Stephen Rodgers is the Edmund A. Cykler Chair in Music and Professor of Music Theory and Musicianship at the University of Oregon, where he has been teaching since 2005. Rodgers’s research focuses on the relationship between music and poetry in art songs from the nineteenth century to the present day, especially art songs by underrepresented composers. He has written extensively on the songs of Fanny Hensel, one of the nineteenth century’s most prolific and innovative song composers. His edited essay collection entitled The Songs of Fanny Hensel—the first book devoted to Hensel’s contributions to the genre—was published in 2021 by Oxford University Press. A monograph on the songs of Clara Schumann is forthcoming in Cambridge University Press’s Music in Context series.
Rodgers’s work is guided by a desire to reach communities that extend beyond academia. He is a founding member of the Women’s Song Forum, an online forum devoted to women’s voices in song and geared toward a wide-ranging audience of scholars, performers, educators, and lay listeners. He has collaborated with the Hampsong Foundation, a non-profit created by the baritone Thomas Hampson that promotes intercultural dialogue and understanding through song; Hampson interviewed him on the series World of Song and, in April 2021, invited him to host programs on Marian Anderson and Mahalia Jackson, early twentieth-century women’s song, and Fanny Hensel. He is active as a tenor and frequently performs lecture-recitals for specialists and non-specialists alike. He also runs a website devoted to underrepresented composers called Art Song Augmented and hosts a podcast about poetry and song called Resounding Verse.
Many of these activities, academic and otherwise, have been inspired by courses that Rodgers has taught. He has led graduate seminars on such topics as song and the music of poetry, form in Romantic music, and new approaches to the analysis of text and music. He regularly teaches a graduate analysis course geared toward performers, often focused on vocal repertoire. And he teaches a wide variety of undergraduate courses. In recent years he has taught upper-level analysis classes on music by composers under age fifty (emphasizing often-overlooked musical parameters such as texture and timbre) and nineteenth-century songs by women, as well as a class about art song for non-music majors in the Clark Honors College. He has also advised master’s theses and doctoral dissertations on topics ranging from the musical language of Fanny Hensel to instructional design in undergraduate music theory to timbre and embodiment in music, dance, and film.
In spring 2021 Rodgers was named the inaugural Edmund A. Cykler Chair in Music. First conceived and endowed in 2018, thanks to a gift from UO Foundation trustee Timothy Foo and matching funds from the UO Presidential Fund for Excellence, the Cykler Chair is named for Edmund A. Cykler, former professor and associate dean of the UO School of Music. Rodgers is currently developing several projects inspired by Cykler’s work as a devoted teacher and bridge builder. He will use these projects to connect different communities inside and outside the university, create more opportunities for performers and scholars to collaborate, advocate for underrepresented composers, and support and amplify the work of students and faculty in the School of Music and Dance.
- PhD 2005, Music Theory, Yale University
- MPhil 2001, Music Theory, Yale University
- BA 1998, Music & English, Lawrence University
- The Songs of Clara Schumann. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
- The Songs of Fanny Hensel. Oxford University Press, 2021.
- Form, Program, and Metaphor in the Music of Hector Berlioz. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
- “Women, Song and Subjectivity in the Nineteenth Century,” with Anja Bunzel. In The Cambridge Companion to Women Composers. Edited by Matthew Head and Susan Wollenberg. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
- “Softened, Smudged, Erased: Punctuation and Continuity in Clara Schumann’s Lieder.” In Clara Schumann Studies. Edited by Joe Davies. Cambridge University Press, 2021.
- “Prolongational Closure in the Lieder of Fanny Hensel,” with Tyler Osborne. Music Theory Online 26/3 (September 2020).
- “Fanny Hensel’s Sechs Lieder op. 9: A Brother’s Elegy.” In Rethinking Mendelssohn. Edited by Benedict Taylor. Oxford University Press, 2020.
- “Fanny Hensel’s Schematic Fantasies; Or, The Art of Beginning.” In Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers. Edited by Laurel Parsons and Brenda Ravenscroft. Oxford University Press, 2018.
- “Music, Poetry, and Performance in a Song by Maria Schneider.” SMT-V: Videocast Journal of the Society for Music Theory 3/3 (December 2017).
- “Schubert’s Idyllic Periods.” Music Theory Spectrum 39/2 (Fall 2017): 223–46.
- “Song and the Music of Poetry.” Music Analysis 36/3 (October 2017): 315–49.
- “The Fourth Dimension of a Song.” Music Theory Spectrum 37/1 (Spring 2015): 144–53.
- “Sentences with Words: Text and Theme-Type in Die schöne Müllerin.” Music Theory Spectrum 36/1 (Spring 2014): 58–85.
- “Fanny Hensel’s Lied Aesthetic.” Journal of Musicological Research 30/3 (2011): 175–201.
- “Thinking (and Singing) in Threes: Triple Hypermeter and the Songs of Fanny Hensel.” Music Theory Online 17/1 (April 2011).