Historical Performance
Primary Contact:
David Breitman

Administrative Assistant:
Cindy Shairba

Division Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8198
Fax: (440) 775-8942

David Breitman

David Breitman

Director, Historical Performance Program
Associate Professor of Historical Performance

Director of Historical Performance

The next best thing to studying historical performance, says David Breitman, would be a lesson with C.P.E. Bach himself. And that’s not possible. Or is it?

Contact Information


Bibbins Hall 104
(440) 775-8215

David Breitman

David Breitman

Educational Background

  • S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1976
  • M.M., New England Conservatory, 1981
  • D.M.A. Cornell University, 1992
  • Fortepiano study with Malcolm Bilson; piano study with Patricia Zander

Pianist David Breitman directs the Historical Performance program at Oberlin. He is equally at home with the fortepiano and the modern piano, and enjoys both solo and ensemble playing. Recent seasons have included Beethoven’s Fourth Concerto and Choral Fantasy on both historical and modern pianos, and several performances at the renowned Cobbe Collection of historical instruments outside of London. His collaboration with baritone Sanford Sylvan spans more than thirty years, with several hundred recitals and four CD’s, ranging from Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, to the premiere recording of The Glass Hammer, a major song cycle by the Cuban-American composer Jorge Martin. He has recorded the Mozart piano-violin sonatas on historical instruments with Jean-François Rivest for Analekta, and, in a collaboration of a different sort, he is one of seven fortepianists on the 10-CD recording of the complete Beethoven piano sonata cycle on CLAVES.

Breitman’s most recent projects involve more Beethoven: a recording of the violin sonatas with Elizabeth Wallfisch will be complete by the end of 2012; the cello sonatas with Jaap ter Linden are projected for 2013. He now shares his enthusiasm for this repertoire with students in the courses “Performing Beethoven’s violin/cello sonatas,” and is currently working on a book titled “Time-Travel for Pianists: How Today’s Players Can Learn from Yesterday’s Instruments.”