Skip to main content


David Gutkin

Assistant Professor, Department of Musicology, The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2015–2017)

email address [email protected] website Faculty Webpage
Headshot of David Gutkin

David Gutkin is a scholar of American and European music from the early twentieth century through the present. He received his Ph.D. in historical musicology from Columbia University in 2015 and will join the Department of Musicology at the Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University in January 2018. Dr. Gutkin’s research focuses on technologies of mediating music (from notation to television), theories of race and modernity, the history of globalization, and relationships between musical experience and historical memory. Repertories of particular interest include opera, experimental improvisation and free jazz, various –isms of postwar composition (serialism, minimalism, spectralism), and American popular music of the last four decades.

Dr. Gutkin 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 Notationen in kreativen Prozessen. He edited a special issue of Current Musicology featuring experimental writing about music and co-edited a special issue of American Music Review on opera during the Harlem Renaissance. Dr. Gutkin is currently working on a book titled "Meanwhile, Let’s Go Back in Time: New York Avant-Garde Opera and the Historical Imagination." Through studies of operas with roots in experimental jazz, monumental site-specific spectacles, and works designed for serial television broadcast, the book aims to show how avant-garde artists adapting an eminently ‘historical’ form participated in—and sometimes transformed—the period’s wide-ranging debates over the concept of history as such.