Warren Kirkendale is an internationally acclaimed Canadian music historian. Educated at the Universities of Toronto, Bonn, Berlin, and Vienna, he taught at the University of Southern California from 1963 to 1967 and Duke University from 1967 to 1982. From 1983, he directed the Institute of Music History at the University of Regensburg, Bavaria. As emeritus he resides since 1992 in Rome.
He is a prolific writer and lecturer, having produced more than 4,500 pages of original research, and lectured in more countries, universities, and languages than any other musicologist. His work covers Italian music of the 16th and 17th centuries and Austrian of the 18th, and he is renowned especially for his interdisciplinary knowledge of the Italian Renaissance.
He is the only North American music historian ever to have been appointed to a chair at a university on the European continent (receiving offers from both Germany and Italy), and the only one to hold an honorary doctorate from there, from the University of Pavia, Italy. He is the recipient of the prestigious medal of the Collège de France, and he was, with professors from Harvard and Yale, one of only three music historians to be made honorary members of the exclusive Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna, whose members included composers such as Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini, and Ravel.