Psychiatrist and concert pianist Richard Kogan will explore the relationship between the mind and music of Robert Schumann, one of the Romantic era’s greatest composers, at the University of Louisville Depression Center’s Annual Benefit Dinner on Thursday, March 7.
Kogan will discuss the effect of mental illness on Schumann’s music and perform pieces by the composer at the dinner, hosted at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. The event starts at 6 p.m.
Kogan, clinical professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City and artistic director of the Weill Cornell Music and Medicine Program, has given lectures and concerts worldwide that explore the role of music in healing and the influence of psychological factors and illness on the creative output of classical composers.
Nearly 20 years ago, Kogan began investigating psychological issues of composers whose music he had played for years. He discovered that several – including Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Schumann – presented signs of serious psychiatric illnesses.
The connection between creative genius and mental illness has been well documented, and modern research suggests that the incidence of psychiatric illness is greater among writers, artists and musicians compared to the general population, according to Psychiatric Times.
Schumann, Kogan’s focus at the UofL event, likely had bipolar disorder, which first manifested in a severe depressive episode. Schumann had recurring panic attacks, mood swings and spent the final years of his life in an institution after an attempted suicide. He died in 1856 at age 46.
Kogan recorded the DVD “Music and the Mind: The Life and Works of Robert Schumann” for Yamaha. He has received numerous honors, including the Concert Artists Guild Award, the Liebert Award for Applied Psychoanalysis and the Alexander Award in Psychiatry.
Kogan studied piano at the Juilliard School of Music and earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at Harvard. He has a private practice of psychiatry in New York City.
The dinner benefits the UofL Depression Center, Kentuckiana’s leading resource for depression and bipolar disorder treatment, research and education. Tickets are $125 per person and can be ordered by phone at 502-588-4886 or online.