Ildar Khannanov earned his PhD and MA in music theory at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003, with his dissertation “Russian methodology of music theory and analysis” under supervision of Pieter C. van den Toorn, Michael Beckerman, and Yuri Kholopov. In 1993, Khannanov has completed his study at aspirantura of Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory with his candidate dissertation “Non-verbal specificity of music,” under the supervision of Yuri Kholopov and Valentina Kholopova. Khannanov earned his undergraduate degree in music theory, Diplom of Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, in 1988. His studies prior to conservatory include the programs in piano, theory and composition at Ufa Specialized Music School (graduated in 1982). He studied philosophy with Jacques Derrida at University of California, Irvine from 1997-2001.

Khannanov is currently the Vice-Chair of Scientific Committee and one of the founders of the Russian Society for Theory of Music. He is also a member of the Organizing Committee of the European Music Analysis Conference. His other engagements include a work as an editor in the journal Music Scholarship/Problemy Muzykal’noi Nauki (2007-2013), as an ethnomusicologist at the Bashkirian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (1988-1991) and as a church music director and organist at St. Lukes Episcopal Church in Annapolis.

Khannanov has been teaching core undergraduate theory sequence and a number of graduate seminars in theory of Russian music in the United States for the past fourteen years and has presented papers on topics of Russian music theory and analysis, theory of formal functions, philosophy, semiotics and methodology of harmony and aural skills at the national and international conferences. His publications include: Music of Sergei Rachmaninoff: Seven Musical-Theoretical Etudes (Kompozitor: Moscow, 2011), “A Watershed in Analytical Tradition: Valentina Kholopova’s Theory of Musical Content,” a chapter in L’Analyse musicale aujourd’hui, (Delatour: Paris, 2014), “Line, Surface and Speed: Nomadic Aspects of Melody,” a chapter in Sounding the Virtual: Gilles Deleuze and Philosophy and Theory of Music (Ashgate: London, 2010), articles on theory of formal functions, approaches to analysis, musical semiotics, music of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Dmitri Tiomkin in Vereiniging voor MusiektheorieGoldbergstiftungActa Semiotica Fennica,  Res musicaTheoreiaFilm Music Journal and Musical Academy Quarterly, as well as philosophical studies in Sinij Divan and Logos.