Steven Plank

  • Andrew B. Meldrum Professor of Musicology
  • Director, Collegium Musicum


  • BMus with honors, University of Louisville, 1973
  • MMus, University of Louisville, 1974
  • PhD, Washington University in St. Louis, 1980
  • Studies in early music performance with Trevor Pinnock, James Tyler, Edward Tarr, and Bruce Dickey 


Appointed to the Oberlin faculty in 1980, Steven Plank holds bachelor and master of music degrees from the University of Louisville (1973, 1974), and a PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied musicology under Sir Curtis Price.

His early music studies in performance and performance practice have been under the direction of Edward Tarr, Trevor Pinnock, James Tyler, and Bruce Dickey.

He received the Thomas Binkley Award from Early Music America in 2009 for distinguished work as the director of the Collegium Musicum.

Plank has written articles that have appeared in various journals, including The Musical Times, Early Music, Music and Letters, Historic Brass Society Journal, Goldberg, and American Music, and in the music encyclopedia Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart.

He is the author of two books, The Way to Heavens Doore (1994) and Choral Performance: A Guide to Historical Practice (2004); the coauthor with Charles McGuire of The Historical Dictionary of English Music, ca. 1400-1958 (2011); and the editor of the critical edition of John Eccles’s “dramatick opera” Rinaldo and Armida (2011).

He serves on the editorial boards of the Historic Brass Society and the Riemenschneider Bach Institute.

As a scholar, Plank specializes in the music of England, the study of historical brass instruments, and the relationship of liturgical spirituality and musical style.

Spring 2024

Music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance — MHST 226
Music of Tudors — MHST 303
Graduate Lecture Recital — APST 602
Collegium Musicum — APST 730

Fall 2024

Music in the Baroque Era — MUSY 235
Introduction to Music Research and Writing — MUSY 301
Graduate Lecture Recital — APST 602
Collegium Musicum — APST 730


Steven Plank Gives Performances and Early Music Presentation

October 24, 2019

In October 2019, musicology professor Steven Plank gave two solo organ recitals in northeast Ohio. He performed a program entitled “Organ Music of the Seventeenth Century” at Cleveland's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral as well as at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights during their month-long Ars Organi Festival. He offered works by Samuel Scheidt, Dieterich Buxtehude, Girolamo Frescobaldi, and Louis Couperin. Plank also presented a paper at the graduate historical performance colloquium at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, entitled “Seeking the Historical Listener.”


Semester Ends with a Packed Performance Calendar

December 8, 2023

Oberlin Conservatory’s student and faculty performers have been filling most concert venues throughout the campus over the last week. During these final five bustling days before students head into reading period and then exams, this explosion of activity feels something akin to the thrilling finale of a fireworks display on New Year's Eve. So, join in—even from a distance. All of these concerts are free and open to the public, and all but one of them can be streamed live at concert time at .

This Week in Photos: Musical Interludes

May 6, 2021

A group of students wearing crimson choir robes standing among tall wild blades of grass serves as inspiration for this week’s photo series.