Campus & Community

Two are named University Professors:

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Jorgenson, Wolff honored with University’s highest professorial posts

Christoph Wolff, said FAS Dean William C. Kirby, ‘has left a lasting imprint on the history of music.’ (Staff photo by Stephanie Mitchell)
Samuel W. Morris University Professor Dale Jorgenson (©2000

An economist who has conducted groundbreaking research on information technology and economic growth, energy and the environment, and applied econometrics, and a music scholar whose studies of Bach and Mozart have incorporated research in architecture, theology, medicine, and economics have both been named University Professors. Economist Dale Jorgenson has been named the first recipient of the Samuel W. Morris University Professorship. Samuel W. Morris, for whom the chair is named, was a 1940 graduate of Harvard College, a lawyer and a long-term member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, owner and manager of a dairy farm, and a tireless promoter of land conservation and historic preservation. Morris’ daughter, Barbara Morris Caspersen and her husband, Finn M.W. Caspersen, LL.B. ’66, established the chair in his memory.

Music historian Christoph Wolff has been named to the Adams University Professorship, established in 1981 through a gift of Charles F. Adams ’32.

First created by the president and fellows in 1935, the University Profes-sorships are chairs intended for “individuals of distinction … working on the frontiers of knowledge, and in such a way as to cross the conventional boundaries of the specialties.”

University President Lawrence H. Summers said of the appointments:

“It is appropriate that we honor the work of Christoph Wolff and Dale Jorgenson with the University’s most distinguished professorial post. Christoph Wolff is a scholar of enormous learning and insight who has greatly expanded our knowledge and appreciation of the music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Dale Jorgenson is a social scientist whose insights have transformed economists’ understanding of the fundamental processes of production, investment, and consumption. I congratulate them both.”

Regarding Jorgenson’s appointment, William C. Kirby, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), said:

“Dale Jorgenson’s scholarly reputation is of the highest order. His research on applied economics in general, and on productivity and the role of technology in economic growth, more specifically, have changed the discipline. He has trained a generation of empirical researchers, bringing an intensely collaborative spirit to his work with students and faculty colleagues, both at Harvard and at other institutions. In his 33 years here, he has provided leadership, energy, and insight for the Harvard Economics Department while bringing his penetrating intelligence to matters affecting the faculty as a whole.”

Jorgenson said he was “very pleased” by the appointment, “especially to be the first occupant of the Morris Chair.” He described Morris ’40, for whom the chair is named, as “a farmer, lawyer, and public servant whose life was characterized by a continuous search for knowledge and meaning.”

Concerning his appointment, Jorgenson said that the most significant aspect for him was “the opportunity to participate in teaching and research outside of my own discipline.”

The author of more than 200 articles and the author and editor of 24 books, Jorgenson has focused on the intersections of pure economic theory and statistics and their application to the study of concrete problems.

The subjects of his research include international comparisons of the determinants of productivity and economic growth, the impact of tax policy on business investment, and the reform of capital income taxation, econometric modeling of consumer and producer behavior, and the measurement of social welfare. He is currently completing a study of policies to reconcile economic development and environmental protection in China in collaboration with scholars at the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

His most recent book, “Economic Growth in the Information Age,” published by The MIT Press in 2002, represents the first major effort to quantify the impact of information technology on the U.S. economy. Another recent volume, co-authored with Kun-Young Yun, “Lifting the Burden: Tax Reform, the Cost of Capital, and U.S. Economic Growth” (MIT Press, 2002), proposes a new approach to capital income taxation, dubbed “A Smarter Type of Tax” by the Financial Times.

Jorgenson received his B.A. from Reed College in 1955 and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1959. After teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the Harvard faculty in 1969 and was appointed the Frederic Eaton Abbe Professor of Economics in 1980. Since 1984 he has served as director of the Program on Technology and Economic Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and from 1994 to 1997 he was chair of the Department of Economics in FAS.

