The American baritone, music pedagogue and musicologist, Jon W. Finson, obtained his Bachelor of Music degree (with honors) from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973; his Master of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1975; and his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1980 with a dissertation on compositional process in the symphonic works of Robert Schumann.
Since then Jon Finson has taught, lectured, and published widely across the USA and Europe in many areas of 19th-century German music and in the history of American popular song. Most recently his research has turned to interactions between image and music in American cinema. He serves as Professor of Music and Adjunct Professor of American Studies University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He teaches undergraduate courses in the American Studies Curriculum as well as graduate and undergraduate courses in the Music Department.
Jon W. Finson has researched and written on the works of Robert Schumann for over 30 years. He has published articles on R. Schumann in The Musical Quarterly, The Journal of the American Musicological Society, The Journal of Musicology, Ostinato rigore, and in a number of festschrifts and handbooks devoted to the composer's works. His own books include Robert Schumann and the Study of Orchestral Composition: The Genesis of the First Symphony (Oxford University Press, 1989) and Robert Schumann: The Book of Songs (Harvard University Press, 2008). His edition of R. Schumann's Fourth Symphony in its 1841 version (Breitkopf & Härtel, 2003) received a Best Music Edition Award from the Association of German Music Publishers and is performed by orchestras across Europe and the USA. He is currently working on an edition of R. Schumann's Lieder, opp. 35, 36, 39, and 40, for the new complete edition of the composer's works (Schott, Mainz).