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. He is also an accomplished concert pianist.

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Will Corbett ’10 discusses his favorite class and why he decided to take it.

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64A Hopkins Center
HB 6187
B.A. Occidental College
M.Div. Fuller Theological Seminary
M.A. University of California at Berkeley
Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley

Selected Publications

Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America’s Musical Life (Oxford University Press, 2011).

“Remembering and Re-membering: Sondheim, the Waltz, and A Little Night Music ,” Studies in Musical Theatre 1, no. 3 (2007): 259-73.

“William Schuman, World War II, and the Pulitzer Prize,” Musical Quarterly 89, nos. 2-3 (Summer-Fall 2006): 273-320.

How Sondheim Found His Sound (University of Michigan Press, 2005).

“So Much ‘More’: The Music of Dick Tracy ,” American Music 22, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 50-63.

“Hindemith’s Unexpected Grandson,” Hindemith-Jahrbuch 32 (2003): 215-234.

“Sondheim’s Piano Sonata,” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 127 (2002): 258-304.

“ Music for the Theatre , the Young Copland, and the Younger Sondheim,” American Music 20, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 80-101.

Works in Progress

Two books: one, on the life and music of musical theater composer William Finn; and another, on the intersections of music, neuroscience, and ethics