American-born Cohn, at Yale University, one of the oldest tertiary institutions in the US, where he has been the Battell Professor of the Theory of Music since 2005, has been appointed as Professor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Cohn brings great expertise in music theory to the Con. He is noted for his particular interest in chromatic harmony, metric dissonance, Schenkerian theory, atonal pitch-class theory and Lewinian transformational theory, among other topics.
A prolific writer, Cohn founded the Oxford Studies in Music Theory in 2004, which he edited for Oxford University Press for ten years. Currently, he is editor of the Journal of Music Theory, the US’ oldest music journal in its field.
Cohn is known for publishing widely on the music of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Wagner, Bartok and Reich, and has written extensively for many professional publications, including the Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Spectrum, Nineteenth-Century Music and Music Theory Online.
While a regular speaker at academic conferences and other meetings of music specialists, he has also presented non-academic lectures that have covered topics from an exploration of Haydn’s The Seasons to a musical analysis of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech.
Prior to Yale University, Cohn taught in the music department at the University of Chicago from 1985, where he served as its Chair from 1998 to 2001. He also held several directorships of undergraduate and graduate studies, and of a music theory mentoring partnership. A graduate of Brown University, Rhode Island, in 1977, Cohn earned his doctorate from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, New York, in 1987.