Professor Emeritus Damjana Bratuž is regarded as a pioneer in interdisciplinary musical research. Her Doctoral degree from Indiana University was in Piano Literature and Performance, with a Minor in Radio and Television.
Already in the late 1960s The Washington Post praised one of her piano recitals as « the kind of program that both enlightens and edifies the listener... academia and imagination were responsible for her unique and revealing listing... ».
As a lecturer, Dr. Bratuž has been known to explore the convergence of the arts and literature to aid the comprehension of the expressive content and of the construction of musical compositions. In her public presentations she began to intertwine images, sound, and text long before the recent technological advances have permitted a welcome simplification of the process.
A grant from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a period of research in Semiotics at the University of Bologna established Dr. Bratuž’s expertise in the semiotics of performance. Since 1996 she has contributed to the International Project of Musical Signification with presentations given in Finland, Bologna, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Rome and Vilnius. She has continued to participate in other international conferences and to give seminars, lecture-recitals, and master classes in Europe, North America and New Zealand.
Although the majority of her topics involve the music of Béla Bartók, in recent years the titles of her presentations have included : Luciano Berio: On Sound Becoming Sense; Symbolic Gestures in the Performance of Clementi’s’ Didone abbandonata’ (University of Toronto); On the Embodiment of Form: Polychronic Movement in Flaubert and Debussy (Aix-en-Provence); The Feminine Side of the Musical Mind (University of Groningen, Holland).
In the field of pedagogy, Dr. Bratuž has led and shaped the talent of music students and teachers in opposition to the prevailing training for early display and competition, toward a larger cultural contribution, one in which emergent artists could be supported in their communities by cultivated and well-informed interlocutors. She created special university courses, held summer sessions for teachers at several universities, adjudicated in national and international competitions, sharing her original approach and ideas both with the international academic world and with the general public.