Ph.D., Univ. of Pennsylvania (1984)
B.A., Univ. of Pennsylvania (1973)
John Platoff, Professor of Music, received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He also spent several years in New York City as a piano student and performer, and studied at the Aspen Music Festival with Claude Frank. Prior to his arrival at Trinity College he taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at the New School of Music in Philadelphia. He has also taught as a Visiting Lecturer at Yale University.
As a music historian, Platoff helps students develop the skills both of musicians and historians. As musicians, his students learn to understand what the great composers of the past have created: how musical works are put together and how they communicate meaning to listeners. As historians, his students grapple with the profound differences between the circumstances of people living in the past and those of our own era. No piece of music means the same thing to later generations as it did to the audience for whom it was created; by thinking critically about the world in which a composer like Mozart or Beethoven lived and worked, students can achieve a deeper understanding of both their music and their time.