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Students, Faculty + Alumni

Alumni Spotlight: Robert Stevenson ’39MM


Robert Stevenson '39MM is still going strong at the age of 93. A professor emeritus at UCLA, he continued to teach well into the 1990s and is still an active scholar. His most recent book, South American National Anthems and other area studies was published this October. Upon completing his study at YSM, Stevenson received a $2000 Charles Ditson Fellowship to study with Igor Stravinsky. His 23 private composition lessons – which cost $25 each – took place during the 1939-40 academic year, when Stravinsky was teaching at Harvard. In addition to his MM degree from Yale, he also holds a PhD in composition (University of Rochester), STB (Harvard), ThM (Princeton Theological Seminary), and BLitt (Oxford).

Among his many honors are the Gabriela Mistral Prize (1985), the Award of the Lifetime Achievement Citation by the Sonneck Society for American Music (1999), the Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeritus Award (UCLA, 2004), and honorary memberships in the American Musciological Society (2002), the International Musicological Society (2006), and the Society for Ethnomusicology (2007), a unique achievement. He has received the highest faculty award from UCLA, previously awarded only to Arnold Schoenberg, and highest award given by the Yale School of Music, the Sanford Medal.

Stevenson has published 27 books and over 300 articles.  His main area of inquiry has been the study of Latin American colonial music; he has also extensively researched music in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile, discovering documents to aid in the reconstruction of cathedral music history.