main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

main menu

Steven Whiting


Professor Steven Whiting, a native of Chicago, graduated from Macalester College in 1975 with a major in music (voice, piano) and a minor in German. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1975. He studied musicology at Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet in Kiel, Germany, on a Fulbright grant (1975–77) and sang for a season with the Chicago Symphony Chorus before pursuing graduate work at the University of Illinois. There he took an M.M. in Musicology with a thesis on “Erik Satie and Parisian Musical Entertainment,” and his Ph.D. with a dissertation on Beethoven’s early variations (“To the ‘New Manner’ Born”). Between degrees, he spent four years as a desk editor at A-R Editions of Madison, Wisconsin, sang with several early music groups, and performed in contemporary music ensembles. After teaching for two years at the University of Illinois, he came to the University of Michigan in 1991 as a visiting assistant professor.

At Michigan, Professor Whiting teaches courses in the history of European art music from the late 18th to early 20th centuries, and in the history of American musical theater. At the UM International Institute, he directed the Center for European Studies (1998–2002), served as an associate director of the Institute (2000–2002), and launched its European Union Center in 2001. In 1997–98 he was a Hunting Family Faculty Fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, where he is a frequent lecturer. From July 2003 through June 2014, he served as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Professor Whiting is a member of the American Musicological Society and the German Studies Association. He has served as Secretary to the Midwest Chapter of the AMS (1999–2001) and on the chapter’s Program Committee (1992–93).

Current Research

Whiting’s chief research interests remain Erik Satie and Ludwig van Beethoven, a combination rather like that of crème Chantilly and sauerbraten. His current research project seeks to trace the impact of the theater (lyric, spoken, and dance) on Beethoven’s instrumental music. Other interests include musical narratology, musico-literary connections generally, French cabaret music, and American musical theater.


“Finally Finale, Finely: The Recycled Finale in Beethoven’s op. 47,” Journal for Musicological Research 32 (2013): 183–98.

“Beethovens Coriolan-Ouvertüre (nach Collin)“ and „Die Egmont-Musik: Goethe nach dem Original,” in Beethoven Handbuch vol. 1, Beethovens Orchestermusik und Konzerte, edited by Oliver Korte and Albrecht Riethmüller (Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 2013), 449–77.

Review of Sounds of the Metropolis: The Nineteenth-Century Popular Music Revolution in London, New York, Paris, and Vienna by Derek B. Scott, Journal of the American Musicological Society 64/3 (Fall 2011): 730–36.

“From Opera to Instrumental Work,” in Jürgen May, ed., Biographie und Schaffensprozeß bei Beethoven: Rainer Cadenbach zum Gedenken, Schriften zur Beethovenforschung, 21 (Bonn: Beethoven-Haus, 2011), 117–27.


“Serious Immobilities: Musings on Satie’s Vexations,” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 67/4 (2010): 310–17.

“Unsettling Scores: On Michael Kater’s Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits,” German Politics and Society 19/3 (Fall 2001): 80–93.

“From Opera to Instrumental Work,” forthcoming in proceedings of the international symposium Biographie und Schaffensprozess bei Beethoven: Grundlagen, Tendenzen, Perspektiven, to be published by Beethoven-Archiv, Bonn.

Satie The Bohemian : From Cabaret to Concert Hall. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999.

“From Signor Contino to Falstaff: Operatic Connotations in Beethoven’s Early Variations,” American Journal of Semiotics 13 (1996 (1998)): 147–63.

“Erik Satie, Neuf chansons de cabaret et de café-concert, pour chant et piano. Edition établie et préfacée par Steven Moore Whiting. Paris: Editions Salabert, 1996.

“Music on Montmartre.” In The Spirit of Montmartre: Cabarets, Humor, and the Avant-Garde, 1875–1905, edited by Phillip Dennis Cate and Mary Shaw, 159–97. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1996.

“Erik Satie and Vincent Hyspa: Notes on a Collaboration,” Music & Letters 77 (1996): 64–91.

“Three Märchen—Medieval, Musical, and Modern: Fouqué’s, Undine, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Hoffmann’s Der goldne Topf,” in Symmetry: Culture and Science 7 (1996): 361–76.

“Musical Parody and Two oeuvres posthumes of Erik Satie: The Rêverie du pauvre and the Petite musique de clown triste,” Revue de Musicologie 81 (1995): 215–34.

“Carl Dahlhaus, Albrecht Riethmüller, and Alexander L. Ringer, eds., Beethoven: Interpretationen seiner Werke 2 vols. Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 1994, 1:600–603, 2:40–48, 443–64. (Articles on seven of Beethoven’s variation works.)

“Alexander L. Ringer, Musik als Geschichte: Gesammelte Aufsätze,” Herausgegeben von Albrecht Riethmüller und Steven Moore Whiting. Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 1991.

Hört ihr wohl: Zu Funktion und Programm von Beethovens Chorfantasie,” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 45 (1988): 132–47.

Papers and Presentations

“Serious Immobilities: Musings on Satie’s ‘Vexations,’” delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, 27 October 2005.

“The Place of Music in a Public University: Lessons from 1880,” delivered at the University of Michigan, 6 December 2004.

“Song Cycle as Confessional: A New Interpretation of Schubert’s Heine Settings,” delivered at the Annual Meeting of the German Studies Association, 6 October 2001.

“Freude auf der Mauer: On the Political Uses of Beethoven’s Ninth.” Paper delivered in the German Studies colloquium The Unification Effect Ten Years After, 19 November 1999.

“Musical Olympics, Berlin 1936.” Paper delivered at the conference Body/Bildung: Desire and Discipline in the Humanities, 8 October 1999.

“From Opera to Instrumental Work.” Paper delivered at the symposium “Biographie und Schaffensprozess bei Beethoven: Grandlagen, Tendenzen, Perspektiven,” Hochschule der Künste, Berlin, 3 July 1999.

“Satie bohémien: An Avant-Garde Musician on Montmartre.” Lecture-recital for the colloquium Avant-Garde Communities, 1880–1980, Rutgers University, 13 April 1996.

“From Signor Contino to Falstaff: Operatic Connotation in Beethoven’s Early Variations.” Lecture delivered at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Historical Keyboard Society, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, University of Michigan, 19 May 1995.

“Symmetry and Process in Two Variation Works by Beethoven.” Paper delivered at the International Katachi U Symmetry Symposium, University of Tsukuba, Japan, 23 November 1994.

“The Righini Variations: Beethoven Learning from Mozart.” Colloquium for the Department of Music History/Musicology, University of Michigan, 6 February 1992.

“Erik Satie and Vincent Hyspa: Notes on a Collaboration,” annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, Baltimore, 6 November 1988. An expanded version was read at the Symposium of the Institute for Gounod Studies, Pittsburgh, 12 March 1993.

“Critical Editions and Oral Traditions,” annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Ann Arbor, 5 November 1987.

“‘Hört ihr wohl:’” Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy as Summons and Sermon,” annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, Cleveland, 7 November 1986.

“Technology and the Printing of Scholarly Music Editions,” Maryland Handel Festival, College Park, 30 October 1986.

Contact Information

Steven M. Whiting

Professor of Musicology

School of Music, Theatre & Dance

2277 Moore Building

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI 48109–2085

Office telephone: (734) 764–0590

Fax at School of Music, Theatre & Dance: (734) 763–5097


main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower