The Magic of Music: How Music Works as Language (Grand Rapids)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Women's City Club, 254 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, MI, View Map

Presented by Kurt Ellenberger, Pianist, Composer, Author, Professor, Frederick Meijer Honors College, GVSU


Music is a hidden arithmetic exercise of the soul, which does not know that it is counting. ---Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716)

Music is a hidden metaphysical exercise of the soul, which does not know that it is philosophizing. ---Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

We all know the power that music has to move us emotionally, to “tell” us a story, to console us, to invigorate us, to entertain us, and to enrich our lives in many other ways. How does music do these things? How can sound waves without words impart meaning, develop narrative, and transform the listener’s mood and attitudes? This presentation explains the math, science, and the psychoacoustics behind the truly miraculous phenomenon called music.

About the Speaker

Kurt Ellenberger is a pianist, composer, and author who has written for a wide-range of jazz and classical ensembles. He has been featured as composer and pianist on CBC Radio and NPR and has recorded on Innova, Ghostly, and Challenge-A Records, several of which received international acclaim in leading publications including the New York Times and The New Yorker.

He has been hailed as “a gifted pianist who combines the lyricism of Bill Evans with the energy of Keith Jarrett.” He is also a Fulbright Scholar who recently returned from six months living in Graz, Austria where he taught at the University of the Arts.

As an author, he has published on various pedagogical topics and many essays that appear in his internationally renowned blog Also Sprach FraKathustra, on Huffington Post, and on National Public Radio’s A Blog Supreme. He is a professor in the Honors College at Grand Valley State University where he is also the Associate Director of the Faculty Teaching and Learning Center.

Additional Details

Meetings are open to the Public

After the meeting, join us at Vitale's Restaurant, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize. View Map

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Cost: FREE / Suggested Donation $5. Ways to Support CFI & Donate Online

Contact: Jennifer Beahan, , 616-698-2342