Richard Taruskin is an American musicologist who has written and lectured on topics that range across the whole of music – history and analysis as well as its cultural, social and political contexts. He has also been a performer (viola da gamba, with the Aulos Ensemble from the late 70s to late 80s) and a choral conductor (Columbia University Collegium Musicum, Cappella Nova). Born in New York in 1945, he received his Ph.D. (1976) from Columbia University, where he was on the faculty until 1986. At the end of 2014, he retired from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was Professor of Music.
Both lay readers and academics have benefited from his many books and articles, including Text and Act, The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays, and On Russian Music. He is the author of a two-volume study of Stravinsky and the six-volume Oxford History of Western Music.