Loren Ludwig, Ph.D.

Loren Ludwig is a scholar/performer based in Baltimore, MD. He completed his Ph.D. in Critical and Comparative Studies in Music at the University of Virginia in 2011. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the American Musicological Society, his dissertation (“Equal to All Alike”: A Cultural History of the Viol Consort in England, c.1550- 1675) explores the social nature of amateur chamber music for viol consort. The project investigates how consort music shaped understandings of social intimacy, the nature and propriety of the passions, and the relationship between language and music. In addition to his work on early modern musical culture, Loren has research interests in African American music as well as the twentieth-century history of performance practice. Loren is currently writing about the relationship between music and alchemy in the 17th-century Alchemical writings of Michael Maier. He is also at work reconstructing the lost performance practice of the “Yankee” viol in the early nineteenth-century development of American vernacular music.

In the classroom, Loren is committed to helping students explore the ways that music engages multiple domains of human experience and cultural production. During the 2011-2012 academic year he was a Visiting Lecturer at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, New Zealand, where he taught courses on the history of African American music, Baroque Music, and the cultural history of music in the West. During the 2013-2014 academic year he was a visiting assistant professor of musicology at Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA. He has taught at the Ruhr Universität in Bochum, Germany and the Shanghai Conservatory and while at Virginia Loren taught all levels of musicianship, a history of hip hop, and an introduction to music theory. During spring 2013 Loren taught “Practical Hexachordal Theory” [great title!--not his] at Longy School of Music of Bard College. During 2014-15 Loren taught musicology and music theory as Faculty of Music at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Loren Ludwig seeks the balance of passion and precision in his music making. Praised for his “impeccable intonation and cleanness of tone” by the Washington Post, Loren aspires to the generosity that he hears in the most inspiring music around him. In demand for his solo playing (he recently performed as viola da gamba soloist in the American Premier of George Benjamin’s opera Written on Skin at Lincoln Center), Loren will never pass up an opportunity to play polyphony. He is a co-founder of LeStrange Viols and performs with ACRONYM, the Oberlin Consort of Viols, the Folger Consort, Hesperus, and a slew of other great groups that specialize in consort music, the harmonious combination of multiple instruments of the same family. Loren’s work as a performer is deepened by his music scholarship. As a musicologist he researches what he terms “polyphonic intimacy,” the idea that music in the Western tradition is constructed to foster social relationships among its performers and listeners.Loren’s current scholarship explores these ideas in the confluence of music and alchemy in the early seventeenth century. Essential, also, is Loren’s work with contemporary composers, improvisers and ensembles (Nadia Sirota, Donnacha Dennehy, Doug Balliet, New Vintage Baroque, Oracle Hysterical, Cleek Schrey, Molly Herron, and others), who enlist a dizzying array of music and ideas in their creative practices. His playing can be heard on Rattle, New Focus, Crop Circle, and Maxima Records.