Quick Links

Steven Huebner

Academic Title(s): 

Area Chair, Musicology, James McGill Professor

Music Research
Music History/Musicology
Contact Information
514-398-4535 Ext. 00308
Email Address: 
huebner [at] music [dot] mcgill [dot] ca

Steven Huebner's research focuses on French and Italian music of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His work covers a wide variety of methods and approaches, including studies in music sociology and politics, opera analysis and criticism, and reception history and edition making. He is currently preparing a cycle of essays about Maurice Ravel. Huebner is the author of two books--The Operas of Charles Gounod (Clarendon, 1990) and French Opera at the Fin de Siècle: Wagnerism, Nationalism, and Style (Oxford, 1999)--and over thirty-five single-authored scholarly essays. Articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as Nineteenth Century Music, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Revue de musicologie, Cambridge Opera Journal, Music and Letters, Journal of the Royal Musical Association as well as in many essay collections in English, French and Italian. Recent titles include “Emma Calvé: La Princesse paysanne du midi”; “Ravel’s Perfection” and “L’Heure espagnole: la grivoiserie moderne de Ravel.”  Huebner has contributed a large number of entries to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, The New Grove Dictionary of Music, MGG, and regularly writes essays for the program books of opera houses around the world. His work has been funded by several large grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and he is a past winner of the Prix Opus (2000) and Westrup Prize (2002). Huebner is co-editor (with Suzanne Aspden, Oxford University) of Cambridge Opera Journal, the leading international journal for research and criticism in the field of opera studies. He has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Musicological Society and an associate editor of Verdi Forum. He served as Program Committee Chair for the national meeting of the American Musicological Society at Nashville in 2008.  More locally, Huebner is president of the Société québecoise de recherche en musique and a founding fellow of the Institute for the Public Life of the Arts and Ideas (IPLAI) at McGill.

Huebner has advised theses and dissertations on a wide range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century topics. The topics of recent completed doctoral dissertation advisees include: studies of the early music revival in late-nineteenth century Paris (Caterina Flint); music and its institutions in the period of the Popular Front (1934-8) (Christopher Moore); and ballet at popular music hall venues at the end of the nineteenth century (Sarah Gutsche-Miller). Current advisees are working on: Russian nineteenth-century imperialism as reflected in the relationship of its musicians to Central Asian music; the ideology of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites; a sociological study of French singers of grand opera; and the aesthetics of singing at the beginning of the twentieth century. Subjects of recent seminar offerings include the operas of Verdi, music and comedy, and Ravel. Huebner teaches a wide range of undergraduate courses. In winter 2007, he participated in a teaching exchange with French colleague Jean-Paul Montagnier where he taught a full semester at the Insitut de musicologie, Université de Nancy (France).

Huebner's Ph.D. was granted by Princeton University in 1985; since then he has taught at McGill University, where he is currently a James McGill Professor (musicology). In 1989-1992 he served as Chair of the Department of Music Research, a period of substantial expansion, administrative reorganization, and curricular development in this sector of the Schulich School. Initiatives included the creation of an undergraduate program in music technology, the development of the BA in music, a complete revision of the music education program, a restructuring of graduate student financing, the reorganization of the delivery of core theory courses, the creation of a minor in music history for performers, and the institution of an "Art of Listening" course sequence.