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Encyclopedia > Richard Taruskin

Richard Taruskin is an American musicologist and music historian specializing in theory of performance, Russian music, fifteenth-century music, twentieth-century music, nationalism, theory of modernism, and analysis. He has received numerous awards for his scholarship, including the Noah Greenberg Prize (1978) from the American Musicological Society, the Alfred Einstein Award (1980), the Dent Medal (1987), the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award (1988) and the 1997 and 2006 Kinkeldey Prizes from the American Musicological Society. He is a professor of musicology at the University of California, Berkeley, holding the Class of 1955 Chair He has also written extensively for lay readers, including numerous articles in The New York Times. His book on Igor Stravinsky shows that the composer drew on much more Russian folk material than has previously been recognized, and analyzes the historical trends that caused Stravinsky not to be forthcoming about some of these. Taruskin has also been an influential critic of the premises of the "early-music" movement in classical-music performance; much of his writing has been collected in his book Text and Act. Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (Russian: Игорь Фёдорович Стравинский, Igor Fëdorovič Stravinskij) (June 17, 1882 – April 6, 1971) was a Russian composer, considered by many in both the West and his native land to be the most influential composer of 20th-century music. ... Igor Fyodorovitch Stravinsky () (June 17, 1882 – April 6, 1971) was a composer of modern classical music. ...


  • The Oxford History of Western Music, 6 volumes, (Oxford University Press, 2005( winner (Kinkeldey winner, 2006)
  • Music in the Western World: A History in Documents compiled and edited by Taruskin and Piero Weiss (New York and London, 1984)
  • Text and Act (Oxford University Press, 1995)
  • Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works through Mavra (University of California Press, 1996)
  • Musorgsky: Eight Essays and an Epilogue (Princeton University Press, 1993)
  • Defining Russia Musically" historical and hermeneutical essays (Princeton University Press, 1997).

External links

  • [ Interview with Taruskin about his Oxford History of Western Music
  • Taruskin's Biographical page at the UC Berkeley music department website
  • A New York Times article about Taruskin's Oxford History of Western Music
  • Taruskin's Letter to "Commentary"
  • Settling Scores: Lingua Franca's 2001 profile of Taruskin

  Results from FactBites:
Taruskin (2357 words)
Taruskin is aware of what it means to write a history: what conventions are involved, what distortions and limitations they introduce in order to deliver the kind of knowledge we seek; and as a pedagogue, he wants to talk about this, to get it on the table.
Taruskin is knowing, he also a brilliant narrative strategist, which one has to be to write a history of virtually every important composer in even as many as 4000 pages.
But Taruskin makes it clear at the outset that "a lot of famous music goes unmentioned in these pages," and that "inclusion and omission imply no judgment of value." He is not concerned with "coverage" but with writing "a true history," not an encyclopedia; and this requires making choices, many of them hard ones.
  More results at FactBites »



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