Anne C. Shreffler’s research interests include the 20th-century musical avant-garde in Europe and America, with special emphasis on the political and ideological associations of new music. Other research interests include historiography, composers in emigration, performance theory, and contemporary opera. Topics of recent articles include the political context of Stravinsky’s Movements for piano and orchestra, the music historians Carl Dahlhaus and Georg Knepler, Varèse and technology, and Elliott Carter's opera What Next? She co-edited (with former Harvard graduate student David Trippett) a themed issue of the German journal Musiktheorie on Rudolf Kolisch in America. Shreffler began her research career studying the Austrian composer Anton Webern (the topic of her dissertation), has published widely on this composer, including a book,Webern and the Lyric Impulse: Songs and Fragments on Poems by Georg Trakl (Oxford University Press, 1994) as well as the article “'Mein Weg geht jetzt vorueber': The Vocal Origins of Webern's Twelve-Tone Composition,” for which she received the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society in 1995. Shreffler co-authored with Felix Meyer Elliott Carter: A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents (The Boydell Press, 2008). Her most recent publication is “Music Left and Right”: A Tale of Two Histories of Progressive Music, in the conference report Red Strains: Music and Communism Outside the Communist Bloc, edited by Robert Adlington.
After receiving a B.Mus. in flute performance in 1979 from New England Conservatory, Shreffler turned to more scholarly pursuits, earning a Master's in music theory from the same institution. She then studied musicology at Harvard, where she got her PhD in 1989; this was immediately followed by an Assistant Professorship at the University of Chicago. From 1994 until 2003 she was a professor at the Musikwissenschaftliches Institut of the University of Basel in Switzerland. She has taught at Harvard since the fall of 2003. Shreffler serves on advisory and editorial boards of a number of musicological journals and institutions in the U.S., Germany, and Switzerland, including the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel and the journal Archiv für Musikwissenschaft. She has served on several committees of the American Musicological Society including the AMS Council, the AMS-50 Fellowship Committee, and the Program Committee. In 2007-08 she was the recipient of a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.