SiCa Center for Arts, Science and Technology    

March 4–5, 2011
Stanford University


2008 Participants

Wallace Chafe
David Huron
Petr Janata
Jenny Olivia Johnson
Edward Large
Daniel Levitin
Psyche Loui
Vinod Menon
Bahram Osqueezadeh
Blakey Vermeule
Stephen Prutsman
St. Lawrence String Quartet
Jonathan Berger


Wallace Chafe, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus and Research Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Chafe’s research has focused on Native American languages, differences between speaking and writing, the linguistic functions of prosody, the relation of language to thought, and the relevance to linguistics of literary studies. Among his many writings have been the books Meaning and the Structure of Language (1970), Discourse, Consciousness, and Time (1994), and The Importance of Not Being Earnest (2007). He has long been interested in ways in which the prosody of language (variations in pitch, loudness, timing, and voice quality) relate to similar phenomena in music, especially in the expression of emotions

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David Huron, Ph.D.

David Huron is Professor in the School of Music and the Center for Cognitive Science at the Ohio State University -- where he heads the OSU Cognitive and Systematic Musicology Laboratory. Dr. Huron's research emphasizes music and human emotions, and comparative ethnomusicology.  In addition to laboratory-based research, his activities have also involved field studies among
various cultures in Micronesia.

Since graduating in 1989 from the University of Nottingham (in England) with a Ph.D. in musicology, Huron has produced some 70 scholarly publications, including two books.  Among other distinctions, Dr. Huron was the Ernest Bloch Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, the Robert N. Freeman Distinguished Lecturer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and in 2006 gave six public lectures at the invitation of the Yale University Departments of Music and Psychology.In 2002 he received the Outstanding Publication Award from theSociety for Music Theory.  His most recent book, "SweetAnticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation" (MIT Press) received the 2007 Wallace Berry Award.

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Petr Janata, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis

Petr Janata is a cognitive neuroscientist specializing in studies of auditory and music cognition. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1996, where he performed electrophysiological studies of auditory object representations in the barn owl brain and musical image formation in the human brain. As a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago from 1997-1999 he used electrophysiological and computational approaches to investigate song-perception and song-learning in songbirds.

From 2000-2004, Dr. Janata was on the research faculty at Dartmouth College, where he resumed his long-standing line of music perception research, initiated as an undergraduate at Reed College and continued as a Fulbright Scholar in Vienna, Austria.

Since 2004, Dr. Janata is a faculty member of the newly formed Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis, where he continues to use music and neuroimaging tools as a means of understanding how the brain organizes complex human behaviors. He is currently the primary investigator on a Templeton Advanced Research Program grant from the Metanexus Institute to study, "Music, Spirituality, Religion, and the Human Brain."

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Jenny Olivia Johnson, Ph.D. Candidate, New York University; Co-founder, Music and Violence Special Interest Group, Society for Ethnomusicology

Jenny Olivia Johnson is a composer and scholar currently finishing her Ph.D. at New York University.  Recent artistic collaborations include performances of her two short operas “The Endings” (2007) and “Leaving Santa Monica” (2006) by New York City Opera at their past two VOX Contemporary Opera Festivals; premieres by ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), vocalist Corey Dargel, Alarm Will Sound, Arditti String Quartet, and the orkest ‘de ereprijs’; and an upcoming commission from Ensemble Robot in Boston.  Also active as a scholar of music, trauma, memory, and sound perception, Jenny has presented her academic work at a variety of national and international music conferences, and has also been invited to give lectures on her work at Columbia University, Barnard College, Brooklyn College, New York University, and Southern Methodist University.  Honors and awards include an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, grants from the American Music Center, publication by Boosey & Hawkes, and residency scholarships from the Banff Centre and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.  Jenny recently won the New York University 2008-09 Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship for her research on music and childhood sexual abuse, and she is also a finalist for the 2008 Gaudeamus Prize in Amsterdam, where her opera “Leaving Santa Monica” will be performed in September. 

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Edward LargeEdward Large, Ph.D.

