Keynote Speaker – Tod Machover

What do Yo-Yo Ma and Prince, the Boston Symphony and Guitar Hero, and Music and Medicine have in common?

All of these are aspects of the creative world of composer/inventor Tod Machover, widely recognized as one of the most significant and innovative composers of his generation, and celebrated for inventing new technology for music, including Hyperinstruments. Machover’s work both as Professor of Music and Media and as Director of Hyperinstruments and Opera of the Future Groups at the MIT Media Lab has helped open doors of expression and creativity to some of the world’s greatest virtuosi, as well as to non-professional music lovers, to children and seniors, and to many with physical and mental disabilities.

Since 2006, Machover has been Visiting Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Machover’s music has been commissioned and performed by many of the world’s most important performers and ensembles and has received numerous international prizes and awards, including the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French Culture Ministry. His Hyperinstruments augment musical expression for everyone and led to the development of the videogame hits Guitar Hero and Rock Band. His music composition software Hyperscore is fast gaining worldwide recognition as a popular creative tool for people of all ages and backgrounds. Machover is currently helping to create a major initiative in Music, Mind and Health at the MIT Media Lab. In awarding Machover the first Kurzweil Prize in Music and Technology in 2003, celebrated inventor and entrepreneur Raymond Kurzweil wrote: “Tod Machover is the only person I am aware of who contributes on a world-class level to both the technology of music creation and to music itself. Even within these two distinct areas, his contributions are remarkably diverse, and of exquisite quality.”

As SOFAlab’s keynote speaker he will explain his Hyperinstruments and discuss how a new intellectual culture is needed – as well as novel research and academic structures to support it – that can cultivate and sustain a revolutionary and increasingly indispensible blending of artistic, technological and scientific sensibilities and skills.