David A Grayson

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Professor: Musicology

David Grayson, professor of musicology, earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University, and also studied privately with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Previously, he taught at Amherst College and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. An authority on the French composer Claude Debussy, he is on the editorial board of the journal Cahiers Debussy, and has written and lectured widely on the composer and his music.

The author of The Genesis of Debussy's "Pelleas et Melisande," he has also edited that opera for the new critical edition of Debussy's collected works, published in Paris, and has served as consultant for productions of the opera conducted by Pierre Boulez and Claudio Abbado (at La Scala), among others. He has also written on Mozart, including the volume Mozart's Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 21 in the Cambridge University Press Music Handbook Series. He has provided notes for many recordings on the Sony label and has worked on several Sony video projects, notably "Marsalis on Music" and "Dvorak in Prague," the latter featuring Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony, with Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Frederica Von Stade.

Educational Background & Specialties


  • 18th-20th centuries
  • editing
  • historical musicology
  • Mozart
  • source studies
  • textual criticism
  • Debussy
Courses Taught
  • Mus 8640: Mozart's Concertos
  • Mus 8640: Debussy Source Studies
  • Mus 5950: Performance Practice Issues
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Member, editorial board of Cahiers Debussy (Paris): 1992
  • Member, Graduate Research Advisory Committee, University of Minnesota: 2002
  • Member, CLA Promotion and Tenure Committee, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota: 2002
  • Member, Best Dissertation Competition, University of Minnesota: 2002
  • Member, American Musicological Society:
  • Program Committee, Carnegie Hall, New York: 1999 - 2000


  • "A Performance History of Mozart's Piano Concertos":
  • "A critical edition of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande":


  • Invited speaker: “Wolfgang vs. Amadeus: Peter Shaffer’s Mozart,“ lecture for American Association of University Women (AAUW), 2001
  • Mozart: Piano Concertos No 20 in D minor, K 466 & 21 in C major, K 467. Grayson, David, Cambridge Music Handbook Series, 1998.
  • The Genesis of Debussy's 'Pelleas et Melisande'. Grayson, David, Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1986.
  • “Whose Authenticity? Ornaments by Hummel and Cramer for Mozart’s Piano Concertos,“ in Mozart’s Piano Concertos: Text, Context, Interpretation. Grayson, David, University of Michigan Press, 1996.
  • “Waiting for Golaud: the concept of time in Pelléas,“ in Debussy Studies. Grayson, David, Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  • “Foreword“ to Arthur Hartmann, Claude Debussy as I Knew Him. Grayson, David, University of Rochester Press, 2003.
  • “Editing Pelléas et Mélisande. Grayson, David, proceedings of the international conference “Pelléas et Mélisande 1902-2002: un centenaire,“ Université de la Sorbonne, forthcoming.
  • “Bilitis and Tanagra: afternoons with nude women,“ in Debussy and his World. Grayson, David, Princeton University Press, 2001.
  • “Debussy on Stage,“ in The Cambridge Companion to Debussy. Grayson, David, Cambridge University Press, 2003.