2022 Balzan Prize for Ethnomusicology
Philip V. Bohlman, born in Boscobel, Wisconsin, in 1952, is a US citizen.
He is the Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish History, Music and the Humanities in the College at the University of Chicago, Department of Music, and an Honorary Professor at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien, Hannover (Germany).
He holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1984), and a Dr. h.c. from the the Romanian National University of Music, Bucharest (2019).
His research is broadly ethnographic and historical, and it addresses music at the intersections of nationalism, racism, and global conflict, with special emphasis on ethics and religion in aesthetic practice. Since 1998 he has provided the context for his activities as a performer, both as the Artistic Director of the New Budapest Orpheum Society and in stage performances with Christine Wilkie Bohlman. Since 2008, he has been conducting research on India, especially in Kolkata, Varanasi, and rural West Bengal. His research on nationalism and the Eurovision Song Contest is ongoing. Since 2009, he has taught and conducted doctoral workshops in ethnomusicology in Germany at the University of Hildesheim and the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover, where he is also an Honorary Professor.
Among his honors: the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in 2003, the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society, the Donald Tovey Prize from Oxford University, the Derek Allen Prize for Musicology from the British Academy, the 2013 Jaap Kunst Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology, the 2017 Roth Solie Award from the American Musicological Society, and the 2018 Koizumi Fumio Prize of Japan. In 2016, he and the New Budapest Orpheum Society were nominated for a Grammy Award for their double-CD, As Dreams Fall Apart.
His current research includes an introduction to the study of ethnomusicology for Cambridge University Press and a book on music and global nationalisms for Oxford University Press, for which he received a 2013 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.
In 2015, he collaborated with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to inaugurate the multi-year project The History of World Music Recording, as part of the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities Without Walls initiative. He is a principal investigator for the multi-year research project, Interwoven: Sonic and Visual Histories of Indian Ocean Worlds. Currently, he is working on a book project, The Cabaretesque in Jewish Music: Sounding Modern European History Anew, for which he holds a 2022–23 Residential Fellowship at the Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago.
He is editor or coeditor of several monograph and critical edition series (among others Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology and Big Issues in Music at the University of Chicago Press). With Federico Celestini, he serves as coeditor of Acta Musicologica, the journal of the International Musicological Society. He is also Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.
He is the author or editor of many books in English and German, with translations into numerous languages.
World Music: A Very Short Introduction. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2020.
Wie sängen wir Seinen Gesang auf dem Boden der Fremde! Jüdische Musik des Aschkenas zwischen Tradition und Moderne. LIT Verlag, 2019
Song Loves the Masses: Herder on Music and Nationalism (with J. G. Herder). University of California Press, 2017
Jazz Worlds / World Jazz (coedited with Goffredo Plastino). University of Chicago Press, 2016
As Dreams Fall Apart: The Golden Age of Jewish Stage and Film Music, 1925-1955 (double-CD with the New Budapest Orpheum Society). Cedille Records, 2014
The Cambridge History of World Music (ed. by Philip V. Bohlman). Cambridge University Press, 2013
Revival and Reconciliation: Sacred Music in the Making of European Modernity. Scarecrow Press, 2013
Focus: Music, Nationalism, and the Making of the New Europe. 2nd ed. Focus on World Music Series. Routledge, 2011.
Jewish Music and Modernity. Oxford University Press, 2008
Music and the Racial Imagination (coedited with Ronald Radano). University of Chicago Press, 2000.