Jonathan Berger

Jonathan Berger


"I am a composer whose music often is inspired by data, and a researcher inquiring about why and how music is such a central - even addictive part of our lives. I’ve been teaching at Stanford since 1997 (after years at Yale) - and was a Stanford student.

"My current research involves recreating the acoustics of historically and culturally significant spaces - which often starts with popping balloons in churches and caves (an exercise you will be doing this quarter!). My current commissions include an opera on the murder of Eric Garner (which will be performed at Stanford later this season), and a commission from  the Kennedy Center for a work about the Mekong River."

Jonathan Berger is the Denning Family Provostial Professor in Music at Stanford University, where he teaches composition, music theory, and cognition at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Jonathan is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2016 winner of the Rome Prize. He was the founding co-director of the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SICA, now the Stanford Arts Institute) and founding director of Yale University’s Center for Studies in Music TechnologyDescribed as “gripping” by both the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, “poignant”, “richly evocative” (San Francisco Chronicle), “taut, and hauntingly beautiful” (NY Times), Jonathan Berger’s recent works deal with both consciousness and conscience. The Kronos Quartet toured recent monodrama, My Lai internationally. Thrice commissioned by The National Endowment for the Arts, Berger’a recent commissions include The Mellon and Rockefeller Foundations, Chamber Music Society, Lincoln Center, and Chamber Music America. Upcoming commissions include an oratorio entitled The Ritual of Breath, and Leonardo, for baritone and chamber orchestra.In addition to composition, Berger is an active researcher with over 80 publications in a wide range of fields relating to music, science and technology and has held research grants from DARPA, the Wallenberg Foundation, The National Academy of Sciences, the Keck Foundation, and others.

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