The Shepherd School of Music
Rice: Unconventional Wisdom
The Shepherd School of Music
Exploring the Mind Through Music

2011 Speakers


Gregory Barnett



GREGORY BARNETT is the author of Bolognese Instrumental Music, 1660-1710: Spiritual Comfort, Courtly Delight, and Commercial Triumph, published by Ashgate Press. He has also published articles in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Early Music, the Journal of Musicology, the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, the Quaderni della Rivista Italiana di Musicologia, and the 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2007 conference proceedings of the Antiquae Musicae Italicae Studiosi—Como. He is a contributor to The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory ("Tonal Organization in Seventeenth-Century Music Theory") and to The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music ("Form and Gesture: Canzona, Sonata, Concerto").

In his research, Dr. Barnett has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Program, and the American Musicological Society. His research interests include the history of modal theory, Baroque-era instrumental music and instruments, and the music of Handel. Before coming to Rice University, he held positions at the University of Iowa and the University of Michigan. He has taught early opera, American music, Baroque music, and seminars on 17th- and 18th-century performance practice, the history of music theory, and J. S. Bach. Along with Dr. Peter Loewen, Dr. Barnett is co-director of the Shepherd School Collegium Musicum.


Anthony Brandt

Anthony Brandt
Composer Anthony Brandt is an Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. His honors include a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Houston Arts Alliance and fellowships to the Wellesley Composers Conference, Tanglewood, the MacDowell Colony and the Djerassi Resident Artists Colony. He has been a Visiting Composer at the Bowdoin International Festival, the Bremen Musikfest, Baltimore’s New Chamber Arts Festival, Southwestern University, SUNY- Buffalo and Cleveland State University and Composer-in-Residence of Houston’s OrchestraX and the International Festival of Music in Morelia, Mexico. His chamber opera, The Birth of Something, with a libretto by Will Eno (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2005) was commissioned and premiered by Da Camera of Houston. Dr. Brandt directs the acclaimed Houston based contemporary music ensemble Musiqa ( His innovative online music course “Sound Reasoning” ( was awarded an Access to Artistic Excellence Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been recognized with Rice University’s George R. Brown and Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Awards.

David Eagleman

David Eagleman
David Eagleman
is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action. He holds joint appointments in Psychology, Biomedical Engineering, and the Institute for Neuroscience at UT Austin, as well as an adjunct appointment in Psychology at Rice University. He earned his Ph.D. at Baylor College of Medicine, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute. He is on the editorial boards of Journal of Vision and PLoS One.

Eagleman's scientific work has combined psychophysical, behavioral, and computational approaches to address the relationship between the timing of perception and the timing of neural signals. He has explored temporal encoding, time warping, manipulations of the perception of causality, and time perception in high-adrenaline situations. This data is used to understand how neural signals processed by different brain regions come together for a temporally unified picture of the world. Eagleman also studies synesthesia, a harmless perceptual condition in which the senses are mixed – for example, someone hearing music might experience colors. He has recently authored a book on synesthesia entitled Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia (MIT Press, 2009).




Norman Fischer

Norman Fischer


NORMAN FISCHER first appeared on the international concert stage as cellist with the Concord String Quartet. The Concords won the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, an Emmy and several Grammy nominations, and recorded over 40 works on RCA Red Seal, Vox, Nonesuch, Turnabout and CRI. The New York Times recently said, "During its 16 years, the supervirtuosic Concord String Quartet championed contemporary work while staying rooted in the Western tradition." In addition to performing the major solo concerti, Mr. Fischer has premiered and recorded many new scores for cello and orchestra. Recitals of unaccompanied cello works have received rave reviews such as "Inspiring" [New York Times] for his New York debut recital of the complete Bach Suites in one evening and "Coruscating" [Boston Globe] for his performance of Golijov's Omaramor at the opening of the 1998 Tanglewood festival.

His chamber music expertise has led to guest appearances with the American, Audubon, Blair, Chester, Chiara, Ciompi, Cleveland, Enso, Emerson, Juilliard, Mendelssohn, and Schoenberg string quartets, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Ann Arbor, Chamber Music International, Context, Maui Classical Music Festival, and Houston's Da Camera Society.

