David Thurmaier

David Thurmaier
Associate Professor of Music Theory
Music Theory Area Coordinator, Director of Graduate Studies

Contact Info
329 Grant Hall


Ph.D., Music Theory, Indiana University
M.A., Music Theory Pedagogy, Eastman School of Music
B.M., Music Composition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

David Thurmaier is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Music Theory Area Coordinator at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory. In addition to teaching graduate courses in music theory, he coordinates the undergraduate core musicianship sequence. He also served as Chair of the Music Studies Division (2017–23) and Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (2021–22).

He has previously served on the faculties of Lawrence University, the University of Central Missouri, and Florida Gulf Coast University, where he won the Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. At UMKC, he won the Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers, Scholars, and Artists, the Muriel McBride Kauffman Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Muriel McBride Kauffman Excellence in Faculty Service Award.

Dr. Thurmaier was a Fulbright Scholar at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic during the Spring 2018 semester. His research there focused on Czech music theory pedagogy, the music of Janáček, and the reception of the Beatles’ music during communism.

Dr. Thurmaier’s research interests include the music of Charles Ives, music theory pedagogy, the history of music theory in the United States, and the Beatles. He has presented research on these topics at numerous national and international conferences including the Society for Music Theory, Society for American Music, and the College Music Society. He has recent publications in Theoria, American Music, Journal of Society for American Music, Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, and book chapters published by Bloomsbury. He also serves as the Vice-President of the Charles Ives Society and is co-editor of the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy.

Dr. Thurmaier has a performance background on horn and guitar and is the co-host of two podcasts: I’ve Got a Beatles Podcast, focusing on the music and history of the Beatles, and Hearing The Pulitzers, focusing on each winner of the Pulitzer Prize in music.