1. Faculty

Nikolaus Hohmann

Chair, Humanities and Sciences; Daniel E. Koshland Endowed Chair in Humanities

“[Paul Bowles was] enacted by Nikolaus Hohmann, who...effectively caught Bowles’ voice...and embellished it with a few appropriate mannerisms based on the film and other biographical sources." —Examiner.com

COURSES TAUGHT

  • Introduction to Western Civilizations
  • 19th-Century European History
  • 20th-Century European History
  • History of China
  • History of California and the United States
  • Ancient World History
  • Modern World History
  • History of Film
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Aesthetics
  • Chinese and Asian Philosophy
  • Political Science and Political Philosophy
  • Ethics

EDUCATION

  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley
  • BA, Stanford University
  • AA, Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California

AWARDS AND DISTINCTIONS

  • Sarlo Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 2005
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University

What is your hometown?

Stuttgart, Germany

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Knowledge and a deeper understanding of all the wonders of culture and of this world.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

"Every great work of art has two faces: one towards its own time, and one towards the future, towards eternity."
—Daniel Barenboim

"There is a central part of the human spirit than can only be expressed through art."
—E. M. Forster

"Nothing penetrates more swiftly and deeply into the human soul than music."
—Plato

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

“How should I approach the question: ‘What is the meaning of life?’”

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue your career path?

When I realized that I am interested in all aspects of the human experience, and that only the study of history allows such broad and diverse explorations.

What was a turning point in your career?

Being invited to serve as poetic narrator for the faculty recital of Hermann LeRoux — the beginning of many collaborations with students and faculty in concert performances.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

Novelist. (Although, I cannot imagine doing anything else aside from being a teacher.)

What are your most important collaborations?

Narrator in A Soldier's Tale, Paul Bowles in BluePrint's An Evening with Paul Bowles, Monsieur Jourdain in Ariadne auf Naxos, and many others.

Who are three students you have had the privilege of teaching?

Mark Grisez, Teddy Abrams, and Elza van den Heever.

What is your unrealized project?

A series of children's books based in specific historical periods.