J. Drew Stephen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Music History, Graduate Advisor, Music

J. Drew Stephen, Ph.D.



Drew Stephen holds degrees from the University of Western Ontario, the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, and the University of Toronto. After completing his Ph.D. in musicology, he held a University of Toronto Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Stephen’s research concerns the social and cultural significance of the hunt in European music of the nineteenth century with a particular focus on opera. He has presented papers, both nationally and internationally, on the role of the hunt in the works of Weber, Wagner, Verdi, and Brahms, on the hunt as a mediator of couleur locale, and on the influence of the hunting horn and hunting-horn music on the development of the orchestral horn and its repertoire. Other areas of scholarly interest include Canadian music and the performance practices of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century brass instruments. Dr. Stephen’s articles and reviews have appeared in The Historic Brass Society Journal, The Horn Call, The Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, Intersections: Canadian Journal of Music, The University of Toronto Quarterly, The Canadian Association of Music Libraries Review, and The Canadian University Music Review. Book chapters include “Bach’s Horn Parts: Alternatives to Nodal Venting and Hand Stopping” in Bach Studies from Dublin (2004), “Critical and Scholarly Views” in Weinzweig: Essays on his Life and his Music (2010), “Who Wants to Live Forever: Glam Rock, Queen, and Fantasy Film” in Fantasy Cinema, Sound and Music (2011), "Traces of Jewish Music and Culture at the Urbino Court of Federico da Montefeltro" in Music and Jewish Culture in Early Modern Italy (2022) which was awarded the 2023 Ruth A. Solie Award for a collection of musicological essays of exceptional merit, and "A Natural Horn Revival in Contemporary Composition and Performance" in Historical Performance and New Music: Aesthetics and Practices (2023).

In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Stephen is an accomplished performer on both modern and natural horns. From 1991 to 1995 he held the position of Alternate Solo Horn with the Orchestra of the Landesbühnen Sachsen in Dresden, Germany. From 1995 to 2004, he performed regularly with theatres, orchestras, and chamber music ensembles in the Toronto area. As a member of the Toronto All-Star Wind Ensemble he collaborated with the Canadian Brass on their Concert Band Essentials recording. He has performed Handel’s Concerto à due Cori and The Fireworks on period instruments with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra of Toronto and appeared as a soloist on natural horn in Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3 with the UTSA Orchestra. He holds the position of principal horn in the Austin Baroque Orchestra and plays regularly with period instrument ensembles in the region including Sonido Barroco San Antonio, Ars Lyrica Houston, and Musica Angelica.

Dr. Stephen is the co-director of the COLFA Semester in Urbino study abroad program in Urbino, Italy. He is the 2019 recipient of the Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and the 2021 recipient of the President's Distinguished Award for Teaching Excellence.

Check Out Dr. Stephen’s Introduction to the Natural Horn:



  • MUS 2673 History and Styles of Rock
  • MUS 2743 Music and Film
  • MUS 3213 Music in Civilization I
  • MUS 3223 Music in Civilization II
  • MUS 3263 Music Since 1900
  • MUS 5013 Graduate Music History Review
  • MUS 5233 Introduction to Music Research
  • MUS 5263 Graduate Topics in Music History
  • MUS 5432/MUS 3382 Topics in Performance Literature


  • B.M., University of Western Ontario
  • Diploma, Aufbaustudium Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Freiburg
  • M.A., M.M., Ph.D., University of Toronto

Honors and Awards