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WGBH Forum Network; Meet the Composer: Tod Machover

06/08/2004

Meet the Composer: Tod Machover Tod Machover, musician, composer, inventor Tod Machover has been widely-recognized as one of the most important and innovative composers of his generation. The Los Angeles Times names him "America's Most Wired Composer," and The New York Times recently called him "brilliantly gifted." As a designer of new technology and the inventor of Hyperinstruments which augment musical expression using smart computers, Machover has virtually re-invented music. He has designed and built Hyperinstruments for the most diverse musical performers and situations, such as Yo-Yo-Ma, Prince, Disney's Epcot Center, and the BBC Symphony. Machover is Professor of Music and Media at the MIT Media Lab, and is Director of the Hyperinstruments and Opera of the Future groups there. He was the Director of Musical Research at Pierre Boulez's IRCAM Institute in Paris and was educated at Juilliard where he studied composition with Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions. Machover has received numerous awards and prizes for his work, including a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres from the French government and, most recently, the first Ray Kurzweil Prize for music and technology. He has composed five operas, including the science fiction VALIS (based on Philip K. Dick's novel), Resurrection, and the audience-interactive Brain Opera, now permanently installed at Vienna's House of Music. His most recent project, Toy Symphony, uses specially designed hi-tech Music Toys to introduce children to musical creativity in radically new ways, enabling them to collaborate with world-class orchestras and soloists in high visibility concerts. Launched this past year in Europe and the US to extensive media attention and critical acclaim, Toy Symphyony was called "a vast, celebratory ode to the joy of music and its power to bring young and old together, diversity into unity (Boston Globe)." Machover's latest CD, Hyperstring Trilogy, has just been released on the Oxingale label, and has already been called "a masterpiece" by the international press. He is currently working on several new operas, including one with former poet laureate Robert Pinsky, as well as composing new works for cellist Matt Haimovitz, the Ying Quartet, and the Boston Pops.


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Series
WGBH Forum Network
Program
Meet the Composer: Tod Machover
Program Number

1626

Series Description

The WGBH Forum Network is an audio and video streaming Website dedicated to curating and serving live and on-demand lectures given by some of the world's foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policy makers and community leaders. These events are hosted by world-class cultural and educational organizations in the Greater Boston area. Through this online service thousands of interested people across the world partake of these lectures from the comfort of their home or office at any time they choose. We are proud of the role we serve in our community, of protecting and projecting the public voice; and of informing and inspiring that public voice to foster deeper understanding of and civic engagement in important issues.

Program Description

MEET THE COMPOSER: TOD MACHOVER TOD MACHOVER, MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, INVENTOR

TOD MACHOVER HAS BEEN WIDELY-RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND INNOVATIVE COMPOSERS OF HIS GENERATION. THE LOS ANGELES TIMES NAMES HIM "AMERICA'S MOST WIRED COMPOSER," AND THE NEW YORK TIMES RECENTLY CALLED HIM "BRILLIANTLY GIFTED." AS A DESIGNER OF NEW TECHNOLOGY AND THE INVENTOR OF HYPERINSTRUMENTS WHICH AUGMENT MUSICAL EXPRESSION USING SMART COMPUTERS, MACHOVER HAS VIRTUALLY RE-INVENTED MUSIC. HE HAS DESIGNED AND BUILT HYPERINSTRUMENTS FOR THE MOST DIVERSE MUSICAL PERFORMERS AND SITUATIONS, SUCH AS YO-YO-MA, PRINCE, DISNEY'S EPCOT CENTER, AND THE BBC SYMPHONY.

MACHOVER IS PROFESSOR OF MUSIC AND MEDIA AT THE MIT MEDIA LAB, AND IS DIRECTOR OF THE HYPERINSTRUMENTS AND OPERA OF THE FUTURE GROUPS THERE. HE WAS THE DIRECTOR OF MUSICAL RESEARCH AT PIERRE BOULEZ'S IRCAM INSTITUTE IN PARIS AND WAS EDUCATED AT JUILLIARD WHERE HE STUDIED COMPOSITION WITH ELLIOTT CARTER AND ROGER SESSIONS.

MACHOVER HAS RECEIVED NUMEROUS AWARDS AND PRIZES FOR HIS WORK, INCLUDING A CHEVALIER DE L'ORDRE DES ARTS ET LETTRES FROM THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT AND, MOST RECENTLY, THE FIRST RAY KURZWEIL PRIZE FOR MUSIC AND TECHNOLOGY. HE HAS COMPOSED FIVE OPERAS, INCLUDING THE SCIENCE FICTION VALIS (BASED ON PHILIP K. DICK'S NOVEL), RESURRECTION, AND THE AUDIENCE-INTERACTIVE BRAIN OPERA, NOW PERMANENTLY INSTALLED AT VIENNA'S HOUSE OF MUSIC. HIS MOST RECENT PROJECT, TOY SYMPHONY, USES SPECIALLY DESIGNED HI-TECH MUSIC TOYS TO INTRODUCE CHILDREN TO MUSICAL CREATIVITY IN RADICALLY NEW WAYS, ENABLING THEM TO COLLABORATE WITH WORLD-CLASS ORCHESTRAS AND SOLOISTS IN HIGH VISIBILITY CONCERTS. LAUNCHED THIS PAST YEAR IN EUROPE AND THE US TO EXTENSIVE MEDIA ATTENTION AND CRITICAL ACCLAIM, TOY SYMPHYONY WAS CALLED "A VAST, CELEBRATORY ODE TO THE JOY OF MUSIC AND ITS POWER TO BRING YOUNG AND OLD TOGETHER, DIVERSITY INTO UNITY (BOSTON GLOBE)."

MACHOVER'S LATEST CD, HYPERSTRING TRILOGY, HAS JUST BEEN RELEASED ON THE OXINGALE LABEL, AND HAS ALREADY BEEN CALLED "A MASTERPIECE" BY THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS. HE IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON SEVERAL NEW OPERAS, INCLUDING ONE WITH FORMER POET LAUREATE ROBERT PINSKY, AS WELL AS COMPOSING NEW WORKS FOR CELLIST MATT HAIMOVITZ, THE YING QUARTET, AND THE BOSTON POPS.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type

Video

Genres
Event Coverage
Citation
Chicago: “WGBH Forum Network; Meet the Composer: Tod Machover,” 06/08/2004, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 10, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_34BD26A2A1D14A02B9589E6271173D0B.
MLA: “WGBH Forum Network; Meet the Composer: Tod Machover.” 06/08/2004. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 10, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_34BD26A2A1D14A02B9589E6271173D0B>.
APA: WGBH Forum Network; Meet the Composer: Tod Machover. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_34BD26A2A1D14A02B9589E6271173D0B
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