Andrea Olmstead is the leading authority on modernist American composer Roger Sessions, with four books and a Grove article on Sessions: Roger Sessions and His Music (UMI Research Press, 1985), Conversations with Roger Sessions (Northeastern University Press, 1987), The Correspondence of Roger Sessions (Northeastern, 1992), The Revised New Grove Dictionary (2001) Sessions entry, and Roger Sessions: A Biography (Routledge, 2008). The biography documents Sessions’ work and life in great detail, providing intriguing and previously unavailable information, and charting five touchstone areas through Sessions’s 88 years—music, religion, politics, money, and sexuality—in addition to presenting a radically different view of his musical technique.
Olmstead is also the author of Juilliard: A History (University of Illinois Press, 1999) and of numerous articles in The Journal of Musicology, Perspectives of New Music, The Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, Tempo, Musical America, and The Musical Quarterly.
The recipient of three National Endowment for the Humanities Awards, Olmstead has also been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome six times and a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts on four occasions. She has taught music history at conservatories for 36 years. Olmstead held the Christopher Hogwood Research Fellow for the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra and Chorus from 2005-07