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LMU welcomes new Humboldt laureate

München, 06/05/2014

Ethnomusicologist Richard K. Wolf, winner of the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Prize awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, has embarked on a collaborative project with Prof. Frank Heidemann at LMU’s Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology.

Ethnomusicologist Richard K. Wolf, winner of the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Prize awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, has embarked on a collaborative project with Prof. Frank Heidemann at LMU’s Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology.

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Professor Richard Wolf is one of the world’s leading ethnomusicologists. For over 30 years he has dedicated himself to the investigation of the musical traditions of South India. His research interests focus on the musical and social aspects of the classical South Indian tradition and on the significance of music in the context of rituals and religious ceremonies. In recent years, he has extended the geographical reach of his interests towards Central and Western Asia. In addition to his high reputation as a scholar, Wolf is also an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the vīṇā, one of the string instruments used in the classical music tradition of South India. In the course of his stay in Munich, Wolf will work in collaboration with Heidemann on the manuscript of his new publication, entitled “The Bison and the Horn: Indigeneity, Performance, and the State of India”.

Richard K. Wolf studied music at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), where he earned his PhD. He subsequently carried out field research in Northern India and Pakistan, and in 1999 he obtained a position at Harvard University, where he is now Professor of Music and South Asian Studies. Wolf has been awarded many grants and fellowships for his research, and received the Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities for his book “The Black Cow's Footprint: Time, Space, and Music in the Lives of the Kotas of South India” in 2006.

The Humboldt Foundation’s programs serve to promote cooperation between excellent German researchers and leading scholars from abroad. The Friedrich-Wilhelm Bessel Research Award honors scientists and scholars who have a distinguished research record, and have already had a broad impact on their particular discipline. Award-winners are invited to work for up to 1 year on a collaborative project with colleagues at a German research institution of their own choice. Hence the number of Humboldt Laureates hosted by an institution is an important measure of the range of its international contacts and its worldwide reputation. göd