David Kasunic teaches lecture courses on music history and opera, and seminars on music & food, music & literature, Mahler, and Chopin.
Kasunic is an Associate Professor of Music History and has been at Occidental College since 2008, having first taught at Haverford College upon receiving his doctorate from Princeton in 2004. His research has focused on Chopin’s compositional relationship to French and Italian opera and contemporary singing practice, and the aesthetic, scientific, literary, and philosophical reception of singing in 1830s and ‘40s Paris. Two recent publications explore the phenomenon of tubercular singing, in Chopin’s music and in Verdi’s La traviata. His current research seeks to understand Chopin’s piano technique in the context of dance, and to develop a mode of analysis that will link piano technique to compositional craft, and body movement to sound. In addition to work on Chopin, his other research and publications have been on opera, the history of aesthetics, and Mahler. Teaching highlights include a popular double-course on the culture of food, co-taught with a cognitive scientist and sociologist, and an interdisciplinary course on fin-de-siècle Vienna that begins on campus and culminates in Vienna for a month of on-site instruction.