Ruth HaCohen (Pinczower) is Artur Rubinstein Professor of Musicology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Born in Jerusalem, she earned her Ph.D. in Musicology at the Hebrew University where she was appointed a faculty member in 1993. At the university she served twice as Chair of the Department of Musicology, was Head of the Ph.D. Honors Program in the Humanities, Head of the School of the Arts and served as a member of the Executive Committee of the University. Currently she is Director of the Martin Buber Society of Fellows. She has been a visiting scholar at several universities and institutions including the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, St. John's College, Oxford, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, and Brown and Toronto Universities.
Prof. HaCohen is the author of books and articles that explicate the role played by music in shaping and reflecting wider cultural and political contexts and processes. Her points of departure are historical, aesthetic and semiotic; her interpretative approach is comparative, viewing her subject matters in relation to religions, secularization, ideational and cultural trends. Her recent publications include The Music Libel Against the Jews (Yale University Press 2011), where she shows how entrenched aesthetic-theological assumptions have persistently defined European culture and its internal moral and political orientations, and with Yaron Ezrahi Composing Power, Singing Freedom: Overt and Covert Connections between Music and Politics in the West (Van Leer Institute Press and Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2017, in Hebrew). She has served on various national and international public and academic boards, including that of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Polyphony Foundation in Nazareth.