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Alexander John Stalarow

Alexander Stalarow Headshot


Office 420

Courses Taught

Music History

French Music

Music History Recitations


PhD, University of California, Davis

MA, University of California, Davis

M2, University of Toulouse

BA, The George Washington University


Camerata California

Awards and Distinctions

American Musicological Society, Dissertation Fellowship

Chateaubriand Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Bilinski Educational Foundation Research Fellowship


What is your hometown?

Glen Head, NY

What is your favorite recording?

Bruno Walter leading the New York Philharmonic in a 1952 Columbia Records recording of Brahms 4. Also, I never tire of Fleetwood Mac's Rumors.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

French cooking and culture, hiking, travel, and crosswords.

Who were your major teachers?

Beth Levy and Christopher Reynolds.

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

Going into Manhattan as a high schooler to get rush tickets to the Met Opera, NY Phil, Carnegie Hall, and shows on Broadway.

What was a turning point in your career?

When I stumbled upon Pierre Schaeffer's opera, Orphée 53, while researching potential paper topics for a graduate seminar at UC Davis.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

I'd open my own wine shop (specializing in French wines of course).

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Mozart, Beethoven, and Rodgers.

From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?

Paris, 1913.

What is your unrealized project?

A book on the fascinating life and music of Pierre Schaeffer (in progress).


Alexander John Stalarow joined the Department of Music History and Literature at SFCM in the fall of 2017, after completing his Ph.D. in musicology at the University of California, Davis. He received his bachelor’s degree in music and English Literature from The George Washington University and his master’s degree from the University of Toulouse, France, where he completed a thesis on the production and Parisian premiere of Tod Machover’s electroacoustic opera VALIS. In addition to teaching and giving guest lectures while pursuing graduate work, he was a visiting instructor at the University of the Pacific and UC Davis in 2017–2018. Professor Stalarow’s dissertation research, on Pierre Schaeffer’s early career in radio art and its impact on his musique concrète compositions, was supported by grants including a Bilinksi Educational Foundation Fellowship, a Chateaubriand Fellowship, and an Alvin H. Johnson AMS-50 Dissertation Fellowship from the American Musicological Society. He has been an active participant in the Northern California chapter of the AMS, and has given presentations at the national meetings of the AMS, the Society of American Music, and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. He has also presented his work at conferences abroad in Montreal and London, and has given invited talks at the Institut de l’Histoire d’Art in Paris and at UC San Diego. Professor Stalarow has written program notes for the Eco Ensemble and has given pre-concert lectures at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. He is currently working on a book project based on his ongoing research on Pierre Schaeffer. His other interests include music in audiovisual contexts, musical theater, and sound studies.