Dr. Edward Large's areas of expertise include auditory neuroscience, music psychology and dynamical systems theory. His interdisciplinary research combines behavioral experimentation, neurophysiology, and neuroimaging with nonlinear dynamical systems modeling, to gain a deeper understanding of the neural underpinnings of musical experience. He and his colleagues have pioneered the idea that attention is a dynamic, and inherently rhythmic process. He has applied these ideas to explain the rhythmic structure of music, and its interaction with brain dynamics. His current research projects include the perception of pitch, the perception of tonality, rhythm perception, auditory attention, communication of affect and emotion, and the neural basis of song. He has authored over 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles
He is currently Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the NIMH Training Program in Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Large received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1994, and did his postdoctoral work at University of Pennsylvania. He is the founder of Circular Logic, a software company based in Boca Raton, FL. He is Associate Editor of the Journal Music Perception, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function. He is a National Science Foundation CAREER Award winner, and in 2006 he was awarded a Fulbright Visiting Chair in the Science and Technology of Music at McGill University. In 2008 he was named FAU's Researcher of the Year.

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Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D.

Daniel J. Levitin is James McGill Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Music at McGill University.  He earned his B.A. from Stanford in cognitive science and his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in Psychology.  He completed post-doctoral fellowships at Stanford University CCRMA and in the Department of Psychiatry.  He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 300 popular articles about music, and is the author of the best-seller "This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession," which has been on the New York Times Bestseller for 6 months. His newest book, "The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature," will be published by Penguin in August.

As a musician (saxophone and guitar), he has performed with Mel Tormé, Nancy Wilson, David Byrne and Sting.  He served as Vice President of Artists and Repertoire and Staff Producer for 415/Columbia Records (now Sony Music) from 1983 - 1989, and as a record producer has worked with Stevie Wonder, Blue Öyster Cult, and Santana.

Levitin's research in music cognition addresses issues in memory, classification, and emotion.  In particular, he uses a range of converging techniques including neuroimaging, psychophysics, and studies of special populations including individuals with Autism and with Williams Syndrome.

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Psyche Loui, Ph.D.
Research Fellow, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel
Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

Psyche Loui is a researcher investigating music and the brain. She
received her B.S. from Duke University with double majors in psychology
and music. While at Duke she was concertmaster and violin soloist of the
Duke Symphony Orchestra. Her interest in combining music and psychology
led to doctoral studies in psychology at the University of California at
Berkeley, where she specialized in music perception and cognition. Her
research was conducted jointly at Berkeley's Center for New Music and
Audio Technologies, Auditory Perception Laboratory, and the Helen Wills
Neuroscience Institute.

Dr. Loui's thesis addresses the question of whether music is innate or
learned. Using a novel musical system known as the Bohlen-Pierce scale,
Loui showed that people could learn new musical grammars within a
half-hour of exposure; furthermore, brain potentials elicited by the
novel musical structures resemble brain responses to Western music.

Her current research, conducted in the Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory
at the Harvard Medical School, mainly investigates the neural substrates
of tone-deafness. Using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques, she aims
to identify structures and functions of the human brain that predict
musical ability, and communication skills in the world of sound more
generally. Loui is a recipient of ESCOM's (European Society for
Cognitive Science in Music) Young Researcher award and is principal
investigator of a research grant from the Grammy Foundation.

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Vinod MenonVinod Menon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences & Program in Neuroscience & Neuroscience Institute at Stanford

Dr. Menon is the author of 77 publications, and the recipient of many academic awards. His research interests include Cognitive neuroscience, Cognitive development, Psychiatric neuroscience, Functional brain imaging, Dynamical basis of brain function, and Nonlinear dynamics of neural systems.

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Bahram OsqueezadehBahram Osqueezadeh, C. Phil.

Bahram Osqueezadeh began his musical training at the age of 14 with the Santur and the Tombak. After graduating with a degree in Mathematics and Physics, he ranked second out of over 1000 participants in the field of Music at the first Nation-wide University Entrance Examination after the 1979 revolution. He entered the Department of Music at the University of Tehran in 1995 and received his bachelor's degree in composition and performance. Among his eminent teachers were Faramaz Payvar, Nasser Farhangfar, Parviz Meshkaatian. Although Mr. Osqueezadeh has extensive experience both studying and performing the Persian ‘Radif’, he is still working to further his knowledge and expertise on this vast subject.

He moved to the United States to further his studies of western music and graduated from the University of California, Irvine where he received his Master’s degree (2001) in Composition and Technology under the direction of Dr. C. Dobrian, the internationally recognized flutist and composer James Newton and Grammy award winner Billy Childes. Bahram has performed numerous concert premieres as both conductor and performer during his time in the United States. He was asked to write his Concerto for Santur and Orchestra which was premiered under the baton of Stephen Tucker. After his residency at UC Irvine, he received a Fellowship to continue his studies in composition to the Ph.D. program at the University of California, Santa Barbara . He studied with eminent composers such as Karen Tanaka and Joel Feigin. Among his grants and awards are: First prize in the Sherril C. Corwin-Metropolitan Theatres Awards for his work for String Orchestra, Declared Master Musician by Alliance for California Traditional Art. He has been invited to give papers, presentations and workshops at many distinguished universities and conferences including Stanford, UCLA, USC, UCSB, UCI, CLU, Ohio State University and Cardiff University (UK).

