Peter J. Schmelz is professor of musicology at Arizona State University. His areas of expertise include 20th and 21st century music; Russian, Ukrainian, and Soviet music, particularly Shostakovich, Silvestrov, and Schnittke; music in the Cold War; popular and experimental music; film music; music and politics; and sound studies. His book Sonic Overload: Alfred Schnittke, Valentin Silvestrov, and Polystylism in the Late USSR is forthcoming from Oxford University Press, which also published his book on Schnittke's Concerto Grosso no. 1 in 2019. Professor Schmelz is currently completing two other book projects, one called Intimate Histories of the Musical Cold War: Unofficial Music Exchange between the USSR and West Germany; the other titled Some Combinations of Freedoms and Passions: Soviet Experimental Music in the 1980s (on the Ganelin Trio, Sergey Kuryokhin and Pop Mekhanika, Valentina Ponomareva, Sainkho Namchylak, and Auktsyon).
Professor Schmelz received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in 2011, and his first book, Such Freedom, If Only Musical: Unofficial Soviet Music during the Thaw (Oxford, 2009), won an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award in 2010. His article on Silvestrov's Symphony no. 5, published in Journal of Musicology, received an ASCAP Virgil Thomson/Deems Taylor Award in 2015. In Fall 2017 he was Anna-Maria Kellen fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2019 he was named a Guggenheim Fellow. Professor Schmelz is series editor for Indiana University Press's Russian Music Studies; he edited the Journal of Musicology from 2014-18. He previously taught at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), and at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also served as chair of the music department.