Alicia Kopfstein-Penk

Adjunct Professorial Lecturer
Department of Performing Arts

  • Alicia Kopfstein-Penk is an enthusiastic postmodernist who has taught musicianship, guitar, music history, and gen ed at American since 1998, and musicianship for the Washington National Opera Summer Institute since 2009. Her book Leonard Bernstein and His Young People’s Concerts studies the social, cultural, and political aspects of Bernstein’s ground-breaking award-winning TV programs and will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in January 2015. Her articles have appeared in Guitar Review, Soundboard, American String Teachers Association Journal, and Classical Guitar. She has presented for the American Musicological Society (AMS) and the National Opera Association, and has received awards from AMS, Mu Phi Epsilon, and the Cosmos Club Foundation. Dr. Kopfstein-Penk’s insightful approach to musicianship that links intellectual concepts with emotional reactions is seen in her forthcoming book Making Music with Heart and Mind. Her innovative ergonomic system for sizing the guitar to the performer is described in The Healthy Guitar (quoted by physical therapy journals). She has performed in liturgical dramas, a Renaissance consort, oratorios, operas, chamber music, and solo recitals in such halls as the Kennedy Center, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, the Metropolitan Opera, as well as throughout the DC area. See
  • Degrees

    PhD from Catholic University of America, MA in Music History from American University, BM from American University


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