Music and Philosophy Event: "Without Music, Life Would Be a Mistake: Friedrich Nietzsche as Composer and Philosopher"

Friday, April 4, 2014 ( 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm )

Location: Samuel C. Williams Library

"Without Music, Life Would Be a Mistake: Friedrich Nietzsche as Composer and Philosopher"

By Ayşegül Durakoğlu and Yunus Tuncel
Moderator: Michael Steinmann

Nietzsche (1844-1900) is one of the few philosophers who have an intimate connection to music. Not only was he a good pianist: his musical ambition, or his musical daimon, urged him to compose music, although he had no training in this area. Most of his compositions are from his late teens; his earliest inspirations are Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Schumann and Wagner. However, Nietzsche did not follow a musical path but dedicated his life to writing and philosophy. On the other hand, his intimacy with music greatly influenced his way of thinking, as well as his outlook on life. At the present event, Ayşegül Durakoğlu will play pieces from Nietzsche and related composers in order to show his place in the history of classical music of the 19th century, while Yunus Tuncel will present some of the crucial elements in Nietzsche’s relationship to music, both in his philosophy and writing style.

Ayşegül Durakoğlu has been concertizing as soloist and chamber musician nationally and internationally and has been featured in various festivals, radio and television programs. She received her Master’s from the Juilliard School and a Ph.D. degree with notable distinction at the New York University where she also served on the piano faculty. Durakoğlu is a faculty member of the Music and Technology program at Stevens. Most recently, she released an album of Debussy’s Twelve Piano Etudes, presented a chamber music event at the Jazz at Lincoln Center, and participated in the International Conference of the College Music Society in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Yunus Tuncel received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the New School for Social Research and teaches at the New School for Public Engagement’s Humanities Department. He is a co-founder of the Nietzsche Circle and serves on the Editorial Board of its electronic journal, The Agonist. He is the author of Towards a Genealogy of Spectacle (Eye Corner Press, 2011) and Agon in Nietzsche (Marquette University Press, 2013). His areas of research include art, competition, culture, myth, power, music, and spectacle. He has worked on Nietzsche and Music before, including his presentation, entitled “Nietzsche, Music, and Silent Suffering,” at an event organized by the Ensemble for the Romantic Century.