Michael P. Steinberg is President of the American Academy in Berlin. He is the Barnaby Conrad and Mary Critchfield Keeney Professor of History, and Professor of Music and German Studies at Brown University. He previously served as Vice Provost for the Arts and Founding Director of the Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown and, between 2009 and 2013, as dramaturg on a joint production of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung for the Berlin State Opera and the Teatro alla Scala, Milan. In 2015-16 a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
Educated at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, he has been a visiting professor at these two schools as well as at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and National Tsing-hua University in Taiwan. He was a member of the Cornell University Department of History between 1988 and 2005. Principal research interests include the cultural history of modern Germany and Austria with particular attention to German Jewish intellectual history and the cultural history of music. He has written and lectured widely on these topics for the New York Times and at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Bard Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Salzburg Festival. He has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation as well as the Berlin Prize from the American Academy, Berlin. He is the author of studies of Hermann Broch, Aby Warburg, and Walter Benjamin, of Austria as Theater and Ideology: The Meaning of the Salzburg Festival (Cornell University Press, 2000), of which the German edition (Ursprung und Ideologie der Salzburger Festspiele; Anton Pustet Verlag, 2000) won Austria's Victor Adler Staatspreis in 2001. Current and recent books are Listening to Reason: Culture, Subjectivity, and 19th- Century Music (Princeton University Press, 2004); Reading Charlotte Salomon , co-edited with Monica Bohm-Duchen (Cornell University Press, 2006); Judaism Musical and Unmusical (University of Chicago Press, 2008); The Trouble with Wagner (University of Chicago Press, 2018), and the co-edited volume Makers of Jewish Modernity (Princeton University Press, 2016)—winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award for general non-fiction.