Alumni Feature - In honor of the Dept of Music's 75th Anniversary - Dr. Miller


Independent scholar Bonny Hough Miller holds masters and doctoral degrees from Washington University. She has taught piano and music history at universities in Missouri, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Virginia. In addition, she is a seasoned collaborator who served as head staff pianist at the University of Miami Frost School of Music summer program in Salzburg, Austria, for more than a decade. 

Dr. Miller’s research papers and lecture-recitals at national and international meetings address topics from Mozart, Schumann, and Schoenberg to American popular music. In 2020 she published Augusta Browne: Composer and Woman of Letters in Nineteenth-Century America, the first comprehensive biography of any American woman musician born before the Civil War. Dr. Miller used sheet music as well as newspapers and books of the period to tell the story of this gifted composer and author. Her book was recognized with honorable mention for the 2021 American Musicological Society Robert H. Cohen/RIPM award for research based on music periodicals.

Dr. Miller’s collegiate positions have always included instrumental teaching and performance in addition to history and theory courses. She believes that “the performance opportunities and course offerings in the Department of Music provided the skills to teach music history, theory, or piano that were invaluable for my academic career. I came to graduate school with strong interest in all three, and Wash U’s departmental breadth allowed me to pursue all three. They are just as vital as I interweave music and history in my writing since retirement.”