David Gutkin is a scholar of American and European music from the early twentieth century through the present. He received his PhD in historical musicology from Columbia University in 2015. His research focuses on technologies of mediating music (from notation to television), processes of canon formation, and temporal dimensions of historical memory. Repertories of particular interest include opera and music theater, experimental improvisation and free jazz, various –isms of postwar composition (serialism, minimalism, spectralism), and American popular music of the last four decades.
David’s dissertation, “American Opera and the Crisis of History,” explores antinomies of historical representation and national memory attending the resurgence of opera in the United States since the 1970s. He has published articles on Robert Ashley’s television operas in The Opera Quarterly, graphic notation in Perspectives of New Music, and ludic theory in the edited volume Notation in Creative Processes (forthcoming). David also edited a special issue of Current Musicology featuring “Experimental Writing About Music.” As a classical guitarist, he has premiered numerous works and performed at the Tanglewood Music Festival. At the Columbia Society of Fellows, David plans to revise his dissertation as a monograph as well as undertaking a second project on the role of musical notation in historical formulations of aesthetic autonomy.