Music and Theater Arts

Music and Theater Arts continues to afford students at MIT the opportunity to experience the unique language and process of the arts. Faculty and teaching staff help students understand art's demand for rigor and discipline and its non-quantitative standards of excellence and beauty. A strong, comprehensive program in both Music and Theater Arts, encompassing history, theory and performance-taught by a faculty and staff of the highest caliber whose ongoing professional activities inform their teaching-has been and will continue to be our hallmark. Because it is comprehensive, the academic program continues to produce graduates who have the talent and desire to extend their education in Music or Theater beyond the undergraduate level.

Highlights of the Year

Professor Ellen Harris was appointed Section Head in July of 2000. The MIT Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir and Wind Ensembles took part in the celebration of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 50th anniversary with a concert in Kresge Auditorium. Under the direction of Assistant Professor Dante Anzolini with Senior Lecturer David Deveau as piano soloist the Orchestra and Chorus performed Beethoven's Choral Fantasy. Renovations were completed on the new faculty and administrative offices for the Section in Buildings 10 and 4 and the move was completed in February.

Honors and Awards

Professor Peter Child was the winner of the Music of Changes composition competition and will receive a commission and a concert devoted to his music. Associate Professor Janet Sonenberg was named a Margaret MacVicar Fellow. Professor Evan Ziporyn was awarded a commissioning grant from Meet the Composer's Commissioning Music/USA 2000 program. Assistant Professor Thomas DeFrantz received the Class of 1948 Career Development Professorship.

Program Highlights

Enrollments in Music and Theater were 1038 and 368, respectively, for a total of 1406. Music and Theater Arts continued to host the MIT Chapel Series, a successful concert series featuring local solo and group performers. The MIT Guest Artist Series hosted the Artis String Quartet and the Cypress String Quartet. The Music Section celebrated Senior Lecturer Ed Cohen's 60th birthday with a concert of his music conducted by Institute Professor John Harbison.

Theater Arts and The Shakespeare Ensemble presented Shakespeare's Richard III directed by Kurt Lancaster and The Rover by Aphra Behn directed by Lecturer Kim Mancuso. Dramashop produced Sheridan's School for Scandal directed by Senior Lecturer Michael Ouellette. Bhoma by Badel Sircar was produced by Dramashop and directed by visiting director Sudipto Chatterjee. Dramashop presented an evening of student written and student directed one act plays. Associate Provost Alan Brody directed Playwrights in Performance in two evenings of one-act plays by MIT student playwrights.

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Professor Jeanne Bamberger guest lectured at New England Conservatory, Northwestern University and Tel Aviv University. She installed a computer exhibit Tuneblocks at the MIT Museum.

Professor Child completed a commission for the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College. His new work Refrain was performed at Boston Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Rice University and Oberlin College Conservatory. The group Interensemble performed his Trio for clarinet, violin and piano in Italy.

Professor Harbison was in residence at the Tanglewood Bach Institute, Tanglewood Composers Seminar and Florida State University. His Partita was premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra and North and South by the Chicago Chamber Musicians. The Chicago Lyric Opera performed his new opera Gatsby. He served on the Pulitzer Prize jury this past year.

Professor Harris completed an edition of 16 of Handel's Alto Cantatas, published articles in the Handel-Jahrbuch and the American Handel Society Newsletter. She was consultant to the Santa Fe Opera and lectured for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Baroque.

Professor Lowell Lindgren presented papers in Toronto, Ontario; Florence, Italy; and Dublin, Ireland. His publications include 26 entries for the New Grove Dictionary of Music, the article Italian Violoncellists for Music in Eighteenth-Century Britain, and Oratorios Sung in Italian at London, 1734-82 for Quaderni Della Rivista Italian di Musicologia.

Professor Marcus Thompson performed at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Sitka Summer Music Festival and the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. He toured Holland and Belgium and performed with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the Jury for the Julius and Esther Stuhlberg Competition.

Professor Ziporyn performed on tour with Paul Simon, performed with Bang on a Can, with Steve Reich and Marcello Zarvos.

Professor Anzolini made his debut at Carnegie Hall conducting the American Symphony Orchestra with piano soloist Leon Fleisher.

Professor DeFrantz contributed a chapter to the book Embodying Liberation: African American Dance, Alison Goeller and Dorothea Fischer-Hornung, editors, German Press, 2001. He was invited to lecture on Alvin Ailey at the University of Michigan, Barnard College in New York City and Charles V University in Paris. He was an invited lecturer at the Swedish Biennial of Dance at Umea, Sweden. He directed and choreographed ClimActs! and Queer Theory: A Musical Travesty at Theater Offensive of Boston, Boston Center for the Arts.

Senior Lecturer Deveau performed at Wolftrap in Virginia, Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego and Strings in the Mountains Festival in Colorado. He soloed with the New Philharmonia Orchestra and performed live on WETA and WQED radio. He continues as Artistic Director for the Rockport Chamber Music Festival.

Senior Lecturer Martin Marks recorded his piano score for the film Where Are My Children? for Turner Classic Movies. He lectured at Washington University in St. Louis, chaired the session Music for the Movies at the Toronto 2000 Musical Intersections Conference. Five of his short silent film scores were performed at a program for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Four of his short film scores were performed in the program Exceptional Amateur Films at the Portland Museum of Arts, Portland, Maine. He presented the paper Copland as a Hollywood Film Composer and his culminating score for 'The Heiress' at Northeastern University.

Senior Lecturer Ouellette performed in Light Up the Sky at the Williamstown Theater Festival. He published Music Inspired by Shakespeare in Shakespeare's World and Work, edited by John F. Andrews, Scribner and Sons, New York.

Lecturer Frederick Harris guest conducted the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. He published Conducting with Feeling, Meredith Music Publications and an article Opening the Score to the Audience. He was appointed assistant conductor of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Wind Ensemble and is the recipient of the Frank L. Battisti Conducting Residency at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Lecturer Laura Harrington received the Independent Reviewers of New England Award for Best New Play and won the Clauder Playwriting Competition for her play Hallowed Ground.

Lecturer Mark Harvey won the Independent Music Award in the jazz category for his composition Scamology. He released his fifth CD of original works performed by Aardvark Jazz Orchestra. He organized the symposium Illuminations and Transformations: Cross-Cultural Spiritual Dynamics in Music, Dance, Text, and Film and presented a paper for the Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture in New York, New York.

Lecturer Elena Ruehr was named Composer in Residence for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Her compositions Lullabies and Spring Songs were performed in New York, California, Massachusetts, Florida, and Indiana. The Law of Floating Objects was performed as part of the CyberArts Festival at Brandeis and with the Nicola Hawkins Dance Company. The Borremeo Quartet performed the Third String Quartet at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival and the Shanghai Quartet performed Song of the Silkie.


Professor Bamberger retired on June 30, 2001 and will be appointed Professor without tenure. Professor DeFrantz was promoted to Associate Professor without tenure effective July 1, 2001. Martin Marks and George Ruckert were re-appointed as Senior Lecturers in Music. Michael Ouellette was re-appointed as Senior Lecturer in Theater. Lecturer William Cutter was named Director of Choral Programs and Lecturer Frederick Harris was named Director of Wind Ensembles. Music and Theater Arts affirms its commitment to diversity within its disciplines and among its staff. Seven members of our full-time faculty and teaching staff of twenty are under-represented minorities or women.

Ellen T. Harris

More information about Music and Theater Arts can be found online at

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