Louis Epstein
Assistant Professor of Music — Musicology/Ethnomusicology

Louis Epstein received his B.A. in Music with honors from Princeton University in 2006 and his Ph.D. in Music from Harvard University in 2013.

Dr. Epstein is a historical musicologist whose research focuses on the intersections between music, patronage, and politics in France during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is currently working on a book that illustrates how different funding sources (wealthy individuals, powerful institutions, profit-seeking corporations) inflected the sounds and meanings of French music composed between 1918 and 1939. Dr. Epstein’s research has been recognized with support from the Fulbright Program, the French Embassy, the Georges Lurcy Foundation, and the Whiting Foundation.

He has presented at regional and national meetings of the American Musicological Society, as well as internationally at the “Rethinking Poulenc” and “City of Light: Paris 1900-1950” conferences in the United Kingdom. His article “Darius Milhaud’s Machines agricoles as Post-Pastoral” was published in Music & Politics and another article, “Impresario Interrupted: Comte Etienne de Beaumont and the Soirées de Paris” was published in the Revue de musicologie. A double book review published in Notes: The Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association received the 2016 Eva Judd O’Meara Award for best review. He has also pursued research in the new field of digital, spatial history, working with St. Olaf undergraduates to produce a map-based resource for scholars, teachers, and students of music: The Musical Geography Project, accessible at www.musicalgeography.org. His work on this project was recognized with the 2016 Teaching Award from the American Musicological Society.

An experienced teacher, Dr. Epstein has received numerous awards from Harvard University’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning and has presented research on music history pedagogy at the 2011, 2015, and 2016 Teaching Music History Conferences. He is currently a co-founder and associate editor of Open Access Musicology, a pedagogically oriented forum for accessibly written scholarship that will be published digitally by Lever Press and that will be freely available for use by teachers and students of music history.

Before coming to St. Olaf, Dr. Epstein taught at Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.