Publications

  • “Artistic Research, or the Knowledge/s of Artistic Practice/s,” overview and interview with Swedish concert pianist and licensed psychologist Fransisca Skoogh, curated blog series of the Performance and Analysis Interest Group of the Society for Music Theory (forthcoming)

  • “Experiments in Experience: Listening to Rooms and Pianos”, co-authored with Fiona Smyth, chapter in Experience, Music, Experiment: Pragmatism and Artistic Research, William Brooks, ed., Orpheus Institute Series (under consideration)

  • "Cultivating the Second-Person Position in Music Performance: An Autoethnography of Shared Experience in Rehearsing György Ligeti’s Three Pieces for Two Pianos,” chapter in Writing About Personal Experience as Academic Research in Music Studies: Autoethnography, Self-Reflexivity, and Arts-Based Practice,  Christopher Wiley and Peter Gouzouasis, eds.  (under consideration)

  • “Exploring Real-Time Sonic Adjustments in the Performance of Notated Music: Audio-Haptics, Space Acoustics, and the Variable Timbres of Piano Sound,” chapter in New Thoughts on Piano Performance, Christine MacKey, ed. (London: London International Piano Symposium, 2017)

  • "Real-time Adjustments in the Performance of Notated Piano Music: Morton Feldman, Space Acoustics, and the Variable Timbres of Piano Sound,” in Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2011, ed. Aaron Williamon, Darryl Edwards, and Lee Bartel (Utrecht: European Association of Conservatories, August 2011)

 

  • "Performer’s Agency and the Ideal of Transparency: Practical Contradictions and Ideological Tensions Facing Performers of Musical Masterworks,” in Musical Perspectives: Perspectives and Research in Music Performance, peer-reviewed online journal (April 2010); http://www.musicalperspectives.com/Site/Welcome.html

International Conferences

  • “Capturing the Improvisational Spirit of Nineteenth-century Pianism at the Keyboard Today: An Artistic Research Approach to Romantic Preluding Practices”, Fifth-annual Historical Performance Conference and Summit, Indiana Universuty Jacobs School of Music (January 2021)

  • “Creative Agency in Classical Music Performance: Theorizing, Observing, Experiencing,” paper presentation, Intercongressional Symposium of the International Musicological Society, Lucern University of Aplied Sciences and Arts, Lucern, Switzerland (July 2019)

  • “Creative Agency in Classical Music Performance: Theorizing, Observing, Experiencing,” paper presentation, Fifth International Performance Studies Network Conference, Norwegian Academic of Music, Oslo, Norway (July 2018)

  • “Expressive Sound at the Piano or Explorations in Sound Experience,” poster presentation, International Symposium on Performance Science, Harpa Center, Reykjavik, Iceland (August 2017)

  • “Creative Agency at the Convergence of Theory, History, and Performance: The Current-day Promise of Romantic Preluding Practices,” Eighth International Symposium on Music/Sonic Art: Practices and Theories, Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikinformatik (IMWI), Karlsruhe, Germany (July 2017)

  • “Theorizing Performance from the Second-person Position,” as part of panel, Fourth International Performance Studies Network Conference, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK (July 2016)

  • “Audio-haptics or Hearing with the Fingertips: Sound Production in Piano Performance as Action, Perception, and Experience,” Sixth International Symposium on Music/Sonic Art: Practices and Theories, Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikinformatik (IMWI), Karlsruhe, Germany (July 2015)

  • “Improvising the Standard Repertoire: Transparency, Improvisation, and Agency in Classical Piano Performance,” Music for All, Orpheus Doctoral Conference 2015, Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium (February 2015)

  • “Sounding Music, Cultivating Agency: Musings on Concepts, Discourses, and Practices in Present-Day Traditions of Classical Music Performance,” part of session, , VIIIth European Music Analysis Conference, Leuven, Belgium (September 2014)

  • “Theorizing Sound Quality in Piano Performance: The Music of Morton Feldman, the Teaching of Heinrich Neuhaus, and Real-Time Experience of Piano Sound,” Center for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP), Performance Studies Network International Conference, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK (July 2014)

  • “Permanence and Transience: Musings on Creative Practice, Classical Music Performance, and the ‘Work-concept’ through the Lens of Critical Ethnography,” Center for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP), Performance Studies Network International Conference, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK (April 2013)

  • “Towards a Model of Sound Production in Piano Performance: Systematizing Pedagogical Views in Light of Personal Experience and Ulric Neisser’s ‘Perceptual Cycles,’” London International Piano Symposium, Royal College of Music, London, UK (February 2013)

  • “Acoustic Piano Performance as Sound Art: The Music of Morton Feldman, the Teaching of Heinrich Neuhaus, and Real-time Experience of Piano Sound,” Third International Symposium on Music/Sonic Art: Practices and Theories, Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikinformatik (IMWI), Karlsruhe, Germany (July 2012)

