Image of Dr. Stephen Willier with a book
Dr. Stephen Willier
Photo: Joseph V. Labolito / Temple University

Dr. Stephen Willier has announced his retirement from Boyer College of Music and Dance and Temple University.

Willier is an associate professor in the Department of Music Studies, known well for his courses on the history of opera and music from 1600-1950. He completed his doctoral studies in musicology at the University of Illinois in 1987, where his dissertation was The Impact of the Gothic on Early Nineteenth-Century Opera.

Willier taught at Arizona State University and the University of Illinois before coming to Temple in 1989. In more recent years, his book Vincenzo Bellini: A Guide to Research saw the release of its second edition in 2015. Since its original publication in 2002, the book has been a significant research guide for students and scholars on all the works available by the Italian opera composer.

Honoring Willier’s 33 years of dedicated service, Boyer College reached out to learn what’s next for the distinguished music historian.

Boyer College: What can you tell us about your time at Boyer College?

Stephen Willier: Throughout my time at Boyer College, I have supervised over 30 master’s theses, several DMA theses and served on numerous dissertation committees. From 1995-2005, I served as Chair of the Music History Department, during which I was fortunate to receive Temple’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2000. I am also known for writing program notes for the College since about 1991. Most recently, my notes on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony appeared in the program for the 2022 annual concert at the Kimmel Cultural Campus.

BC: Do you have any recent or upcoming publications?

SW: My chapter “Opera and Instrumental Music” for the book The Italian Legacy in Philadelphia was published in December 2021 by Temple University Press. In October of this year, my chapter “Frances Burney at the Opera” will appear in the book Frances Burney and the Muses, edited by Francesca Saggini of the University of Edinburgh and published by Palgrave Pilot Press.

BC: What are your plans for retirement?

SW: In addition to sleeping late, I plan to finish reading all the books I have started. There are a couple of projects I’m working on and hope to publish. I also hope to revise and publish the book I have already completed on the castrato Gasparo Pacchierotti. I’m also working on a study of the genre/character scene in opera.