James Lyon, professor of music in violin, has been selected as a member of the 2011-12 Schreyer Distinguished Honors Faculty. The Schreyer Honors College (SHC) created the Distinguished Honors Faculty program to increase academic interface between students enrolled as Schreyer Scholars and outstanding, world-renowned faculty often engaged in groundbreaking research.
As a Schreyer Distinguished Honors Faculty member, Lyon will focus on helping SHC students better understand the complexities of Ludwig van Beethoven and his string quartets. The academic work with the students will coincide with performances of Beethoven’s work being presented by the Center for the Performing Arts over the next three years. “I welcome the opportunity to guide our Schreyer scholars through this wonderful music, at times witty, at times deceptively simple and lyrical, and at many times profound,” Lyon says. “I welcome the chance to introduce the idealistic and eccentric man who willed this great music into being, often against seemingly insurmountable odds. And I welcome the chance to cultivate a sense of this music’s relevance to all who are open to beauty and originality.”
Lyon came to Penn State in 1991, having already established a career as a dramatic violin soloist who has performed and given masterclasses throughout the United States, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Since then he has maintained a busy schedule, performing in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall to the recording studios of Radio 4 in Hong Kong. He is an active chamber musician, playing to international audiences with numerous ensembles, including the Castalia Trio and Duo Concertant. Lyon has received many awards, including Collegiate String Teacher of the Year from the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association (1997) and a Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching from the College of Arts and Architecture (2006).