Karol Berger is the Osgood Hooker Professor of Fine Arts in the Department of Music at Stanford University and is also Affiliated Faculty with the Department of German and the Europe Center at Stanford.
He received his PhD at Yale and taught at Boston University before coming to Stanford in 1982.
He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study and Conference Center, and Stanford Humanities Center. In 2011-12 he was the EURIAS Senior Fellow at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna. In 2005-2006, he was the Robert Lehman Visiting Professor at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.
He is a foreign member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the American Musicological Society.
He is the author of several important works. His first book Musica Ficta (Cambridge University Press, originally 1987, republished in 2004) received the 1988 Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society. His book Bach's Cycle, Mozart's Arrow (University of California Press, 2007 and paperback, 2008) won the 2008 Marjorie Weston Emerson Award of the Mozart Society of America. In 2011 he received the Glarean Prize from the Swiss Musicological Society. He is also the author of A Theory of Art (Oxford University Press), published in 2000 and in paperback in 2002. He is also the author of Theories of Chromatic and Enharmonic Music in Late 16th-Century Italy, published in the “Studies of Musicology” series in 1980. He has also co-edited (with Anthony Newcombe) a book under the title Music and the Aesthetics of Modernity, published in Harvard's “Publications in Music” series.
Finally, he has written many articles, on figures such as Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Wagner, and Monteverdi, as well as many others on music history, music theory, and aesthetics.