"Teaching Trinity students is such a pleasure. They're bright, capable, and talented in so many ways. I try to share my enthusiasm for music, and thinking about music, in class every day."
Carl Leafstedt is a music historian who teaches general music history courses, a First Year Seminar on Music and Politics, and special topics courses on Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Symphonic Literature, and 20th-Century Opera. A native of Sioux City, Iowa, he was a chemistry/music double major in his undergraduate years at Williams College, then went on to receive a Ph.D. in music history from Harvard University. He has taught at Southwestern University, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Duke University. He's been on the faculty at Trinity since 2001. He was Chair of the Music Department from 2006-12.
For Trinity he also Co-Chairs the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise program. He takes a lively interest in helping Trinity students pursue careers in music history or arts management.
His research interests center on music of the 20th century, with emphasis on the music of Béla Bartók. He is currently working on a book on Bartók's years in America, as well as editing the unpublished autobiography of composer Ernst Bacon, whose Emily Dickinson songs are much beloved by singers. His book on Bartók's opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle, published by Oxford University Press, earned sufficient attention from the opera world to warrant re-publication in paperback form. From 2005-7 he served as President of the Southwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society. He has also been a member of the AMS Council. A member of the Society for American Music, in 2008 he served as Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the Society's annual conference, held that year in San Antonio.
Trinity's location in South Texas has broadened his interests to include much of the popular music of the area. He recently wrote the subject article on "San Antonio" for the New Grove Dictionary of American Music (2012). He is founding coordinator of Trinity University's Legends of Texas Border Music series, a project that pairs guest scholars with prominent musicians who have spent their careers making music in the culturally rich region of South Texas.
His wife Ann is an attorney in San Antonio. They have two sons, Wendell and Kent.