Mr. Osqueezadeh started teaching his major instrument, the Santūr, in 1987 and subsequently accepted a faculty position at the Sūreh University. In 1990, he co-founded the Dārvak Institute of Music, and he has served as the director. He co-founded the Dārvak Ensemble in 1993 and performed several concerts with the group. As a soloist, composer, and conductor, Bahram has appeared on many radio and television programs in Iran and the United States. He won the Gold Award at the Eighth Nationwide Fajr Music Festival. Osqueezadeh has toured Iran, United States and Europe; regularly performed concerts premiering his original compositions.

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Blakey VermeuleBlakey Vermeule, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in English at Stanford University.

Blakey Vermeule teaches in the English department at Stanford. She is writing a book called Satire:  A Mental and Moral Poetics. Blakey Vermeule's research interests are British literature from 1660-1800, critical theory, cognitive approaches to literature, major British poets, post-Colonial fiction, and the history of the novel. She is the author of The Party of Humanity: Writing Moral Psychology in Eighteenth-Century Britain. She is currently working on the manuscript of her second book, Making Sense of Fictional People: A Literary and Cognitive Project, which blends historical and literary analysis with cognitive psychology.

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Stephen PrutsmanStephen Prutsman

Pianist, composer and arranger Stephen Prutsman, (in some places known as Stephen Brotzman), is considered to be one of the most versatile and innovative musicians of his generation, moving easily from classical to jazz to world music styles in his quest to explore and seek common ground in the music of all cultures and languages.

Born in Los Angeles in 1960, Stephen first began playing the piano by ear before moving on to more formal music studies. In his early teens he was the keyboard player for several art rock groups, including "Cerberus" and "Vysion" and enjoyed a moment of musical irony when he won television's "Gong Show" as a pseudo honky-tonk pianist. While in college, Stephen played jazz in various clubs and lounges throughout southern California by night, and by day worked as the music arranger and pianist for a nationally syndicated televangelist program.

In the early 90's he was a medal winner at the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elisabeth piano competitions and the recipient of the Avery Fischer Career Grant, which established his career as a concert pianist and led to performances in various prestigious music centers and with leading orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. From 2004-2007, Stephen was an Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he acted as composer, arranger, program host and pianist conducting concerti from the keyboard.

In 2007, Stephen was appointed Co-Artistic Director of the Cartagena International Festival of Music in Colombia. In years past, his dedication to the creation of new musical environments, coupled with his love for chamber music, led him to found music festivals in such far-flung places as the island of Guam and the border town of El Paso, where he served as music director for 10 years. He regularly curates and host chamber music programs with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra members, and often performs with his trio Nobilis in Europe and the US as well as through interesting and diverse locales throughout the developing world.

As a composer, Stephen's long collaboration with the Kronos Quartet has resulted in over 40 arrangements for them. In the fall of 2006 Kronos presented a retrospective of some of Stephen's works along with the world premiere of "Particle 423" for quartet and sound design. Other leading artists and ensembles who have performed Stephen's compositions and arrangements include Leon Fleisher (his mentor and former teacher), Dawn Upshaw, the St. Lawrence Quartet, Yo-Yo Ma, Spoleto USA, and the Silk Road Project. As a pianist or arranger outside of the classical music world he has collaborated with Tom Waits, Dan Zane, Tony McMahon, Rokia Traore, and Asha Bhosle.

He composes annually a new silent film score for "Bay Chamber Concerts" of Maine, which have run the gamut from German expressionism to slapstick comedies of Keaton and Chaplin. Passionate about finding avenues for Western trained "traditional" classical musicians to collaborate with musicians from cultures not often represented on the concert stage, Steve has curated and arranged "Worldbeat" programs featuring music from India, Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere.

His recordings include the MacDowell Piano Concertos with the National Symphony of Ireland and the Barber Piano Concertos with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He has also recorded solo works under the labels Brioso and his own "Studio AJEA". Forthcoming is an album of jazz ballads and originals. Stephen lives in San Francisco with his wife Sigrid and their two children, Alexander and Eloise.

