Composer Dmitri Tymoczko of Princeton will present an application of mathematics to the structure of music in a lecture on February 24, 2009

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - Composer and music theorist Dmitri Tymoczko of Princeton University will deliver the Matthew Vassar Lecture on Tuesday, February 24, at 5:00pm in Rockefeller Hall, room 300. Tymoczko will discuss "The Geometry of Music," in the lecture, free and open to the public, that is hosted by the Departments of Mathematics and Music.

"Borrowing some of the mathematics that string theorists invented to plumb the secrets of the physical universe, he [Tymoczko] has found a way to represent the universe of all possible musical chords in graphic form," wrote Michael D. Lemonick in Time magazine (Jan. 26, 2007). Tymoczko explained to him that: "By showing how compositions of various styles move through orbifold spaces, you can see how different styles of Western music relate to each other and evolve." Tymoczko's report, "The Geometry of Musical Chords," was the first article on musical theory to appear in the journal Science (July 2006).

Tymoczko's music has won him numerous prizes and awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and two Hugh F. MacColl Prizes from Harvard University. He has received fellowships from Tanglewood, the Ernest Bloch festival, the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory, and was the composer-in-residence at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

In addition to composing concert music, Tymoczko has written for the Atlantic Monthly, Boston Review, Civilization, Lingua Franca, and Music Theory Spectrum. Articles about his work have appeared in a variety of publications, including Time, Nature, and Physics Today.

After graduate work in philosophy at Oxford University, Tymoczko received his Ph.D. in music composition from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently an associate professor at Princeton.

People with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, February 11, 2009