He has been honored with membership in the American Philosophical Society (1998), the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1989), the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1978), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1969). He has served as chair of Section 54, Economic Sciences, of the National Academy of Sciences since 2001. He received the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal of the American Economic Association in 1971. He served as president of the Association in 2000 and was named a Distinguished Fellow in 2001. He served as president of the Econometric Society in 1987.

Concerning Wolff’s appointment, Kirby said that the scholar “has left a lasting imprint on the history of music, not only in his role in the recent discovery of the Bach archives, but also in his scholarly publications focusing on 17th and 18th century music. His work has become essential reading in the field. He is also a great citizen of Harvard: he has chaired our Department of Music, curated our music library, and has served with great distinction as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. His generosity of spirit, expansive intellect, and extraordinary productivity have marked all of his endeavors.”

Wolff said that the appointment confers “a very exciting perspective. When I learned about it, I was really surprised and at the same time humbled and very pleased to have received this kind of recognition.”

Wolff said that he has “always been interested in branching out and learning from other disciplines and collaborating with various colleagues at the University.” But he added that serving as dean of the Graduate School from 1992-2000 “opened my eyes to the richness of the University landscape and had an impact on my musical scholarship. I will remain firmly grounded in the Music Department, but I feel encouraged to explore the possibility of cross-discipline activity in a more determined way.”

Wolff’s primary research interests are music of the 17th and 18th centuries, particularly Bach and Mozart, and he has written or edited 20 books and over 150 articles, studies, and musical editions.

Recent publications include “Bach: Essays on His Life and Music” (1991), for which Wolff was given the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award; “Mozart’s Requiem” (1994), “The New Bach Reader” (1998), “Driven into Paradise: The Musical Migration From Nazi Germany to the United States” (1999; ed. with Reinhold Brinkmann), and “Music of My Future: The Schoenberg Quartets and Trio” (2001; ed. with Reinhold Brinkmann).

He won the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for “Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician” (2000).

In 1999, after two decades of searching, he and colleagues discovered the long-lost musical estate of Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach in the Ukraine’s Central State Archive-Museum of Literature and Arts as part of the Berlin Sing-Akademie archive of 18th century music. Last available for study in the 1930s, the materials had been missing for more than50 years and many scholars feared they had been destroyed.

Currently, Wolff is conducting research for a book looking at Mozart’s last three years as a period of change in which the composer was working toward a new artistic reorientation whose fruition was cut short by his early death.

Wolff received his Artist Diploma in 1963 from the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and his Ph.D. summa cum laude in musicology and art history from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen in 1966.

He became a member of the faculty of the University of Toronto in 1968, and from 1970-1976 he served on the faculty of Columbia University. He joined the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard in 1976 as professor of music and was appointed the William Powell Mason Professor of Music in 1984. From 1980 to 1988 and 1990 to 1991 he was chair of the Music Department. He served as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1992-2000.

He has been honored with membership in the American Musicological Society, the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung, the International Musicological Society, and the Royal Musical Association. In addition, he was elected to Fellowship in the American Council of Learned Societies in 1974, the Council of Humanities (Princeton University) in 1975, the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1981, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1982, the Volkswagen Foundation in 1985, the American Academy in Berlin in 2000, the Saxon Academy of Sciences at Leipzig in 2001, and the American Philosophical Society in 2002.

He has held a number of positions in the American Musicological Society since 1972, has been a member of the Advisory Board of the American Bach Society since 1980, chairman of the Board of Directors for the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard 1980-88 and 1990-91, a trustee of the Broude Trust for Musicological Publications since 1981, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Brahms Society 1989-94, a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Seventeenth Century Music since 1995, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Packard Humanities Institute since 1998.

Wolff has taken on leadership roles in several international musical organizations including Neue Bachesellschaft (Leipzig), Internationale Bachakademie (Stuttgart), and the International Mozarteum Foundation (Salzburg), to name a few.