Marie Rolf was Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music. Under her leadership, new masters degrees in Contemporary Media and Film Composition, Music Leadership, Early Music, and Opera Stage Directing, and a track in Contemporary Ensembles for MM and DMA conductors have been developed and implemented. In addition, she has fostered advanced certificate programs in the Art of Improvisation, Music Theory Pedagogy, Early Music, Orchestral Studies, Pedagogy, Ethnomusicology, and Sacred Music. Rolf chairs the interdepartmental committees that oversee all graduate curricula and policies at Eastman, and awards over $8,500,000 in scholarships and stipends to graduate students annually. She also oversees all faculty searches at Eastman in addition to bearing responsibility for the oversight of Sibley Music Library, for which she served as Interim Head during May-August 2020. She was Chair of the Theory Department from 1990 to 1995, during which time the MA in Theory Pedagogy, among other initiatives, was developed and first offered.
Rolf is best known for her scholarship on French composer Claude Debussy. Her translation and revised edition of François Lesure’s Claude Debussy: A Critical Biography (Rochester NY: University of Rochester Press, 2019) updates Lesure’s seminal work and makes it accessible to the wide audience it deserves. Rolf is the only American member of the editorial board for the critical edition of Claude Debussy’s works, the Œuvres complètes de Claude Debussy (Paris: Durand). She is the editor of Debussy’s orchestral masterpiece La Mer as well as a volume of early songs (composed ca. 1882–87). Professor Rolf brought to light an “unknown” early song, “Séguidille,” which she published separately with Durand in 2014. In 2004, she authenticated “Les Papillons,” another early song by Claude Debussy, producing a monograph, facsimile, and transcription of it with the New York Public Library. She is also the editor-arranger of Mozart’s Rondo for Horn in E-flat, KV 371, published by Bärenreiter, which is the first edition of the work that incorporates the sixty new bars of music that she uncovered in 1991. Rolf’s additional research interests involve analysis and performance, keyboard skills, and the pedagogy of music theory. Her articles and reviews have appeared in the Cahiers Debussy, Intégral, the Mozart Jahrbuch, Music Theory Spectrum, The Musical Quarterly, Nineteenth-Century Music, and MLA Notes, among other journals, and she has authored chapters in books such as Debussy’s Resonance, Regards sur Debussy, Rethinking Debussy, Berlioz and Debussy: Sources, Contexts and Legacies, Debussy and His World, Debussy Studies, and Haydn Studies.
Professor Rolf has lectured in London, Manchester, Paris, Tours, Geneva, Melbourne, Montreal, and throughout the United States. She has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, and she regularly serves as a reviewer of articles and grant applications for the NEH and various journals. In addition, she has concertized as a pianist, collaborating with musicians such as Marcia Baldwin, Jan DeGaetani, Robert Spillman, Charles Castleman, Millard Taylor, and Francis Tursi.
She is Professor Emerita of Music Theory.