William Kinderman, a formidable concert pianist, chamber musician and an international authority on the music and creative process of Ludwig van Beethoven, has been named inaugural holder of the Leo M. Klein and Elaine Krown Klein Chair in Performance Studies and professor of music at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

A 2010 recipient of the Humboldt Research Award for lifetime achievement, Kinderman will provide vision and leadership in the academic curriculum for the school’s master of music and doctor of musical arts degree programs.

“Bill exemplifies the scholar-performer model around which our graduate programs in music performance are designed,” said Judith Smith, dean of the music school. “His artistic creativity and his passion for scholarship are exactly what the music department needs to strengthen its innovative graduate curriculum in the performance studies area.”

The endowed chair, created through a gift from Elaine Krown Klein to honor her late husband, Leo, was established to attract and retain the highest level of performer-scholar to the school of music’s faculty and to enhance the music department’s reputation as an innovative center for the training of the “thinking musician.”

“The Herb Alpert School of Music is a superb setting in which to overcome those specialist divisions that can limit vision and ambition,” Kinderman said. “Performance is enhanced by knowledge and research; academic studies are enriched through close ties to musical expression. An integration of head and heart, theory and practice, offers an exciting path forward, strengthening the artistic community at the school.”

Kinderman will coordinate special programming and events in the area of performance studies that are expected to bring together students and faculty across disciplines and to enhance the creative life of the school. He will teach seminars in notation, analysis and performance practice; offer electives that will be available to undergraduates, and play an important role in preparing and advising doctoral students for qualifying exams and dissertations.

“We look forward with great anticipation to welcoming Bill to our faculty,” said Neal Stulberg, professor of conducting and chair of the search committee. “His eminence in the field, breadth of repertoire interests, inspirational teaching and collaborative spirit make him an ideal inaugural chair holder for this endowed professorship.” 

Kinderman has been praised for his “intellectual energy and distinctive insight” by the New York Times. His publications include books on Mozart, Wagner, and the creative process in music, as well as “Beethoven’s ‘Diabelli’ Variations,” which features his companion recording considered “the most outstanding Diabelli Variations to have appeared for ages” by the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs.

In 2017, “Utopian Visions and Visionary Art: Beethoven’s ‘Empire of the Mind’ – Revisited” was published as a result of his work as co-curator of Vienna’s first Beethoven Museum, where he organized a major conference on the German composer and pianist. Kinderman is currently completing “Beethoven: A Political Life” for the 2020 world-wide celebration of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth, while planning a major celebration of Beethoven’s music to take place at UCLA in December 2020.    

Kinderman received his bachelor of arts degree at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. He earned his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and taught at the University of Victoria in British Columbia for 20 years, while also holding guest appointments in Berlin. Since 2001, he has served as professor of music at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, along with several other affiliate, guest and visiting appointments in Munich and Vienna. His recent lecture recitals have taken him to Vienna, Bonn, Paris, Oslo, Barcelona, Beijing, Shanghai, New York, Boston as well as other cities in Europe, Asia and North America.