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 music of Franz Liszt. He is author of Music and War and has 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 founding of the Emory University Archive of Music and War.

In addition to writing for and editing The Liszt Companion, 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. Other articles on various subjects have appeared in The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, the Biographical Dictionary of Soviet-Russian Composer, the Carl Nielsen Companion, American Musical Life in Context and Practice: 1865-1918, and the Encyclopedia of Keyboard Instruments.

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 the composer’s birth and a performance of late Liszt songs the American Liszt Society’s festival in San Francisco. They will perform again in October 2019 at the American Liszt Society Festival in Arizona.

From 2003 to 2012 Arnold served as Director of the University of Kentucky School of Music. As an administrator he participated as an onsite evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) from 2008 to 2015. Before coming to the UK, Arnold was on the faculty of Emory University for sixteen years where he served two terms as Chair of the Music Department (1994–2000) and as Director of Graduate Studies in Music (1991–1994). In addition to teaching required courses on Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Music, he created several new courses: Wagnerian Opera, The Diva and Virtuoso in Classical Music, Music in England (a six-week summer course taught at University College, Oxford), a week-long opera course in New York City, “Emory-at-the-Met,” and was a co-teacher in “Apocalypse Now and Then” and “Shakespeare and Music.”


At U.K. he teaches music history courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has taught doctoral seminars on diverse topics as “The Liszt Songs,” “Music and War,” and “Music and . . . : 21st Century Approaches to Interdisciplinary Studies of Music and its Function in Society.” He regularly teaches a Freshman Honor’s Course on Music and War, for which he participated as a Faculty Fellow for Presentation U, Cohort #9 (2018-19).


Musicology, Coordinator for Musicology and Ethnomusicology


309 Fine Arts Building