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Morton Wan is a first-year graduate student in the PhD musicology program. His scholarly engagement concentrates on exploring epistemic junctures between music and other disciplines (especially continental philosophy, history, and critical theory) and articulating their ideological meanings. Drawing on his trainings as both a keyboardist and a musicologist, Morton situates himself within a continuous oscillation between playing and thinking about music, in an attempt to tease out the enduring from the ephemeral amid the entanglement of performance and discourse. Besides his current focus on nineteenth-century music, Morton’s interests also extend to Elizabethan keyboard music, Mozart and improvisation, Glenn Gould and music technology, and, more broadly, the meanings and ethics of musical virtuosity.
His latest project, completed toward an MPhil at the University of Hong Kong, explores the contact point between Beethoven’s late piano sonatas and the phenomenology of embodiment. Morton also holds an MSt with distinction from Oxford University, where he was a Joan Conway scholar in performance studies. He has given lecture recitals and papers in conferences including Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Conference (London, 2015), International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (Seoul, 2014), and IMS East Asian Regional Association Biennial Conferences (Taipei, 2013; Hong Kong, 2015).
Morton studied piano performance with Daniel-Ben Pienaar at Royal Academy of Music, and with Ilya Poletaev at McGill University, where he was the recipient of Dr. Robert H. P. Fung Scholarship, and where he also took up harpsichord under the tutelage of Hank Knox. Other influential mentors in music performance include Laurence Dreyfus, Richard Beauchamp, and John O’Conor. Morton has given performances as both a soloist and a chamber musician in countries including the UK, Germany, Sweden, Canada, and Hong Kong; he has participated in such festivals as Aspen, Dartington, Aurora Chamber Music, and International Keyboard Institute and Festival. In 2015, He was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Schools of Music.