Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Great Minds, Great Music

Richard Kogan is a psychiatrist who is also a Julliard-trained concert pianist. He does a series of captivating biographical presentations on the lives of composers, and punctuates his talks by stopping to play music by the composer that illustrates a given point. The presentations take a great deal of research, and they have a psychiatric bent-- all the composers Dr. Kogan chooses had colorful lives filled with tragedy, drama, complicated relationships and yes, psychiatric disorders. He notes, "It's hard enough to make a psychiatric diagnosis in my office with a live patient..." He's produced five such psychological perspectives on Schumann, Beethoven, Gershwin, Tchaikovsky, and most recently, Leonard Bernstein. I've heard four of them in the last six years (with my tone deaf ears); I think this makes me a groupie.

"I have a passion for the interface between my two professions of psychiatry and music, and I'm intrigued by the mysteries of the mind and the nature of the creative process." Kogan says.

Wanna listen?

So I'd like to throw Richard Kogan in a room with Oliver Sacks , the neurologist/author of
Musicophilia, Tales of Music and the Brain, and just sit and listen for a while.