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Douglas Shadle

Associate Professor of Musicology; Chair of the Musicology and Ethnomusicology Department

“Shadle [has] singlehandedly done more than anyone to stamp out fake news about Florence Price and her milieu on social media.” – Steve Smith, National Sawdust Log

As a tenacious advocate of historically marginalized musicians, Douglas Shadle is a leading public voice in debates about the role of symphony orchestras and orchestral music in American life. His first book, Orchestrating the Nation: The Nineteenth-Century American Symphonic Enterprise (Oxford, 2016), explores the volatile relationships between composers, performers, critics, and audiences throughout the nineteenth century and demonstrates why American composers rarely find a home on concert programs still today. The first comprehensive study of its kind, Orchestrating the Nation has been cited in several major press venues, including the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe.

His second book project is a collection of writings and radio broadcasts by beloved Chicago Sun-Times critic Andrew Partner, A Portrait in Four Movements: The Chicago Symphony under Barenboim, Boulez, Haitink and Muti (Chicago, 2019). Featuring a foreword by esteemed New Yorker critic Alex Ross, the book is coedited with John R. Schmidt, former Associate Attorney General under President Bill Clinton and CSO lifetime trustee. Shadle’s contribution includes the first published history of the CSO’s inaugural century (1891–1991).

Shadle’s third book is a short monograph on Antonín Dvořák’s “New World Symphony” for Oxford University Press. Shadle recontextualizes this iconic piece within the complex landscape of American classical music culture of the 1890s. He wrote a teaser in the New York Times to mark the 125th anniversary of the symphony’s Carnegie Hall premiere, and he has presented research on Dvořák’s American residency at regional, national, and international conferences.

Shadle is a leading expert on fellow Little Rock native Florence Price (1887–1953), the first African-American woman to win international acclaim as a composer. He won an SEC Faculty Travel Grant to study Price’s manuscripts in 2016, and his research on Price has been featured on radio stations around the globe as well as in the New Yorker, the New York Times, NewMusicBox, and I Care if You Listen. He wrote liner notes for the world premiere recordings of Price’s two violin concertos (Albany) and fourth symphony (Naxos) and has consulted on educational materials for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s “Music in Color” series.

Shadle’s shorter writings include articles, essays, and reviews in American Music, the Journal of the Society for American Music, the Journal of Music History Pedagogy, the Journal of Musicological Research, MLA Notes, Music & Letters, the Russian Review, Messiaen the Theologian (Ashgate, 2010), Common-Place, the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, program notes for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the blogs for Naxos Records, Oxford University Press, and Q2 Music.

Shadle is the winner of five major publication awards, including two ASCAP Deems/Taylor Virgil Thomson Awards (2015, 2017), the Society for American Music Irving Lowens Article Award (2016), the inaugural American Musicological Society H. Robert Cohen/RIPM Award (2018), and the Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Award for Research (2018).

Shadle holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.M. in viola performance, summa cum laude, from the University of Houston. He joined the Blair School musicology faculty in 2014.