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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Noam Elkies, mathematician and musician

Last week, I had the great pleasure of rehearsing, and performing, with Noam Elkies. He is a genius, being the youngest full professor of mathematics in Harvard's history, and also playing piano the way he does. His genius mathematical mind contributes so vividly to his understanding and interpretation of music, that I found it very fascinating to work with him. We were able to turn out a decent rendition of Brahms' Sonata #3 after just one rehearsal. We also did a short piece for violin and piano composed by Noam, called "Apotheose". With its use of church modes, it reminded me of impressionistic music by Ravel and Debussy. I look forward to continued collaboration with Noam.