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Susan Youens

The musicologist Susan Youens is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on German song, and the music of Franz Schubert and Hugo Wolf. She is one of very few people in the United States who have won four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. 

She is the author of eight books (Retracing a Winter’s Journey:  Schubert’s Winterreise, Cornell University Press 1991; Hugo Wolf:  The Vocal Music, Princeton UP 1992; Franz Schubert:  Die schöne Müllerin, Cambridge UP 1992; Schubert’s poets and the making of lieder, Cambridge UP 1996; Schubert, Müller and Die schöne Müllerin, Cambridge UP 1997; Hugo Wolf and his Mörike Songs, Cambridge UP 2000; Schubert’s Late Lieder:  Beyond the Song Cycles, Cambridge UP 2002; Heine and the Lied, Cambridge UP 2007) and over fifty articles in scholarly journals, including Nineteenth-Century Music, The Musical Quarterly, The Journal of Musicology, The Cambridge Opera Journal, Nineteenth Century Music Review, Music & Letters, The Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, Schweizer Jahrbuch der Musikwissenschaft, Il Saggiatore musicale. She also regularly writes program-booklet essays for song recitals at carnegie Hall, as well as numerous liner notes for CDs. 

In addition,  Dr. Youens has contributed chapters to essay collections from Cambridge University Press (Thanatos as Muse:  Schubert and Lateness, ed. Lorraine Byrne Bodley and Julian Horton), Oxford University Press (Rethinking Schumann, ed. Roe-Min Kok and Laura Tunbridge), Princeton University Press (Liszt and His World, ed. Christopher Gibbs and Dana Gooley), Boydell & Brewer (Words and Notes in the Long Nineteenth Century, ed. Phyllis Weliver and Katherine Ellis), University of Rochester Press (Mediating Music from Hildegard of Bingen to The Beatles, ed. Craig Monson and Roberta Marvin), Oxford University Press, Rethinking Schubert, ed Lorraine Byrne Bodley and Julian Horton; Cambridge University Press, The Cambridge Companion to Schubert, ed. Christopher Gibbs; Cambridge University Press, The Cambridge Companion to Lied, ed. James Parsons ; Cambridge University Press, The Cambridge Companion to Mendelssohn, ed Peter Mercer-Taylor, Universal Editions, Schirmer Books, and University of California Press.

A popular speaker, Dr. Youens  has delivered lectures in Germany, France, England, Canada, Spain, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland, and thirty states in the U.S. She has also taught at the Steans Institute for Young Artists of the Ravinia Festival, the Oxford Lieder Festival, La Jolla Music Festival, the Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Britten-Pears Institute - Aldeburgh Festival. The universities at which she has given invited lectures include Harvard University, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Humboldt-Universität in Berlin, the Royal College of Music, The Juilliard School of Music, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Cincinnati Conservatory, the Guildhall School of Music, Reed College, Tufts University, Trinity College Dublin, Williams College, and more. 


Dr. Youens is frequently consulted by such great artists as Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles, Malcolm Martineau, and Margo Garrett and has collaborated with them in lectures, lecture-recitals, and master classes.

A member of the American Musicological Society for over forty years, Youens has served as an elected member of the Board of Directors, chair of the Pisk Prize Committee (a prize for the best paper by a junior scholar at the national conference), chair of the Kinkeldey Committee (the prize for best book by a senior scholar), and chair of the Publications Committee. In November 2012, she was made an Honorary Member of the society, an award granted to those “long-standing members of the Society who have made outstanding contributions to furthering its stated object.”

Dr. Youens was born in Houston, Texas and studied piano with Drusilla Huffmaster and musicology with Ellsworth Peterson before going to Harvard University for her graduate degrees. She taught at Washington University in St. Louis and Ithaca College before coming to the University of Notre Dame, where she has received the Joyce Award for Outstanding Teaching.

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