Kevin C. Karnes


Winship Professor of Music History

Office: Burlington Road Building, Room 238

Phone: 404-727-5038

Fax: 404-727-0074






PhD, 2001, Brandeis University


Kevin C. Karnes is a historical musicologist who studies sounding expressions of identity, difference, and belonging in central and eastern Europe from the nineteenth century to the present. His work explores archives and ethnomusicological fields, engaging projects in such domains as philosophy, anthropology, art history, sound studies, Baltic studies, and Jewish studies. He is the author of three books: Arvo Pärt’s Tabula Rasa (Oxford UP, 2017), A Kingdom Not of This World: Wagner, the Arts, and Utopian Visions in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna (Oxford UP, 2013), and Music, Criticism, and the Challenge of History (Oxford UP, 2008). His edited volumes include Jewish Folk Songs from the Baltics: Selections from the Melngailis Collection (A-R Editions, 2014), Brahms and His World (with Walter Frisch, Princeton UP, 2009), and Baltic Musics/Baltic Musicologies: The Landscape since 1991 (with Joachim Braun, Routledge, 2009). His new projects include, with Daniel Goldmark, the 2019 Bard Festival volume Korngold and His World; a book on Arvo Pärt and the 1970s Soviet underground; and, with the philosopher Andrew J. Mitchell, a study of Wagner’s legacy to European philosophy since World War II.

Kevin has a PhD in musicology from Brandeis University, an MM in trombone performance from the University of Washington, and BS degrees in mathematics and management science from MIT. His work has been recognized with fellowships and awards from the American Council of Learned Societies (2016, 2010), the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (2010); and the National Endowment for the Humanities (2002). He serves as founding editor of the Oxford Keynotes Series, published by Oxford University Press.