Alex Lubet

Professor: Theory/Composition

Alex Lubet, Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music and Adjunct Professor of American Studies, joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 1979. He is a composer, performer, and author whose specialties include music and text for theatre, dance, and improvisation ensembles, and works on Jewish subjects. His compositions have received over 300 performances on six continents. A charter member of the University of Minnesota Academy of Distinguished Teachers, he is the only School of Music faculty member, the only Twin Cities campus arts faculty member, and the only artist to have received that honor. He has been a visiting professor in Bolivia, Poland, and China.

Lubet has had a career-long interest in encounters between cultures. Manifested in his early work in the use of musical and extramusical influences from beyond the European tradition, especially the musics of Asia, his most recent projects have been in collaboration with artists from around the world. They include Iris of Light, for koto ensemble; Alyssa in Bali, for gamelan; And the Walls Come Tumbling Down, a dance-drama chronicling relations between African- and Jewish-Americans; The Wise Men of Chelm, a klezmer musical for children; Bosnia Blues, stagework (script by the composer) with Jewish and blues musicians and live electronics; and African Sabbath, for vocal soloists, chorus, and jazz and African instrumentalists. He directs and performs in Blended Cultures Orchestra, a professional multicultural improvisation ensemble.

Although principally active as a creative artist, Lubet has written for such journals as Ethnomusicology and The Annual Review of Jazz Studies. His most recent published scholarship is "Indeterminate Origins: A Cultural Theory of the American Experimental School," an essay on Asian-influenced American composers, in Perspectives on American Music since 1950 (Garland: 1999). He has curated concerts for the College Music Society and the American Composers Forum and has directed the Gathering at the River world music series since its inception in 1993.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Music Composition, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 1979.
  • B.M.: Music Composition, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois, 1975.
  • M.A.: Music Composition, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 1977.


  • music composition
  • Jewish, American & Disability Studies
  • performance
  • popular culture; music, theatre, film
Courses Taught
  • Mus 8550 - Composition
  • Mus 8570 - Seminar in Composition
  • JwSt 5900/MUS 5950 - Tin Pan Alley & Broadway
  • Mus 1013 - Rock I: History of Rock Music to 1970
  • Mus 1015 - Music and Movies
Research & Professional Activities


  • Minnesota Center for Independent Living: Co-Facilitator, Disability Culture and Pride Series, 2004 - current
  • Hillel (Jewish Student Center): Board of Directors, 2004
  • Indeterminate Origins: A Cultural Theory of the American Experimental School. Lubet, Alex, 1999.
  • Transmigrations: Wolf Krakowski's Yiddish Worldbeat in its Sociomusical Context. Lubet, Alex, Polin, 2003.
  • New Millennium Wagner Studies. Lubet, Alex, M. Bribitzer-Stull, G. Wagner, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming.
  • Disability Studies and Performing Arts Medicine. Lubet, Alex, 2002.
  • Music and Disability, Blind Musicians, Music Therapy, Judaism, Euthanasia, Physician-Assisted Suicide. Lubet, Alex, forthcoming.
  • Can Disability Studies Survive and Prosper within Medically-Modelled Curricula?. Lubet, Alex, 2004.
  • Tunes of Impairment: An Ethnomusicology of Disability. Lubet, Alex, 2004.
  • Academy of Distinguished Teachers, University of Minnesota
  • McKnight Research Award
  • Morse Amoco/Alumni Teaching Award, 1994
  • Graduate & Professional Teaching Award, 2005
  • Graduate & Professional Teaching Award, 2005