Who’s Who in the Arts? Anne-Marie Reynolds

As the singular music history professor at Geneseo and the leading American scholar on Danish composer Carl Nielsen, associate professor Anne-Marie Reynolds knows her stuff.

"I like to think that versatility is my greatest strength as a teacher," said Reynolds, who has worked at Geneseo since 1993. Indeed, the variety of classes she has taught over the years is impressive. Reynolds said the content she has covered in courses ranges "from Amadeus to Ziggy Stardust, from Sweelinck to Sweeney Todd, from the Ballets Russes to rhythm and blues and from the Third Reich to the Fifth Dimension."

In addition to upper-level music history courses, Reynolds has taught introductory courses like MUSC 100: History of Rock and INTD 105: The Artist in the Third Reich. She said that working with freshmen in their introductory college writing course gives her "the chance to steer students in the direction of a major in the arts, if they're so inclined." The course was also offered as a three-week study abroad session that visited Prague, Berlin and Amsterdam last summer.

Since earning her doctorate at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, Reynolds has written several articles on Nielsen, and recently published a book titled Carl Nielsen's Voice: The Songs in Context. Despite being internationally acclaimed as one of the great composers of the 20th century, the vast majority of literature about Nielsen was in Danish until Reynolds' writing.

Reynolds' interest in Nielsen's work stems from 1960 when her father, a choral conductor, moved the family from Riverside, Calif. to Copenhagen, Denmark on sabbatical. At school in Denmark, the children sang Nielsen's song every morning. Although the composer is best known for his classical symphonies, it is these childhood memories that remained with Reynolds.

In 1987, Reynolds returned to Denmark on a Fulbright scholarship in order to write her dissertation on Nielsen's music.

Reynolds chose to focus on Nielsen's Broadway musicals more so than his Scandinavian symphonies. She is currently in the process of writing a piece on Cy Coleman, best known for his Tony Award-winning musicals "Sweet Charity" and "City of Angels."