• James Martin

    James Martin

    L.L. Hamline Professor of Liberal Arts

Academic History

  • 1983 Doctor of Music, Piano Performance (Minor in Historical Musicology), Northwestern University
  • 1975 Master of Music, Piano Performance, University of Illinois
  • 1973 Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance, Butler University
  • 1966-69 American Conservatory of Music
  • 2009 NEH Faculty Fellow, Stanford University
  • 2002 NEH Faculty Fellow, Princeton University
  • 1994 NEH Faculty Fellow, Columbia University
  • 1999-2000 Director and Faculty Fellow of ACM Humanities Program at the Newberry Library
  • 1996 Guest Professor at ACM Chicago Arts Program

Academic Employment History

  • 1981-present Professor of Music, Cornell College
  • 1979-1981 Professor of Music, Austin Peay State University

Areas of Expertise

  • Wagner
  • Beethoven
  • Opera
  • John Cage and the Avant Garde
  • Piano

Courses Taught

  • Wagner and Wagnerism
  • Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelungen
  • Opera
  • Music History II (from Baroque period through Beethoven)
  • Music History III (from Romantic period to the present)
  • Opera and Film (First-Year Seminar)
  • Exploration of Love as Seen through the Tristan Legend (First-Year Seminar)
  • Piano
  • Piano Literature
  • Piano Pedagogy
  • "What is the Relationship between Tradition and Innovation," National Endowment for the Humanities "Enduring Questions" course


  • Approximately 200 public performances, including solo recitals, lecture recitals, chamber music concerts, and concerto soloist appearances with orchestra


  • "Confronting One's Nazi Past: German Political History with Respect to Wagner and Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg at Bayreuth," Wagner News (Wagner Society of America), Sepember. 2012
  • Review: Herbert Lindenberger's Situating Opera: Period, Genre, Reception (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010), for the interdisciplinary, literary, cross-cultural journal The Comparatist, 2012
  • "Wagner's Character Beckmesser from Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg as Prototype of the Jewish Exile in Germany," Wagner News, 2011
  • "Opera Meets Video: The Tristan Project," Wagner News, Summer/Fall 2007
  • Wagner's Tristan und Isolde: Its Place in Artistic and Analytical History," Wagner News, January 2006
  • "Wagner's Anti-Semitic Orientation: Historical Context, Influences, and Pecularities," Wagner News, December 2004
  • "The Question of Misogyny in Parsifal," Wagner News, December 2003
  • "Wagner's Leads as Leaders," Wagner News, June 2003
  • "Wolfram and Wagner meet in Chicago in 2002: Commentary and Brief Analysis of the 2002 Lyric Opera Production of Richard Wagner's Parsifal." Wagner News, July 2002
  • "Reflections on Bayreuth 2001: W. R. Wagner Redeemed," Wagner News, September 2001
  • "Richard Wagner's Influences on James Joyce," Wagner News, June 2000
  • "The Structure of the Diabelli Variations of Beethoven," The Beethoven Journal, Spring 1997
  • "The Importance of Beginnings in Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto," The Beethoven Journal, Spring 1996
  • "Schumann, Hoffmann, and Kreisleriana," Clavier, July/August 1991
  • "Beethoven and the Importance of Difficulty," Piano Quarterly, Summer 1991

Selected Awards/Honors

  • 2017  Fulbright Scholar Specialist at Freie Universität Berlin
  • 2013-14 & 2014-15 Richard and Norma Small Distinguished Professor at Cornell College: 
  • 2013-2016  NEH "Enduring Questions" Grant
  • 2007 Guest Lecture in St. John's College Visiting Lecture Series
  • 2001 Two Guest Lectures for Chicago Symphony Orchestra during their "Wagner Year"

Personal website