MA/PhD in Theory
Christian Birkness is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate. He holds a BM in Music Theory from Eastman (2018), where he graduated with highest distinction and was elected to the Pi Kappa Lambda musical honors society, and an MA in Music Theory from Eastman (2020). His research focuses on 18th-century thoroughbass and diminution theory, its applications in the contemporary theory classroom, and potential connections to other musical styles or disciplines.
Christian was a tubist in the studio of Don Harry during his undergraduate studies, and remains a frequent collaborator with Tuba Mirum, Eastman’s Euphonium and Tuba ensemble. Christian is also an avid student of the humanities, especially the German language and German poetry. He is a recipient of the 2018 Anne T. Cummins Prize for distinguished work in the humanities during his time as an undergraduate at Eastman.