The Right Fit
Katharina Uhde, DMA, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Music
In a musical world where performance and scholarship are often quite distinct, Katharina Uhde is something of an anomaly.
“I consider myself the luckiest person ever,” Professor Uhde says. “I play violin as a professional and for about a decade I have studied musicology in depth. I hardly expected to find a job that would address both my passions.”
Yet Professor Uhde did find such a position — two positions, in fact, at two U.S. universities. She says that visiting Valpo’s campus quickly made it clear that this was the right fit. For one, the liberal arts atmosphere echoed her own educational background. Valpo’s Lutheran background also attracted her to the school.
“The climate here is really supportive, really intentionally friendly and enthusiastic, and in part this has to do with the principles of the Lutheran faith,” Professor Uhde says, adding that she tries to bring those same elements to her work with students.
At Valpo, Professor Uhde interacts with students in many ways. Through her courses in musicology, she helps students analyze musical selections so they can understand what they hear why each work has the impact that it does. She also teaches studio lessons in violin, coaches string ensembles, and works with the violin section of the orchestra — opportunities where she can help young performers learn how to share the message of a musical piece.
Professor Uhde also performs on campus and planned her first solo recital to focus on the work of Johann Sebastian Bach. While Valpo’s Bach Institute regularly performs Bach’s works for voice and orchestra, Professor Uhde hopes to expand awareness of his repertoire for violin.
“If there’s a repertoire of music I want to bring to the world, it is the music of Bach, which carries so much religion in it,” she says.
“I very much identify myself musically with my faith,” she adds. “Generally, I keep my faith more to myself. It is through music that I communicate my faith.”
Professor Uhde does see that faith is key to her life as a musician — helping her to persevere through challenging times and to follow unconventional paths.
“One shouldn’t exclude God when considering why everything is happening the way it does,” she says.
When so many elements have aligned to bring Professor Uhde to Valpo, that possibility is easy to consider.