  • Real-time Adjustments in the Performance of Notated Piano Music: Morton Feldman, Space Acoustics, and the Variable Timbres of Piano Sound,” International Symposium on Performance Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada (August 2011)

  • “Obtaining the Right Sound, or Elements of Improvisation in Performing Debussy’s “Des pas sur la neige,”” Center for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP), Performance Studies Network International Conference, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK (July 2011)

  • “Achieving Transparency: Performers’ Agency and the Ideal,” Performing Romantic Music: Theory and Practice, Conference, Durham, UK (July 2008)

National Conferences

  • “Analysis as Improvisation, or Keyboard Skills for the Twenty-First Century: Exploring Preluding, Romantic Pianism, and Creative Agency in Current-day Classical Performance Training,” The Improvising Brain III: Cultural Variations and Analytical Approaches, Interdisciplinary Conference, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia (February 2017)

  • “Exploring Real-time Sonic Adjustments in the Performance of a Notated Piano Score,” North-East Music Cognition Group (NEMCOG), semi-annual meeting, New York University, New York (April 2013)

  • “On Developing an Interpretation: Stanislavsky on Acting, Lewin on Debussy, and Baudelaire’s Influence on Personal Performance Experience,” Counterpoints: Nineteenth-Century Literature and Music, Conference, Fordham University, Lincoln Center, New York (October 2011)

  • “Exploring Real-time Adjustments to Changes in Acoustic Conditions in Artistic Piano Performance,” 2011 Conference of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY (August 2011)

  • "Identifying with a Piece of Music in Performance and in Analysis, or in Search of the Interpretation," Special Symposium on Performance and Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington (February 2009)

  • “Transmitting the Sublime: The Place of the Performer in the Conceptual Chain between Masterwork and Audience,” Harvard Graduate Music Forum (October 2005)

  • “On David Lewin’s Use of the Composer’s Voice and its Implications for Analysis and Performance,” Princeton-Cornell-Penn-Columbia Graduate Consortium (January 2005)

Presentations & Workshops

  • “Creative Agency through Improvisation: Performance, Analysis and Romantic Preluding in the Twenty-first Century”, invited guest presentation, Music Analysis Seminar, taught by Professor James Gutierrez, Northeastern University (November 2019)

  • “On the Threshold of Tone: An Interactive Workshop on Pianistic and Architectural Listening,” with Dr. Fiona Smyth, invited guest presentation, Music and Technology, taught by Professor Florian Hollerweger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (November 2017)

  • “Audio-haptics or Hearing with the Fingertips: Sound Production in Piano Performance as Research and Experience,” invited guest presentation, Music, Brain, and Body, Honors Program in Music Cognition, taught by Professor Hubert Ho, Northeastern University, Boston (March 2017)

  • “Collaborative Listening or Sharing Pianistic Experience: Exploring the Possibilities,” workshop-presentation, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Canada (February 2017)

  • “Expressive Sound in Piano Performance, or an Invitation to Collaborative Listening,” repertoires for the piano, Musicology in the Concert Hall: Performance Studies at Work, International University of Andalusia, Spain (December 2016)

  • “Timbre and Experience: An Introduction to Musical Color,” invited guest presentation, Music Theory I, taught by Professor Richard Beaudoin, Harvard University (April 2016)

  • “Audio-haptics or Hearing with the Fingertips: Sound Production in Piano Performance as Action, Perception, and Experience,” invited guest presentation, Music, Mind, and Brain seminar, taught by Professor Hubert Ho, Northeastern University, Boston (April 2015)

  • “On Sound in Piano Performance: Theorizing Experiential Possibilities,” invited seminar talk, Mind and Body in Music seminar, taught by Professor Eugene Montague, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (April 2013)

  • Tutorial on Performance and Analysis, invited presentation for the North-East Music Cognition Group (NEMCOG), with Dr. Olaf Post, Boston University, Boston, MA (November 2012)

Collaborations & Initiatives

  • “Music Performance Collabor-a-thon: Practice, Theory, Research, and Technology,” a conference and project development workshop to explore the intersectons of music performance experience with other spheres of human activity; ideologue and organizer, in collaboration with Dr. Fiona Smyth and guest presenters Dr. Andrew Goldman and Ben Wetherfield, Student Organizations Center at Hilles, Radcliffe Qaudrangle, Harvard University (November 2016)

  • “Musical Performers, Musical Works,” special session organized by the Performance and Analysis Interest Group of the Society for Music Theory, session chair, Society for Music Theory annual meeting, Vancouver, Canada (November 2016)

  • “Performance as Experience,” co-orgnized panel, with Drs. Andrew Friedman and Alan Dodson, Fourth International Performance Studies Network Conference, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK (July 2016)

  • "Artistic Research: Listening and Performing Practices in Classical Music,” a workshop-presentation, with Dr. Andrew Friedman, Wintersessions, Music Department, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (January 2016)

