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 titled The New Patronage: Funding Music Composition in France, 1918-1939 that illustrates how shifts in patronage informed the sounds and meanings of classical music in France between the world wars. 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 national meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Society for American Music, 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, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Teaching Music History Conferences. He is currently a co-founder and associate editor of Open Access Musicology, a collection of freely available scholarly essays intended for use in undergraduate classrooms that will be published digitally by Lever Press. Before coming to St. Olaf, Dr. Epstein taught at Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
He lives in Northfield with his wife, two children, and a dog named Panda. When not teaching about music, he can be found baking, biking, and playing in both a rock band, The Queen Annes, and a children's music duo, Louis and Dan and the Invisible Band.