Dr Anna Steppler

Anna Steppler received her Ph.D. in Musicology from Cornell University (December 2022) for her dissertation “Michael Praetorius, the Organ, and the Possibilities of Instrumental Music,” which argues for the organ’s pivotal role in discussions of instrumental music in Lutheran courtly circles before the Thirty Years’ War. From earthly technological marvel to ethereal evocation of heavenly music, the organ forced a consideration of the inherent theological and cultural value of (textless) instruments. Her work was supported by a Fellowship from the Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel, Germany), and was awarded Cornell’s Donald J. Grout Memorial Prize for an exceptional dissertation in Music. In addition to turning this work into a monograph, she is also eager to continue her research on the musical instrument as a site of cultural knowledge, ideals, and exploration, beginning a new project centering the role of women (and institution) in twentieth-century organ culture.

She holds a first-class degree in Music from Merton College, Oxford, where she was organ scholar from 2010-2013, and a Masters degree on the Organ from Göteborgs Universitet, Sweden, where she was awarded the Carl Larsson Scholarship for Music. She has presented at conferences in the US and Europe, and published her research in the Journal of Musicology and The Organ Yearbook. She is an active recitalist and organist, and deeply committed to expanding the organ’s repertory to include under-represented voices.


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