Norman Fischer and pianist Jeanne Kierman perform together as the Fischer Duo, and as part of their 30th anniversary season during 2001-2002, Gasparo Records released three discs of American music performed by the Fischers. The first a collection of Fischer Duo commissions by George Rochberg, Samuel Jones, Augusta Read Thomas and Pierre Jalbert, the second a collection of music by Robert Sirota, and the third a compendium of works by Americans born in 1938 (Bolcom, Corigliano, Harbison, Milburn, Tower and Wuorinen). In January 2002 the Duo recorded the complete music for their medium by Chopin and Liszt and will be released by Bridge records in Spring 2006. They have twice represented the United States as Artistic Ambassadors in tours to South America and South Africa.

A devoted teacher and mentor to younger players, Mr. Fischer has taught at Dartmouth College, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and currently is Professor of Violoncello at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. In the summer he has taught at the Tanglewood Music Center since 1985 and is currently the coordinator of chamber music and strings.


David Huron

David Huron
David Huron,
professor of music, joined the School of Music faculty and the OSU Center for Cognitive Science in 1998. Although he was trained in performance, Huron has an international reputation for his research in music perception and cognition. This research includes such areas as music and human emotion, and the perception of harmony, voice-leading, and melody. Since graduating in 1989 from the University of Nottingham (England) with a Ph.D. in musicology, Huron has published over 80 scholarly articles.

He has been associate editor for the discipline's two major journals, and has twice been awarded extended research leaves by Stanford University's Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities. Prior to coming to OSU, Huron served on the faculty of the University of Waterloo (Canada), where he held concurrent positions as an associate professor of music, associate professor of psychology, and adjunct professor of engineering.



Suzanne Kemmer

Suzanne KemmerSuzanne Kemmer is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Director of Cognitive Sciences at Rice.She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics and German Studies from Stanford University. She has also served as faculty member in Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego, as well as Visiting Professor at the Linguistics Society of America (LSA) Institute at the University of New Mexico. She will again be a Visiting Professor at the LSA Institute in Summer 2011, at University of Colorado, Boulder. She has held fellowships from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, the Finnish Academy of Sciences, and the Taiwan Educational and Cultural Center. Her research interests are in the relation of language to cognition, cognitive semantics, grammatical theory and description, language typology and semantic and syntactic change, and most recently, the relation of cognition and music.




Fred Lerdahl

Fred Lerdhal Composer and music theorist Fred Lerdahl is the author of A Generative Theory of Tonal Music (with linguist Ray Jackendoff) and Tonal Pitch Space, both of which model musical listening from the perspective of cognitive science. A Generative Theory of Tonal Music was acknowledged by three conferences in 2008 in honor of the 25th anniversary of its publication. Tonal Pitch Space received the 2002 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award and the 2003 Wallace Berry Distinguished Book Award from the Society for Music Theory. Recent publications include “The Capacity for Music: What Is It, and What’s Special About It?,” co-authored with Ray Jackendoff, and “Modeling Tonal Tension”, co-authored with Carol Krumhansl. Lerdahl is Fritz Reiner Professor of Music at Columbia University.



Christine Neugebauer

Christine NeugebauerChristine Neugebauer is a board-certified music therapist and licensed professional counselor with over 16 years experience working with hospitalized children and adolescents. Interested in music since she began violin lessons at the age of 8, Ms. Neugebauer chose a career path that combined her love of music with her passion for service in the healthcare field. She worked for 15 years with pediatric burn survivors at Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas using music to help patients cope with trauma, pain, and physical rehabilitation. In February 2009, she initiated the music therapy program at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center where she currently provides music therapy services to children on the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, outpatient dialysis unit, and on the general medical/surgical pediatric units. The purpose of music therapy is to facilitate the recovery process for hospitalized infants, children and adolescents through participation in therapeutic music interventions that address each child's unique emotional, social, physical, and developmental needs. She specializes in helping children cope with trauma and pain associated with illness and injury. She has published original articles and book chapters on her work with pediatric burn patients and has presented at scientific meetings, both nationally and internationally, including the International Society for Burn Injuries and the American Burn Association. Ms. Neugebauer resides in Galveston, Texas where she is a volunteer violinist with the Galveston Symphony Orchestra and teaches private violin lessons at the Galveston Island Arts Academy.



