David Larkin is a lecturer in the musicology unit at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the music faculty of the University of Sydney, where he has been based since 2010.
After pre-tertiary studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, where he learned piano, violin and organ, David undertook the four-year B.Mus degree at UCD, graduating in 1999 with first-class honours. Staying at UCD, he was awarded the M.Litt degree with distinction in 2002 for a dissertation entitled 'Wagner and Liszt: A Musically Symbiotic Relationship?' This work served as an important foundation for his doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, where his PhD dissertation explored how Richard Strauss's tone poems can be understood as responses to the music and the aesthetic ideas of both Liszt and Wagner.
After a year acting as the inaugural coordinator of doctoral academic studies at the RIAM, Larkin returned to UCD as a Government of Ireland IRCHSS postdoctoral fellow, where he undertook further work on the music of Richard Strauss. He has published articles in The Musical Quarterly, The Cambridge Companion to Richard Strauss, 19th-Century Music, as well as essays in various edited collections and reviews for journals such as Music and Letters, Notes and Nineteenth-Century Music Review.
Aside from his activities in the academic arena, he gives frequent pre-concert talks in the Sydney Opera House and at other Australian venues, and regularly reviews operas and concerts for the online international music database Bachtrack. He still sings with a number of choirs in Sydney.