Alfred Newman Recital Hall
Los Angeles, California 90089

Added by Chris K. on October 10, 2006




The 17th-century German polymath Gottfried Leibniz likened music to unconscious arithmetic. Above and beyond a direct application to tuning, mathematics permeates all aspects of music, from motivic transformations to the architecting of large-scale structures in composition and performance. Featuring pianist-engineer Elaine Chew, this event will demonstrate mathematical principles in music through performance of contemporary pieces, including the world premiere of Sudoku Variations by composer Tamar Diesendruck. The event will feature illustrations of the analyses of the pieces and interactive discussion.

Elaine Chew is an interdisciplinary scholar with dual training in operations research and music performance. She conducts scholarly research at the intersection of music and computing, and has produced and performed numerous classical concerts in countries ranging from Singapore to Slovenia. She received her Ph.D. and S.M. degrees in operations research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and her B.A.S. degree in music and in mathematical and computational sciences from Stanford University. Prior to that, she was awarded Fellowship and Licentiate diplomas (equivalent to conservatory-level graduate and undergraduate degrees) in piano performance from Trinity College, London.

Chew has been performing widely as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared in concert at venues and festivals, such as Zipper Hall as part of the Music of Changes concert series, Boston's Jordan Hall as part of the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts Recital Series, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival as a featured young artist, the Singapore Embassy in Washington, D.C., as part of the Embassy Series and Victoria Concert Hall as soloist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in the President's Charity Concert. She has also presented lecture recitals at international and national meetings of organizations such as the American Musicological Society at the Musical Intersections Joint Meeting (Toronto), the International Congress on Musical Signification (Finland) and the International Musicological Society (Belgium).

She has collaborated with numerous contemporary composers to premiere and record their works. The British-American composer Peter Child has written pieces for her based on songs from her childhood, which she has recorded; she was selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison to accompany Yo-Yo Ma in an open rehearsal of the world premiere of his Cello Concerto. Her forays into multimedia performance include a concert at the Oakland Planetarium with media artist and violinist Julia Ogrydziak and an electro-acoustic performance with 10.2 immersive audio with pianist Dennis Thurmond and 10.2 inventors Christos Kyriakakis and Tomlinson Holman.

As a pioneer building a career at the intersection of music and engineering, she was awarded the prestigious NSF Early Career Award and Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering, the highest honor bestowed upon young scientists and engineers in the United States. At USC, she is the first holder of the Viterbi Early Career Chair, an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering and research area director of human performance engineering at the Integrated Media Systems Center. She also founded and directs USC's Music Computation and Cognition (MuCoaCo) Laboratory, which focuses on the systematic and computational study and modeling of human abilities in music cognition. Chew's research on music and computation has been published extensively in such journals as the Computer Music Journal and the Journal of New Music Research.

Organized by Elaine Chew (engineering), Viterbi School of Engineering and Thornton School of Music.

For further information on this event:
[email protected]