Prof. Ruth HaCohen (Pinczower) holds the Artur Rubinstein Chair of Musicology at the Hebrew University. She graduated in musicology and Jewish thought and received her PhD in Musicology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1992). HaCohen is the author of books and articles that explicate the role played by music in shaping and reflecting wide cultural and political contexts and processes. Her points of departure are historical, aesthetic and semiotic, deploying as well theories from psychoanalyses, anthropology and critical thought. Her work extends from baroque music to modern one, with a special emphasis on opera, oratorio, and song, dealing also with the relations between Ashkenazi-Jewish and Christian music.
HaCohen was the Chair of the Department during 2001-4 and the Head of the PhD Honors Program in the Humanities during 2008-9. She was a visiting scholar as St. John College Oxford, in 1996-7 and a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 2004-5. Since 2008 she is as a Senior Fellow and member of the research group “The Interpretive Imagination: Connections between Religion and Art in Jewish Culture in its Contexts” at Scholion, Interdisciplinary Research Center in Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University. Since 2013 the Head of the School of the Arts there and since April 2014 also the Director of the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Hacohen is the 2012 winner of the Otto Kinkeldey Award by the American Musicological Society for the most distinguished book in musicology The Music Libel Against the Jews (Yale 2011) and the first Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality in the Humanistic Disciplines for the same book. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Balzan Research Project: “Towards a global history of music” (Director: Prof. Reinhard Strohm) and in the Advisory Committee of the Polyphony Foundation in Nazareth (organization whose purpose is to bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel by creating a common ground where young people come together around classical music).Other publication include Tuning the Mind: Connecting Aesthetic Theory to Cognitive Science (Transaction, 2003 [with Ruth Katz]). She is currently completing the volumes The Voices of the Individual and the Voice of the Many: A Musico-Political Dialogue (Van Leer and Hakibutz Hameuchad, in Hebrew, with Yaron Ezrahi).