Richard Taruskin is an American musicologist, music historian, and critic who has written about the theory of performance, Russian music, 15th-century music, 20th-century music, nationalism, the theory of modernism, and analysis. As a choral conductor he directed the Columbia University Collegium Musicum. He played the viola da gamba with the Aulos Ensemble from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. Taruskin received his B.A. magna cum laude, M.A. and Ph.D. in historical musicology from Columbia University.
He has received various awards for his scholarship, including the Noah Greenberg Prize from the American Musicological Society, the Alfred Einstein Award, the Dent Medal, the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award and the 1997 and 2006 Kinkeldey Prizes from the American Musicological Society. On the faculty of Columbia University until 1986, he is now professor of musicology at the University of California, Berkeley, holding the Class of 1955 Chair.
Taruskin's extensive 1996 study Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works through Mavra shows that Igor Stravinsky drew more heavily on Russian folk material than has previously been recognized, and analyzes the historical trends that caused Stravinsky not to be forthcoming about some of these borrowings.