Dr. Dan Deutsch

Areas of specialization:

Nineteenth-century German music, Theories of musical form (formenlehre), music analysis, central European Jewish cultural history

Areas of competence:


Personal website

I am a musicologist and music theorist researching the musical works of nineteenth-century German and Austrian composers of Jewish origins. I am fundamentally interested in establishing connections between musical compositions as self-contained aesthetic objects and as a reflection of social, political, and ideological realities. Hence, my research is rooted in two central subfields: musical analysis based on structural, semiotic, and hermeneutic approaches; and methods of inquiry associated with the field of cultural studies, including literary studies and cultural history.

My main book project, Imperial Identities Musicalized: Jewish Composers in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna, examines the compositions of Austrian-Jewish composers in the Viennese musical climate. I specifically ask how the musical works and aesthetic fields of Jewish composers disclose the distinctively stratified assemblage of ethnic, cultural, and national affinities that characterized Jewish experiences in the Habsburg empire. To answer this question, I will analyze and contextualize musical works by known and less-famous composers of Jewish origins, including Gustav Mahler, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Ignaz Brüll, Franz Schreker, and Arnold Schoenberg.

I completed my PhD in the Faculty of Music and the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto in 2018. During 2019-2021 I was as an Azrieli postdoctoral fellow as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition to my current activity as a Polonsky Fellow (2022 cohort), I also serve as adjunct lecturer in music theory at the Hebrew University Department of Musicology.


  • “Against the Grain of Sonata Form: Repetition, Rotation, and Development in Mahler’s ‘Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde’.” (Forthcoming).
  • “Modalities of Assimilation: Subcultural Currents in Felix Mendelssohn’s Lieder ohne Worte.” Nineteenth-Century Music Review (December 2021): 1-28. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1479409821000409
  • “Fragmenting Monumentality: Discontinuity and Incompleteness in Mahler’s ‘Der Abschied’.” Music & Letters (October 2021): 507–558. https://doi: 10.1093/ml/gcab021
  • “Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde: The Non-Symphonic Symphony as Critique.” Yearbook for European Jewish Literature Studies 4, no. 1 (2017): 187­­–198. https://doi.org/10.1515/yejls-2017-0014
  • Review of Mahler’s Forgotten Conductor: Heinz Unger and His Search for Jewish Meaning, 1895–1965 by Hernan Tesler-Mabé. Yuval 11 (2020).https://jewish-music.huji.ac.il/yuval/22963