Steve Swayne

Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music


Steve Swayne teaches courses in art music from 1700 to the present day, opera, American musical theater, Russian music, and American music. He has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His articles have appeared in The Sondheim Review, the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, American Music, Studies in Musical Theatre, the Indiana Theory Review, and The Musical Quarterly. He has written two books—How Sondheim Found His Sound (University of Michigan Press, 2005) and Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America's Musical Life (Oxford University Press, 2011; winner of the 2012 ASCAP Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Outstanding Musical Biography)—and is at work on three projects: 1) the development of the chamber musical, with a focus on composer/lyricist William Finn; 2) intersections between music, neuroscience, and ethics; and 3) American composer David Diamond. He was an inaugural recipient in 2017 of the Professor John Rassias Faculty Award, given to faculty for their exceptional educational outreach to alumni. In addition to his work at Dartmouth, he has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; the University of California, Berkeley; and Quest University, and he served as president (2020–22) of the American Musicological Society, the premier organization for musicologists in the English-speaking world. He is also an accomplished concert pianist.