Robert Zappulla chairs Claremont Graduate University’s Music Department and is the Fred W. Smith and Grace Hobson Smith Chair in Music. Known primarily as a harpsichordist and scholar specializing in the field of historical performance practices, Zappulla teaches a variety of courses at CGU, including Historical Performance Practices, the Instrumental Music of Bach, the Music of Beethoven, Brahms, and Baroque Music.
A former harpsichord pupil (as a Fulbright Scholar) of Gustav Leonhardt, Zappulla has appeared as soloist or continuist throughout North America and Europe and has directed and served as harpsichordist for the period-instrument ensemble, Concordia Clarimontis, since founding it in 2005. He has played with many other local period instrumentalists and ensembles, including Con Gioia, the Angeles Consort, and the Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra. He is editor-in-chief of the music journal Performance Practice Review, and he was consulting editor for Encyclopedia of the Harpsichord and Clavichord (2006).
In 2013, Zappulla published a translation with commentary of Vincenzo Manfredini’s Regole armoniche, a monumental 18th-century treatise dealing primarily with Italian continuo practices. In an earlier publication, Figured Bass Accompaniment in France (Brepols Publishers, 2000), Zappulla offers a comprehensive study of French accompaniment treatises produced during the 17th and 18th centuries, about which scholar David Ledbetter wrote, “[T]his book will take its place beside the works of Franck Thomas Arnold and Peter Williams […] as a standard point of reference.”
Recently, Zappulla entered into an agreement with the prestigious American label Delos to record selected harpsichord works by 17th-century French composer Louis Couperin, which he performed at the Church of the Angels in Pasadena, California, in May 2016.
Producer; author of booklet notes, Kozeluch: Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vols, 1-4, Jenny Soonjin Kim, fortepiano. Leeuwarden: Brilliant Classics, 2015-2020.
Producer; author of booklet notes, Doles: Collected Keyboard Works, Jenny Soonjin Kim, fortepiano. Leeuwarden: Brilliant Classics, 2017.
“Foreword.” In Decoding Rameau: Music as the Sovereign Science by Mark Howard. Lucca, Italy: Libreria Musicale Italiana, 2016.
Trans./commentator, Vincenzo Manfredini, Regole armoniche: Facsimile of the 1775 Venice edition, edited by Massimiliano Sala. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2013.
Figured Bass Accompaniment in France. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2000.
Bach [various sub-categories]
Harpsichord (studio instruction)
History and Literature of the Keyboard
History of Performance Practices
Music Research Methodology and Bibilography
Seminar in Musicology