Stwolinski Prize

For Immediate Release

September 8, 2019

Professor Peter Schubert Awarded The Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Music Theory Teaching and Scholarship

Professor Peter Schubert of McGill University’s Schulich School of Music has been awarded the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Music Theory Teaching and Scholarship. This honor is awarded every five years and bestowed upon an individual who has helped to shape music theory pedagogy throughout the world, whether it be through teaching at his or her home institution or through lectures, formal conference presentations, and  publications beyond the campus. Criteria for the award also requires that honorees have taught for a minimum of 25 years, have maintained significant scholarship and continued presence in the field of music theory pedagogy, and have demonstrated impact on future generations of music theory instructors (mentorship, successful alumni, legacy in teaching approaches). 

Beyond his excellence in the form of classroom teaching, Peter Shubert has created a valuable treasure trove of videos that reach far and wide, demonstrating the power of listening, creating, and improvising in what is usually viewed as an arcane and painful task. His published work, including his highly influential textbooks on both modal and tonal counterpoint, have created an extraordinary impact on the field. Finally, Schubert has changed the way musicians think, bringing joy through musical insights, allowing students to do something that they only dreamed of in terms of their musical studies and analytical discoveries.

In Schubert’s nomination, former student Peter van Tour states,

Peter Schubert has significantly contributed not only to the pedagogy of counterpoint, with his enthusiasm for the integration of improvisational practices, but he has also had a significant impact on harmony, fugue, and ear training. On top of that, the nominee has provided important contributions to the history of Music Theory Pedagogy.

The award carries with it the following:

  1. A monetary sum of $3,000
  2. A formal invitation to the next national meeting of “Pedagogy into Practice: Teaching Music Theory in the Twenty-First Century”
  3. Two former students currently in the field will each be invited to write an article on a pedagogical topic of their choosing, revealing how their work with Peter Schubert impacted their scholarship, essentially sharing how Schubert’s pedagogical approach enhanced their own. These articles will be published in the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy.

Past award recipients include:

  • · John Bucchieri (2000)
  • · Robert Gauldin (2002)
  • · Dorothy Payne (2004)
  • · Mary Wennerstrom (2006)
  • · Mary Arlin (2010)
  • · Elizabeth West Marvin (2012)


 

The Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Music Theory Teaching and Scholarship

The Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Center for Music Theory Pedagogy highlights the best in research and practice in the field of theory pedagogy.  The de Stwolinski Prize  is endowed by the late Louis de Stwolinski, Gail's husband of 45 years. The prize is awarded to an outstanding music theory teacher, someone who has devoted a lifetime to music theory instruction and scholarship.

The selection process involves an open call for nominations.  The winner is chosen by a revolving panel of distinguished music theory pedagogues who then make recommendations to the de Stwolinski Center Board of Directors.

Past winners of the award include:

  • John Bucchieri (2000)
  • Robert Gauldin (2002)
  • Dorothy Payne (2004)
  • Mary Wennerstrom (2006)
  • Mary Arlin (2010)
  • Elizabeth West Marvin (2012)

Criteria for recipients of the award include the following:

  • Successful music theory and/or aural skills teaching for at least 25 years
  • Significant scholarship and continued presence in the field of music theory pedagogy
  • Demonstrated impact on future generations of music theory instructors (mentorship, successful alumni, legacy in teaching approaches)