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Ludim R. Pedroza

Ludim R. Pedroza photograph



An associate professor in the School of Music, Pedroza teaches sections of the post-classic-era undergraduate music history & analysis courses, as well as graduate courses in a variety of topics. Among these are the surveys History of Music in Latin America, and Music in the United States, as well as the specialized courses on the music and aesthetics of the Caribbean, Mexico, and the nineteenth century.

Pedroza researches several interrelated topics: philosophy of performance, the histories of music institutions in the Americas, the crossroads between academic musical culture and popular music, and, the aesthetics of Latin American music. Publications include the article “Merengue Meets the Symphony Orchestra” (American Music, 2014), which investigates the place of Latin American dance genres in the history of the Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl and analyzes the August 2012 joint concert of merengue composer-artist Juan Luis Guerra with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel’s baton. Pedroza’s pieces on El Sistema examine the history of Venezuela’s renowned system of orchestral education and its complex cultural dialogues with popular music and the U.S. music academy. These include “Music as Life-Saving Project” (Symposium, 2014) and “Of Orchestras, Mythos, and the Idealization of Symphonic Practice” (Latin American Music Review, 2015). Their in-depth study of philosophy of performance—“Music as Communitas: Franz Liszt, Clara Schumann, and the Musical Work” (JMR, 2010)—probes the historical formation of the concept of the musical work in the hands of these two influential pianists and in relation to the powerful Romantic aesthetics of Idealism.

A native of Venezuela, Pedroza studied piano for ten years at the conservatory Vicente Emilio Sojo in the city of Barquisimeto. Consequently, they earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in piano performance from Antillean College (Puerto Rico) and West Texas A&M University, and the PhD in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University. 


Teaching and Research

Pedroza’s teaching approach brings to light the hidden connections that many composers, conventionally labeled classical, forged with the rich vernacular and popular musics of their eras. Pedroza also likes to probe the interactions between the activities of performance and composition, thus providing a platform for musicians to consider questions about intentionality, individuality, performance practice, and parameters of genre. And, providing students with tools for the appreciation of American musics as both sound-objects that provoke sophisticated aesthetic experiences, and, cultural prisms that project socio-historical soundscapes, is one of Pedroza’s core goals.


Selected Articles


“The Joropo in Venezuela’s Musical Modernity: Cultural Capital in José Clemente Laya’s Sonata Venezolana.” Forthcoming 2016, Musicological Annual.


“Merengue Meets the Symphony Orchestra: Interrogating Music as One and the Terrific Musical Experience at the Hollywood Bowl.” American Music 32, No. 3 (Fall 2014): 317-352.


“Of Orchestras, Mythos, and the Idealization of Symphonic Practice: The Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela in the (Collateral) History of El Sistema.” Latin American Music Review 36, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2015): 68-93.


“Music as Life-Saving Project: Venezuela’s El Sistema” in American Neo-idealistic Imagination.” Symposium: Journal of the College Music Society 54 (Spring 2014)


“Music as Communitas: Franz Liszt, Clara Schumann, and the Musical Work,” Journal of Musicological Research 29, No. 4 (2010): 295-321.



Selected Presentations:


July 2020: “A Trombone from the Bronx: Barry Rogers as Architect of the Salsa Genre.” Society for American Music National Virtual Conference.


March 2017: “Theorizing ‘Latin Pops’: Juan Luis Guerra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.” International Musicological Society, 20th Quinquennial Congress in Tokyo, Japan.


June 2013: “The Symphony Orchestra as Caribbean Reincarnation: Revisiting the Classical/Pop Schism at the Hollywood Bowl.” 2013 College Music Society International Conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


September 2012:  “Music as Communitas: Ecstasy and Dogma in the Performance Aesthetics of Franz Liszt and Clara Schumann.” Guest Skype Lecture at the Aesthetics of Music and Sound Seminar Series, hosted by the Institute for the Study of Culture at the University of Southern Denmark.


October 2011:  “Save the Children or Save the Music: Venezuela’s El Sistema as Syncretic Aesthetic and Pedagogical Export.” 50th Anniversary Conference - Latin American Music Center at Indiana University.


September 2008: “Folk Dance in the Latin American Art Tradition: An Overview of the Venezuelan Joropo at the Piano.” 2008 College Music Society National Conference.  Atlanta.