Ben Arnold


PhD University of Kentucky, 1986
MM University of Kentucky, 1981
BM University of Kentucky, 1977

Research Areas:

  • Franz Liszt
  • Music of War

At UK since: 2003

Ben Arnold has published extensively on music written in response to war and on the composer Franz Liszt. He is the author of Music and War (1993) and published related articles or chapters in The Oxford Companion to American Military History, The Musical Quarterly, The Journal of Musicological Review, The Music Review, International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, Music and War in the United States, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Holocaust and Church Struggle, and Handbook of the Literature and Research of World War Two. His research and collection of war music materials led to the Emory University Archive of Music and War.

In addition to writing for and editing The Liszt Companion (2002), he has also contributed to A Guide to Liszt Research, New Perspectives on Liszt and His Music, Liszt and His World, Liszt and the Birth of Modern Europe: The Bellagio Conference Proceedings, Liszt the Progressive, Liszt Saeculum, Liszt: A Chorus of Voices, and the Journal of the American Liszt Society, for which he was Visiting Editor 1989-1990. 

Arnold has presented professional papers at numerous conferences in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Sweden. He served as a frequent lecturer for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra pre-concert lecture series, the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta, and the Highlands Chamber Music Festival. 

As a pianist, Arnold frequently performs with his wife, soprano Elizabeth Packard Arnold. Notable performances include an all-Liszt song recital in Weimar, Germany, as part of the International Franz Liszt Congress’s 200th-anniversary celebration of his birth and presentations and performances at American Liszt Society’s festivals in San Francisco and Tempe, Arizona. 

From 2003 to 2012, Arnold served as Director of the University of Kentucky School of Music. As an administrator, he participated as an on-site evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) from 2008 to 2015. Before coming to UK, Arnold was a faculty member at Emory University for sixteen years, serving two terms as Chair of the Music Department and as Director of Graduate Studies in Music. In addition to teaching required classes on Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Music, he created several new courses: Wagnerian Opera, Music in England (a six-week course taught at University College, Oxford), a week-long opera course in New York City: “Emory-at-the-Met,” and co-taught in “Apocalypse Now and Then” and “Shakespeare and Music.”

At the University of Kentucky, he serves as coordinator of the Musicology/Ethnomusicology Division. He teaches music history subjects at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including a Freshman Honor’s course on “Music and War Since 1900.” Recently, he has taught mindfulness and meditation classes, becoming Koru certified in summer 2020. He primarily teaches students, staff, and faculty in the College of Fine Arts and concentrates on mindfulness concepts for musicians. During Spring 2021, he taught Koru Mindfulness to members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra in a pilot program.

Professor, Lewis Honors Faculty
Musicology, Coordinator for Musicology and Ethnomusicology


309 Fine Arts Building