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The St. Lawrence String Quartet

Geoff Nuttall, violin
Scott St. John , violin
Lesley Robertson, viola
Christopher Costanza, cello

Having walked on stage together over 1800 times in the past eighteen years the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) has established itself among the world-class chamber ensembles of its generation. In 1992, they won both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and Young Concert Artists International Auditions, launching them on a performing career that has brought them across North and South America, Europe and Asia.

The long awaited initial recording of the St. Lawrence Quartet, Schumann's First and Third Quartets, was released in May 1999 to great critical acclaim. The CD received the coveted German critics award, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, as well as Canada's annual Juno Award. BBC Music Magazine gave the recording its "highest rating," calling it the benchmark recording of the works. In October of 2001, EMI released their recording of string quartets of Tchaikovsky. In 2002 their recording Yiddishbbuk featuring the chamber music of the celebrated Argentinean-American composer Osvaldo Golijov received two Grammy nominations. Their most recent recording of Shostakovich Quartets was released in July, 2006.

The Quartet performs over 100 concerts worldwide. Highlights of the 2007/08 season include their popular series Sunday's with the St. Lawrence for Stanford Lively Arts, concerts in New York (Lincoln Center), Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Tucson, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Denver, Buffalo, New Orleans, and Albuquerque. They will also make two tours to Europe.

Their summer calendar features their 13th year as Resident Quartet to the Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, SC. Other recent summer festival appearances include Mostly Mozart in New York, Maverick Concerts, Bay Chamber Concerts (Maine), and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.

The SLSQ has been involved in numerous inventive collaborations, including projects with the renowned Pilobolus Dance Theatre, and the Emerson Quartet. In 2007 they joined with Soprano Heidi Grant Murphy and pianist Kevin Murphy to premiere Roberto Sierra's “Songs from the Diaspora” – a commission through the Music Accord consortium. They have also performed R. Murray Shafer's concerto for quartet and orchestra “4-40” with Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony, Emmanuel Villaume and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and Yuli Turovsky with I Musici de Montreal.

The foursome regularly delivers traditional quartet repertoire, but is also fervently committed to performing and expanding the works of living composers. Among those with whom the St. Lawrence Quartet currently has active working relationships are R. Murray Schafer, Osvaldo Golijov, Christos Hatzis, Jonathan Berger, Ka Nin Chan, Roberto Sierra, and Mark Applebaum.

Having been privileged to study with the Emerson, Tokyo and Juilliard String Quartets the St. Lawrence, are themselves passionate educators. Since 1998 they have held the position of Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University. This residency includes working with students of music as well as extensive collaborations with other faculty and departments using music to explore a myriad of topics. Recent collaborations have involved the School of Medicine, School of Education, and Jewish Studies. In addition to their appointment at Stanford, the SLSQ has served as visiting artists to the University of Toronto since 1995 and this season will inaugurate a new visiting chamber music residency at the Arizona State University. The foursome's passion for opening up musical arenas to players and listeners alike is evident in their annual summer chamber music seminar at Stanford and their many forays into the depths of musical meaning with preeminent music educator Robert Kapilow.

The SLSQ is deeply committed to bringing music to less traditional venues outside the classroom or concert hall. Whether at Lincoln Center or an elementary school classroom, the St. Lawrence players maintain a strong desire to share the wonders of chamber music with their listeners, a characteristic of the foursome that has led them to a more informal performance style than one might expect from chamber musicians. Alex Ross of The New Yorker Magazine writes, "the St. Lawrence are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection."

The St. Lawrence String Quartet records exclusively for EMI/ANGEL.

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Jonathan Berger, Ph.D.
The Billie Bennett Achilles Professor in Music, & The William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball University Fellow in Undergraduate Education Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa)

Jonathan Berger has composed symphonic works, three concerti, works for all varieties of chamber ensemble, vocal, choral and electroacoustic works. Among his awards and commissions are three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, prizes from ASCAP, commissions from WDR, and prizes from the Bourges Festival. His works are available on Sony, Neuma, CRI and Harmonia Mundi labels. His current commissions include Tears in Your Hand for piano trio, a violin concerto and his fourth string quartet. Berger's most recent CD, Miracles and Mud was released by Naxos Records on their American Masters series in Spring 2007.

In addition to composition Berger is an active researcher with over 60 publications in a wide range of fields relating to music, science and technology.

Berger is Professor of Music at Stanford and Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa) and the University's arts initiative.

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