Two University of Pittsburgh at Bradford professors have successfully defended their dissertations and earned their doctoral degrees.
Levey’s composition dissertation, “Concertino,” is an extended work for flute soloist, harp and string quartet. He wrote the piece for Sarah Tiedemann, a flutist he met while earning his bachelor of music in composition at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. The two will collaborate in premiering the work this spring.
In his theory dissertation, Levey examined the vocal music of Peter Lieberson, a contemporary American composer. His research centers on some of the technical changes that have occurred in Lieberson’s music during the past four decades and situates Lieberson’s late wife, the mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt, as an important stylistic influence.
Levey grew up playing piano in the North Hills area of Pittsburgh. He began writing music during his high school years. He also holds a master of music in composition from Michigan.
Levey teaches courses in music literature, theory and technology. He also directs the College-Community Choir.
Ryu’s dissertation looked at 26 new democracies formed in the 1970s.
“I measured the quality of democracies that became democratized in the 1970s,” Ryu said. She did that by studying international news sources to find “promise sentences” uttered by politicians running for office. She then matched those promises to the budget allocations made toward fulfilling those promises by the governments formed by the elected leaders.
She believed that because politicians in a democracy are held accountable by the election process, they would keep more promises.
“I was kind of suspicious about how many promises they’re able to keep,” she said, but found that most were kept. “They passed the test.”
Ryu grew up in South Korea. She holds a master of arts in international relations from Seoul National University and a bachelor of arts in political science and diplomacy from Chungbuk National University.
During her time at Pitt-Bradford, Ryu will teach Introduction to International Affairs, World Politics and American Foreign Relations.