturday, October 24 at 10:45 a.m.

Nashville and the Cultural Meaning of Country Music
Jocelyn NealBowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term professor of Music and Adjunct Professor of American Studies

Saturday, October 24 at 12:00 p.m.

Why do Cities Become Centers and Symbols of Musical Creativity?
A panel discussion with our speakers


This webinar is a virtual event.

Tuition is $40, which includes “admission” to the webinar in real time (with live Q&A) as well as access to the closed-caption recorded talks to watch at your leisure for up to 2 weeks after the event.

Registrants will receive instructions for accessing the event online by 4:30 pm the Friday before the event.

Tuition is complimentary for any currently teaching, full time K-12 teachers. If you’re eligible, click here to register. Complimentary teacher registration closes at 4:30 p.m. the Friday before the event.

Purchase a season pass for all 5 fall webinars for $150 ($125 for GAA members).

Please register or call at 919.962.1544.

Online registration closes at midnight the night before the event. For same-day registration, please call 919.962.1544.


Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association and Carolina Public Humanities.