The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Swayne as Chair in Modern Culture. Swayne, who began his residency in March, is working with the Library’s David Diamond Collection to produce a book on the life and work of the influential 20th century American composer.
Swayne is the Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music at Dartmouth College, where he teaches courses in art music from 1700 to the present day, opera, American musical theater, Russian music, and American music. Swayne is President of the American Musicological Society, the premier organization for musicologists in the English-speaking world as well as an accomplished concert pianist. Swayne completed his PhD at UC Berkeley in 1999.
Swayne 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. Swayne 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).
In 2017, Swayne was an inaugural recipient of the Professor John Rassias Faculty Award, given to faculty for their exceptional educational outreach to alumni. In addition to Dartmouth, he has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; the University of California, Berkeley; and Quest University.