John K. Novak is the author of The Symphonic Works of Leoš Janáček (Peter Lang, 2016), which traces the origin of the Czech composer's unique style to its folk roots. Novak is Associate Professor of Music Theory at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music Theory, a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy and Literature, and a Ph.D. in Music Theory all from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was awarded the Kent Kennan Scholarship in Music Theory and the John Maresh Scholarship in Czech Culture. Novak has taught at Austin Community College, the University of Texas at Austin, and Oberlin Conservatory. He joined the faculty of the School of Music at Northern Illinois University in 1996, where he currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory, with specializations in both Romantic music and music of the early twentieth century.
Dr. Novak has published articles in College Music Symposium, Indiana Theory Review, The International Journal of Musicology, Bulgarian Musicology, Kosmas, and Hudební vĕda as well as for Oxford and Clerendon Presses. The subjects of his articles include the music of Debussy, Dvořák, Bartók, Janáček, Suk, and various styles of popular music. Besides lecturing throughout the US, Novak has presented in London, Prague, Brno and Sofia. Novak's current work is as a co-editor of a songbook of 90 songs which are regularly sung in Czech in communities in the state of Texas. He also performs on the piano and the accordion.