Richard Kogan Wows Students with Performance/Lecture on Robert Schumann & Mental Illness

February 25, 2011

Pianist-psychiatrist performs for full house at Dingeldine

Psychiatrist and classical pianist Dr. Richard Kogan visited Bradley University to present his lecture "Creativity and Mental Illness - The Music of Robert Schumann." He gave his presentation to a packed house of students and Peoria citizens, and he spoke with several Bradley classes.

Dr. Kogan was classically trained as a pianist at Juilliard Pre-college and graduated from Harvard Medical School with a degree in psychiatry. He travels the country performing classical pieces and explaining the connection between the music of composers such as Beethoven, Chopin, and Schumann and their mental health. He also continues to practice as a psychiatrist in New York City.

Dr. Kogan presented his lecture on February 13 at Dingeldine Music Center. He spoke to a full house on the link between Schumann's bipolar disorder and his music, which varied with his mental state. He also performed some of Schumann's works, highlighting frenetic and sad aspects that pointed to Schumann's mood swings.

On February 14, Dr. Kogan visited with several music, psychology, counseling, and education classes. He spoke about mental illness, the beneficial role of music, and the potential link between mental illness and creativity. He then answered questions posed by Bradley students and faculty.

According to Betty Jane Lawrence, associate dean of the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts, the student response was "outstanding."

"We've never hosted anyone with such an expansive background as Dr. Kogan," she said. "He has such a distinguished career as both a pianist and psychiatrist."

Dr. Kogan's visit was made possible by grants from the John Barrett-Bradley University Charitable Trust and the Intellectual and Cultural Affairs Committee of Bradley University and was a joint effort by the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts and the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, which performed some of Schumann's works at the Peoria Civic Center on Saturday, February 19.