Simon Morrison earned his Ph.D. from Princeton (1997) after receiving a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto (1987) and a Master’s at McGill (1993). He specializes in 20th-century music, particularly Russian, Soviet, and French music, with special interests in dance, cinema, and historically informed performance based on primary sources. He has conducted archival research in St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Paris, London, New York, and—extensively—in Moscow.
He is the author of Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement (California, 2002) and The People’s Artist: Prokofiev’s Soviet Years (Oxford, 2009) as well as editor of Prokofiev and His World (Princeton, 2008). Morrison’s articles and essay-reviews have appeared in such journals as 19th-Century Music, Cambridge Opera Journal, Journal of Musicology, Music & Letters, and Slavic Review; topics include Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloé, Lourié, Rimsky-Korsakov, Scriabin, and Shostakovich’s ballet The Bolt. He has also published numerous shorter articles and reviews, including pieces for The New York Times, and serves as Associate Editor of Three Oranges, journal of the Prokofiev Foundation. Currently he is writing a book under contract with Houghton Harcourt Mifflin, titled L.
Morrison has translated his archival findings into new productions. In 2005 he oversaw the recreation of Prokofiev’s ballet Le Pas d’Acier at Princeton, and in 2007 he co-produced a world-premiere staging of Alexander Pushkin’s drama Boris Godunov featuring Prokofiev’s incidental music and Vsevolod Meyerhold’s directorial concepts. In 2008, Morrison restored the scenario and score of the original (1935) version of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet for the Mark Morris Dance Group. The project involved orchestrating act IV—featuring a happy ending—from Prokofiev’s annotations plus rearranging the order and adjusting the content of acts I-III. This version of the ballet was premiered on July 4, 2008 and subsequently performed in Berkeley (Cal.), London, Norfolk (Virginia), Urbana-Champagne (Ill.), and New York City at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater. At present he is at work on stagings of John Alden Carpenter’s jazz-ballet Krazy Kat and Debussy’s La Boîte à Joujoux.
Among Morrison’s distinctions are the Alfred Einstein Award from the American Musicological Society (for outstanding musicological article), an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, and a Phi Beta Kappa Society Teacher Award.
Education: B.Mus. University of Toronto, 1987; M.A. McGill University, 1993; Ph.D. Princeton University, 1997.