  • “Agency and Musical Performance,” co-organized day-long session, with Professor Euguene Montague, VIIIth European Music Analysis Conference, Leuven, Belgium (September 2014)

  • “Theorizing Real-time Experience: An Auto-Ethnographic Approach to Preparing Gyorgy Ligeti’s for Performance,” with Dr. Hubert Ho, With Four Hands: Music for Two Pianists International Conference, Institute for Musical Research, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, UK (June 2013)

University  Teaching

MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Music and Theater Arts Department

  • Affiliate Artist, Piano Lab (2017-present)

  • Lecturer, Harmony and Counterpoint I (Spring 2018)

HARVARD UNIVERSITY, Department of Music

  • Teaching Fellow, Music Theory I, Keyboard Skills (2011-2016)

  • Teaching Fellow, Performance and Analysis Seminar (2012-2014)

  • Teaching Fellow, Music Theory I, Musicianship (2011-2012)


COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, Department of Music

  • Teaching Assistant and Section Leader, Chromatic Harmony and Counterpoint (2003-2006)

  • Teaching Assistant, Masterpieces of Western Music, Core Humanities (2004)

  • Co-Instructor, Senior Independent Work in Harmony and Ear-Training (2004)

  • Instructor, Ear Training, Levels II, III, IV (2001-2003)

Documents

Research Areas

  • Tone in classical piano performance as practice, concept and experience

  • Creative agency in classical music performance

 

  • Critical ethnography, autoethnography, ethnographic approaches to performing experience

 

  • Cognitive function, enaction, ecological and embodied approaches in cognitive theory as lenses on music performance experience and acquired embodied knowledges

 

  • Russian piano pedagogy of early twentieth century

 

  • Shared experience in the context of the performing arts, intersubjectivity, second-person position approaches to theorizing experience

 

  • Romantic preluding practices

  • French and Eastern European methods in keyboard harmony, transcriptions and technical exercises at the piano

  • Music analytic approaches as creative practice in performance and improvisation, real-time analysis

Doctoral Research

 

  • Dissertation: “Theorizing Pianistic Experience: Tradition, Instrument, Performer”

Professor George E. Lewis, Principal Advisor
May 2012, Columbia University, New York City

  • Drawing on interviews, pedagogical manuals, personal performance experience, and current research in cognitive function, psychoacoustics, sound studies, and cultural theory, this study foregrounds the dynamic, interactive, and improvisatory aspects of a classical pianist’s work with musical sound

  • Major sources:

Cognitive theory: Francisco Varela, Ulric Neisser, Paul Bach-y-Rita
Sound studies, sound experience: Jonathan Sterne, Aden Evens, Morton Feldman
Piano performance and pedagogy: Heinrich Neuhaus, contemporary interviews and conversations

Fellowships & Awards

 

  • Council for the Arts at MIT seed-funding grant, with Drs. Fiona Smyth and Florian Hollerweger (2017)

For a sound theater piece on listening to an acoustic space

  • Winter Music Residencies, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Canada (2017)

  • Harvard University Mind/Brain/Behavior Interfaculty Initiative research grant, with Dr. Olaf Post (2012-2013)

For an experimental study focusing on pianists’ interpretative work and practice habits

  • Teagle Collegium on Psychological Science and Student Learning, co-hosted by the Medical Center, Teachers College, and the Teaching Center at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University (2009-2010)

Invited participant in lecture and discussion series and focus group research on undergraduate humanities curriculum

  • Reid Hall Institute for Scholars Summer Residence, Paris, France (2007)

For research on French Conservatory training methods, especially as exemplified in the teaching of Nadia Boulanger, with a focus on in-depth faculty interviews (in French and English) and workshops hosted at the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot

  • Isabella Lean Award for Excellence in French Language and Literature, Boston University (2000)

  • Boston University Trustee Scholar (1995-2000)

Other...

Piano  Teaching

  • Integrate keyboard harmony, analysis and improvisation

  • Cultivate habits of sustained attentiveness to sound and physical comfort

  • Develop vivid sonic imagination

Vocal & Chamber Coaching

  • Morningside Opera Company, rehearsal pianist and choir member, New York (2009-2011)

  • Performance and Analysis Seminar, Harvard University, teaching assistant (2012-2014)

School Programs

  • Children’s Choir and School “Gergana” at the Bulgarian Consulate General in New York (2007-2012), pianist, assistant music director, ear-training and vocal coach

  • High 5: Literacy through the Arts After School Program for High School Students, New York (2006), presenter on music

 Student Mentoring

  • Navigating dual-degree programs that combine performance and academic studies

  • Nurturing and honoring diverse talents and interests, specifically when music performance is one 

  • Finding or creating common ground between performance experience and other areas of interest and aptitude 

© 2020 Victoria Tzotzkova