Richard Taruskin (born 1945, New York) is an American musicologist, music historian, and critic who has written about the theory of performance, Russian music, 15th-century music, 20th-century music, nationalism, the theory of modernism, and analysis. As a choral conductor he directed the Columbia UniversityCollegium Musicum. He played the viola da gamba with the Aulos Ensemble from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. Taruskin received his B.A. magna cum laude (1965), M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. in historical musicology (1976) from Columbia University.
Taruskin's extensive 1996 study Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works through Mavra shows that Igor Stravinsky drew more heavily on Russian folk material than has previously been recognized, and analyzes the historical trends that caused Stravinsky not to be forthcoming about some of these borrowings.
Taruskin has also written extensively for lay readers, including numerous articles in The New York Times, many of which have been collected in Text and Act (in which he is an influential critic of the premises of the "early music" movement in classical music performance), The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays, and On Russian Music.