Casey O'Callaghan

Bob SlevcCasey O'Callaghan's research aims at an empirically informed philosophical understanding of perception that is driven by thinking about non-visual modalities and the relationships among perceptual modalities. His research has focused upon auditory perception, speech perception, and the theoretical import of multimodality and cross-modal perceptual illusions. O'Callaghan is author of Sounds: A Philosophical Theory (Oxford, 2007) and editor of Sounds and Perception: New Philosophical Essays (Oxford, 2009). O'Callaghan received a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Princeton University. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rice University.


Aniruddh D. Patel

Aniruddh D. PatelAniruddh D. Patel received a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University. He joined The Neurosciences Institute in 1997, where he is now the Esther J. Burnham Senior Fellow. His research focuses on how the brain processes music and language, a topic he has pursued with a variety of techniques, including neuroimaging, theoretical analyses, acoustic research, and comparative studies of nonhuman animals. He has published over 40 research articles and a scholarly book, Music, Language, and the Brain (2008, Oxford Univ. Press), which won the 2008 ASCAP Deems-Taylor Award. In 2009 he was awarded the Music Has Power award from the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function in New York City. He is president of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition (2009-2011), and is interested in promoting student involvement in the field of music cognition.



Bob Slevc

Bob SlevcBob Slevc received a BA in Psychology and a BA in Chinese from the University of Colorado, completed his PhD in Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, and until recently was a NIH-NRSA postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychology at Rice University. Bob is now an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he is also affiliated with the Center for Advanced Study of Language.

Bob's primary research interests are in the cognitive science and neuroscience of language and of music. His work focuses on the relationship(s) between these two complex systems as well as the ways that language and music rely on (and perhaps affect/enhance) other cognitive abilities such as memory, learning, and cognitive control. He addresses these issues with both behavioral work and neuroimaging methods, and studies a variety of groups including 'typical' college students, second language learners, and brain damaged patients with deficits in the processing of language and/or music.



C. Richard Stasney


StasneyAfter his otolaryngology residency training at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Stasney spent two years in the Navy as Lt. Commander and Instructor in Otolaryngology at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Oakland, CA. Dr. Stasney joined a Houston private practice in 1976.

Dr. Stasney founded the Texas Voice Center in 1992 to diagnose, treat, and prevent voice disorders. He currently holds several advisory and medical executive positions, including an Endowed Chair for the Methodist Center for Performing Arts Medicine in Houston, and as consulting otolaryngologist for the Houston Grand Opera, The Alley Theater, and Theater Under the Stars, where he provides consultations and services for opera singers, musicians, and other performers. He has served as chairman of the Board of the Texas Hospital Licensing Advisory Council and the Baylor College of Medicine´s President´s Council. He received the American Academy of Otolaryngology Honor Award in 2004 and was named the Distinguished Surgeon of the Year in 2007 by the Association of Operating Room Nurses. He is an active member of numerous medical societies, including the American College of Surgeons, the Houston Society of Otolaryngology, and the Texas Society of Ophthalmology & Otolaryngology.

In addition to his academic positions at Wiell Cornell Medical College and Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Stasney is an adjunct professor of linguistics and music at Rice University, and a member of the clinical faculty of the University of Texas in Houston.


Robert Zatorre

Robert ZatorreRobert Zatorre is a cognitive neuroscientist working at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University. Dr. Zatorre was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He obtained his undergraduate training at Boston University, where he completed dual degrees in music and in psychology, while working as an organist. He earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Brown University under the late Peter Eimas, and in 1981 took up a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology with Brenda Milner at the Montreal Neurological Institute; shortly therafter he took on a faculty position at McGill, where he has remained ever since
Dr. Zatorre's research explores the functional and structural organization of the human brain using neuroimaging and behavioral methods. His principal research interests relate to the neural substrate for auditory cognition, with special emphasis on two complex and characteristically human abilities: speech and music. He and his collaborators have published over 150 scientific papers on a variety of topics including pitch perception, musical imagery, absolute pitch, music and emotion, perception of auditory space, and brain plasticity in the blind and the deaf. In 2002 the Canadian Institutes of Health Research granted him a Senior Investigator Award, and in 2005 he was named holder of a James McGill chair in Neuroscience. In 2006 he became the founding co-director of the international laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound research (BRAMS), a unique multi-university consortium with state-of-the art facilities dedicated to the cognitive neuroscience of music.