Theodore Levin

Academic Appointments
  • Chair, Department of Music

  • Arthur R. Virgin Professor of Music

Theodore Levin is a longtime student of music, expressive culture, and traditional spirituality in Central Asia and Siberia. As an advocate for music and musicians from other cultures, he has written books, produced recordings, curated concerts and festivals, and contributed to international arts initiatives. During an extended leave from Dartmouth, Levin served as the first executive director of the Silk Road Project, founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He has also served as chair of the Arts and Culture sub-board of the Open Society (Soros) Foundations, and is currently Senior Project Consultant to the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. His research and advocacy activities focus on the role of arts and culture in promoting and strengthening civil society, pluralism, and cosmopolitanism in countries where it is imperiled or still emerging. At Dartmouth he teaches courses on world music, sonic landscapes, music of the Silk Road region, and an interdisciplinary course on the art, science, and symbolism of musical instruments.


Sudikoff Lab, Room 105
HB 6187


  • B.A. Amherst College
  • M.F.A. Princeton University
  • Ph.D. Princeton University

Selected Publications

  • The Music of Central Asia, ed. Theodore Levin, Saida Daukeyeva, and Elmira Köchümkulova (Indiana University Press, 2016).

  • Where Rivers and Mountains Sing: Sound, Music, and Nomadism in Tuva and Beyond, (Indiana University Press, 2006, paperback 2010).

  • Music of Central Asia, Vols. 1-10 (CD-DVD series with notes and text translations), (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2004-11).

  • The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York) , (Indiana University Press 1996; paperback 1999).

Works In Progress

"Timbre-Centered Listening in the Soundscape of Tuva" (co-authored with Valentina Süzükei), in The Oxford Handbook of Timbre (Oxford University Press, 2017?)