David Brodbeck's research focuses on Central European music and musical culture in the long nineteenth century and Anglo-American popular music of the past fifty years.
He has published widely on topics ranging from the dances of Schubert and the sacred vocal music of Mendelssohn to various aspects of Brahms’s music. Much of his work on Brahms, in particular, has explored connections between biography and analysis. His book on the composer’s First Symphony, for example, addresses issues of genesis, extra-compositional allusion, and autobiographical content, concerns that are central, too, to his published essays on Brahms’s youthful studies in counterpoint and later large-scale chamber works. His most recent book, Defining Deutschtum: Liberal Ideology, German Identity, and Music-Critical Discourse in Liberal Vienna (Oxford University Press, 2014), has been described as "an impressive work of scholarship that reconstructs not only a musical but also a political and cultural history" (Times Literary Supplement).
He is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the American Philosophical Society, and is a past President of the American Brahms Society.
Prior to joining the faculty at UC Irvine, he taught at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Southern California.
European art music of the 18th through the 20th centuries, American and British popular music since 1945; the Beatles.