Professor Mark Kligman named new chair of Department of Ethnomusicology

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Mark Kligman
Mark Kligman

Professor Mark Kligman, a scholar of Jewish Music, will become chair of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology on July 1, 2018; he will serve a three-year term. He succeeds Professor Steve Loza, who successfully led the department for three years as chair and two years as vice chair, including helping to write the proposal that resulted in the formation of the school in 2016 as the first —and only—school of music in the UC system.

Kligman is the inaugural holder of the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music and a professor of ethnomusicology and musicology. In Spring 2017, he was appointed director of the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music. He serves on the school’s Faculty Executive Committee and has been the director of Graduate Studies in Musicology for the past two years. Kligman is a member of the Faculty Advisory committees of the Center for Musical Humanities and the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies. He is co-editor of the journal Musica Judaica and academic chair of the Jewish Music Forum.

“I look forward to serving the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in this role and building upon the important work of Professor Steve Loza,” said Kligman. “As the largest Ethnomusicology Department in academia, I hope to further develop the experience of our students to benefit from the department’s esteemed faculty and share their talents further throughout UCLA and the Los Angeles community. Our Department of Ethnomusicology has many treasures and I am inspired to work across the school to grow and share all we have to offer.”

Kligman holds a bachelor’s of music degree from California State University, Northridge in music theory; he studied at the University of Michigan and then New York University where he received a M.A. in urban ethnomusicology and a Ph.D. in musicology with an emphasis in ethnomusicology. Kligman researched the liturgical music of Syrian Jews focusing on Sabbath morning liturgy and its musical and cultural connections between Jewish religious traditions and Arab cultural and musical traditions. His research interests in Jewish Middle Eastern Liturgical traditions have led to publications in American, European and Israeli books and journals. His book Maqām and Liturgy: Ritual, Music and Aesthetics of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn (Wayne State University) was awarded a 2009 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award Notable Selection, an award of the Association for Jewish Studies. He is currently writing a book on popular music of Orthodox Jews.

As the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair holder, Kligman has sponsored many symposia, lectures and performances in a wide array of Jewish music topics partnering with school of music departments and the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies. One of the highlights was in December 2015 with the performance of Handel’s Judas Maccabeaus at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. As director of the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music, Kligman works to support research, organize programs and concerts in American Jewish Music. The fund’s inaugural conference this past fall included the premiere of the new work David’s Quilt composed by 15 composers including L.A. professional composers, UCLA graduate students and faculty. This conference, American Culture and the Jewish Experience in Music, gathered leading scholars and explored new research areas.