Eileen Stevens, Keyboard Translations

Literary translations that let the music in your texts be heard


Growing up in New Jersey, I was lucky enough to attend many wonderful cultural events in near-by New York. I believe in culture’s amazing ability to create a bond between people throughout the world. In 1990, I moved to Amsterdam when I won an audition to work as a violinist in a Dutch orchestra, and I couldn’t wait to be surrounded by European culture. Playing professionally for more than 25 years gave me the chance to visit museums, opera, and many wonderful concerts. Along the way, I so much wanted to share my enthusiasm for all I was seeing, hearing, and reading, that I started translating information into English for my friends and family. My translation business gradually took shape, and through a quirk of fate (otherwise known as the economic crisis), I was able to return to school for a Master’s Degree. In 2013 I earned my MA in translation at the University of Amsterdam, and have since worked full-time as a Dutch to English translator. In 2021 I was added to the Dutch Foundation for Literature's list of approved literary translators in the fiction category.

The Netherlands offers outstanding support to literary translators, and I have been fortunate enough to attend numerous workshops led by some of the most respected Dutch to English translators in the business. In the fall of 2020 I was invited to attend the ELV masterclass in literary non-fiction translation. In 2017 I attended the intensive ELV summer course in literary translation in Utrecht, and in 2018 the ELV awarded me a development grant to work with an award-winning mentor on a one-to-one basis.

My hope is that my background in music and translation will give me an edge when it comes to listening sympathetically to authors, publishers and other clients; whether I’m translating a work of literature, a non-fiction history of fashion, or a concert program. Book translations to date have included Connie Palmen's Your Story, My Story, Anna Enquist's The Homecoming (working title), a how-to guide to singing, the memoirs of a member of the Belgian Resistance, and a history of fashion.