Richard Kramer

Richard Kramer
  • Emeritus Distinguished Professor, Music

Research Interests

  • 18th and 19th centuries


  • Ph.D. Princeton University

Richard Kramer writes on the music and aesthetics of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His Distant Cycles: Schubert and the Conceiving of Song won the Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society and an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Prize; a review essay on the Mozart sketches (Notes, Vol. 57/1, September 2000) won the Eva Judd O'Meara Award of the Music Library Association. Kramer was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science in 2001. He was  Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Musicological Society and Vice President of the American Musicological Society.  Kramer came to the Graduate Center in 1998, having previously taught at Stony Brook University, where he served as Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Recent doctoral seminars include: Surfing the Enlightenment; After Enlightenment: Beethoven Inside Out; The Poetic Imagination: Schubert, Schumann and the Beginnings of Romanticism; Creative Copies and the Anxieties of Influence; Sketches, Fragments, Fantasy; On Late Style: an Interdisciplinary Expedition (with David Greetham, English); Hearing Mahler; and Mimesis (2010).


  • From the Ruins of Enlightenment: Beethoven and Schubert in Their Solitude.  Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 2022.

  • “The Italian Aria in Der Rosenkavalier.”  The Musical Quarterly, 104/1-2 (Spring-Summer 2021), 45-60.  For Leo Treitler.

  • “Another Little Buck Out of Its Stable,” in The New Beethoven: Evolution, Interpretation, People, ed. Jeremy Yudkin, 466-482.  Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2020.  For Lewis Lockwood.
  • Cherubino’s Leap: In Search of the Enlightenment Moment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.
  • Improvisatori, Improvisiren, Improviser . . . ” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, 73/1 (2016), 2-8.
  • “Against the grain: opus 78 and a hermeneutics of late style,” in Schubert’s Late Music: History, Theory, Style, ed. Lorraine Byrne Bodley and Julian Horton, 111-133 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  • “Beethovens Streichquartette: Überlegungen zum Kompositionsprozess,” in Beethovens Kammermusik, ed. Friedrich Geiger and Martina Sichardt (Das Beethoven-Handbuch, ed. Albrecht Riethmüller, Bd. 3), 235-256. Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 2014.
  • “Probing the Versuch.” Review of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu Spielen, ed. Tobias Plebuch (Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, The Complete Works), in Keyboard Perspectives, V (2012 [but published in 2014]), 83-94.
  • Unfinished Music.  London and New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.  Paperback (corrected) ed., 2012. Named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2009.
  • "The Fugal Moment: On a Few Bars in Mozart's Quintet in C Major, K. 515," in Variations on the Canon: Essays on Music from Bach to Boulez in Honor of Charles Rosen on His Eightieth Birthday, ed. Robert Curry, David Gable, and Robert L. Marshall (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2008), 39-52.
  • "Ein Trittico: Zur Wiedervereinigung eines Skizzenblattes von Ludwig van Beethoven," [together with Michael Ladenburger], in Festschrift Otto Biba zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. Ingrid Fuchs (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2006), 731-36.
  • "Diderot’s Paradoxe and C. P. E. Bach’s Empfindungen," in C. P. E. Bach Studies, ed. Annette Richards (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 2006), 6-24.
  • “To Edit a Sketchbook.” Review essay in Beethoven Forum, XII/1 (2005), 82-96.
  • “‘Sonate, que me veux-tu?’ Opus 30, Opus 31, and the Anxieties of Genre.” The Beethoven Violin Sonatas: History, Criticism, Performance, ed. Lewis Lockwood and Mark Kroll (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004), 47-60.
  • [The Mozart Fragments.] Review essay, Neue Mozart Ausgabe X, 30/4, in Notes: The Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, LXI/1 (September 2004), 231-37.
  • "Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and the Aesthetics of Patricide." Historical Musicology: Sources, Methods, Interpretations, ed. Roberta Marvin and Stephen Crist (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2004), 121-142.
  • "Beethovens Opus 90 und die Fenster zur Vergangenheit." Beethoven und die Rezeption der Alten Musik, ed. Hans-Werner Kuethen (Bonn: Beethoven-Haus, 2002), 93-119.
  • "Lisch aus, mein Licht: Song, Fugue and the Symptoms of a Late Style." Beethoven Forum 7 (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1999), pp. 67-87.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven.  A Newly Recovered Leaf of Sketches from the Summer of 1800 for Beethoven's String Quartet Opus 18 No. 2. Facsimile, with Transcription and Commentary by Richard Kramer. (Bonn: Beethoven-Haus, 1999).
  • "In Search of Palestrina: Beethoven in the Archives." Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven: Studies in the Music of the Classical Period. Essays in Honour of Alan Tyson, ed. Sieghard Brandenburg (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 283-300.
  • "The Hedgehog: Of Fragments Finished and Unfinished." 19th-Century Music XXI (Fall 1997), 134-148.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: A Sketchbook from the Summer of 1800. Facsimile, with transcription and commentary by Richard Kramer. 2 vols. Bonn: Beethoven-Haus Bonn, 1996.
  • "Not to Hear the Italian Symphony." The Politics of Research, ed. E. Ann Kaplan and George Levine (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1996), pp. 170-78.
  • Distant Cycles: Schubert and the Conceiving of Song. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
  • "Between Cavatina and Ouverture: Opus 130 and the Voices of Narrative." Beethoven Forum 1 (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1992), pp. 165-89.
  • "Cadenza Contra Text: Mozart in Beethoven's Hands." 19th-Century Music XV (Fall 1991), 116-131.
  • "The Sketch Itself." Beethoven's Compositional Process, ed. William Kinderman (University of Nebraska Press, 1991), pp. 3-5.
  • "On the Possibilities of a Grammar for the New Music." Quo Vadis Musica? Bericht ueber das Symposium der Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung (Kassel: Baerenreiter Verlag, 1990), pp. 46-53.
  • Gradus ad Parnassum: Beethoven, Schubert, and the Romance of Counterpoint." 19th-Century Music XI/2 (Fall 1987), 107-120.