University of Pittsburgh

Don O. Franklin

Professor, Emeritus
PhD, Stanford University, 1967
dof [at] pitt [dot] edu


Bach studies: source criticism, performance practice, and musico-theological issues. Notational and temporal procedures in 17th- and 18th-century music.


Baroque passion and oratorio; Mozart-DaPonte operas; Wagner’s Ring; Concerto, Fugue, and Dance in the Music of J.S.Bach; Collegium Musicum

Selected Honors/Awards

Honorary Member of the American Bach Society, 2014

University of Augsburg (Germany), Visiting Professor, 2003

Visiting Fellow, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 2000

Indiana University, Bloomington, Visiting Professor, 1999

University of Louisville, Bingham Professor of Humanities, 1998

President, American Bach Society, 1992–96

Member of Direktorium, International Neue Bachgesellschaft, 1987–92

Hochschule der Künste, West Berlin, Visiting Professor, 1977–79

IREX Fellowship (German Democratic Republic), 1976–77

Selected Publications

Theologische-musikalische Kommentar der Kirchenkantaten Johann Sebastian Bachs, in collaboration with Martin Petzoldt, University of Leipzig. Vol. 1. (Georg Olms, 2004).

Bach Studies (editor and contributor), Cambridge University Press, 1989.

“The Role of the ‘Actus Structure’ in the Libretto of J. S. Bach’s Matthew Passion” in: Music and Theology: Essays in Honor of Robin A. Leaver, ed. Daniel Zager, Scarecrow Press, 2006, 121–139.

“Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s 1789 Matthew Passion as Pasticcio and Parody” in Passion, Affekt und Leidenschaft in der Frühen Neuzeit. Wolfenbütteler Arbeiten zu Barockforschung ed. by J.A. Steiger, in collaboration with Ralf Georg Bogner, Ulrich Heinen, Renate Steiger, Melvin Unger und Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly. (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2005), 637–654.

“Composing in Time: Bach’s Temporal Design for the Goldberg Variations,“ in: Bach Studies from Dublin, Irish Musical Studies 8, ed. Anne Leahy and Yo Tomita, Four Courts Press, 2004, pp. 103–128.

"Viewing Bach's Goldberg Variations as a Musico-Mathematical Matrix." In Dortmunder Bach-Forschungen, Bd. 6, ed. Martin Geck. Klangfarbern Musikverlag, 2003, pp. 231–250

"Das Verhältnis zwischen Taktart und Kompositionstechnik im Wohltemperierten Klavier I." In Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier I. Tradition, Entstehung, Funktion, Analyse. Ed. Siegbert Rampe. (Musikwissenschaftliche Schriften, Bd. 38.) Musikverlag Katzbichler, 2002, pp. 147–158.

"Aspekte von Proportion und Dimension in Johann Sebastian Bachs Missa von 1733." In Leipziger Beiträge zur Bachforschung, Bd. 5, ed. Ulrich Leisinger, Georg Olms, 2002, pp. 219–254.

"The Libretto of Bach's John Passion and the 'Doctrine of Reconciliation': An Historical Perspective." In Proceedings of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, ed. A. A. Clement, Vol. 143 (1995), 179–203.

"The Fermata as Notational Convention in the Music of J. S. Bach." In Convention in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Music, ed. Allanbrook, Levy, and Mahrt (New York: Pendragon Press, 1992), 345–81.

"Reconstructing the Urpartitur for WTC II: a study of the 'London Autograph'" (BL Add. MS 35021)." In Bach Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 240–77.

Papers Read

Since 2000, Prof. Franklin has read papers at Biennial conferences on Baroque music held in Manchester (England), and Dublin (Ireland), at international Bach conferences at Oxford University and in Leipzig and Dortmund (Germany), and at an Interdisciplinary Baroque Studies conference in Wolfenbüttel (Germany).


Reviewer, Journal of the American Musicological Society (JAMS), 2006

Reviewer, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Stipendienprogramm, 2005

Reviewer, Penn State graduate programs in Music History and Theory, 2004.

Reviewer, Oxford University Press, 2000, 1999

Reviewer, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 1996

Reviewer, National Endowment for the Humanitites, 1996, 1985–87

Reviewer, Cambridge University Press, 1995, 1993, 1991, 1990


Advisory Board, International Arbeitsgemeinschaft für theologische Bachforschung, 1995–

Chair, Performance Committee for National Meeting American Musicological Society, 2002

General editor, Bach Perspectives, 1993–96

Member, Editorial Board, Bach (Journal of the Riemenschneider-Bach Institute), 1993-

Advising editor, Eighteenth-Century Studies (Journal of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies), 1992–95

Advisory Board, Riemenschneider-Bach Institute, 1988–

Chair, Department of Music, 1990–96, 1978–84

Selected Performances

Conductor, Bach and the Baroque ensemble.

Modern premiere of Antonio Bertali’s Missa Novi Regis, 2005

American premiere of G.P. Telemann's 1750 Matthew Passion, 2004.

First modern performance of CPE Bach's 1789 Matthew Passion, 2004.

First American performance of G.P. Telemann's Die Auferstehung, 2001.

Current Projects

Tempo, Proportion and Dimension in the music of J.S. Bach. Compositional procedure and musico-theological structure in late 18th-century liturgical

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