Alex Ross shares insights from his new book, Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music, exploring the controversial composer’s influence on the artistic, intellectual, and political life of both his time and ours. In his talk, inspired by more than 10 years of research and reflection, Ross discusses the resonance of Wagner’s mythic storytelling on fantasy fiction by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and films and TV shows such as Star Wars, The Matrix, and Game of Thrones. Ross has been the music critic at the New Yorker for nearly 25 years, and has received both MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships. His first book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won a National Book Critics Circle Award; and his second book, the collection Listen to This, received an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award.

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Alex Ross
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Pictured: Cal Performances presents Alex Ross on Wagner Thursday, September 24, 2020 in Zellerbach Hall.
(credit: David Michalek)