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David Kasunic

Associate Professor, Music

David Kasunic teaches lecture courses on music history and opera, and seminars on music & food, music & literature, Mahler, and Chopin.


Department Chair, Music

Education: B.A., Amherst College; M.F.A., Ph.D.; Princeton University

Kasunic has been an Associate Professor of Music History at Occidental College since 2008, having first taught at Haverford College, upon receiving his doctorate from Princeton in 2004. His dissertation is on Fryderyk Chopin’s compositional and commercial relationship to vocal music, played against the background of the aesthetic, scientific, literary, and philosophical reception of singing in 1830s and ‘40s Paris. He has published several related articles, and more recently has written on the legacy and reception of Chopin's keyboard technique, specifically as they relate to both 19th-century ballet and the theoretical work and editorial practice of Heinrich Schenker, who studied piano with Chopin’s pupil, Karol Mikuli. His other primary research interests are opera, the history of aesthetics, and Mahler. His current projects include an article on Mahler’s relationship to Italian opera, an article on music for the table, a Chopin bibliography, and two book projects, one on the history of the relationship of music and food, and the other on Chopin, for which he received a 2011 research fellowship from the University of California Humanities Research Institute.