Tod Machover interview from Aspen

From genConnect, here’s an interview recorded this past June during the Aspen Ideas Festival.  In the interview, composer Tod Machover of the MIT Media Lab describes how he invited the citizens of Toronto to compose “A Toronto Symphony,” which was performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the spring of 2013. The collaboration produced a portrait of Toronto that Machover hopes to replicate in other cities.


In Opera News


Here’s an insightful article about Tod Machover in the October issue of Opera News. Written by Philip Kennicott, Pulitzer prize-winning critic for the Washington Post, the article delves into the evolution of the music and gets to the heart of what the operas are about. Refreshing!

Some great quotes:

“…Machover, voluble and friendly in person, confounds expectations. Valis, based on a science-fiction novel by Philip K. Dick and dubbed “the first opera of the twenty-first century,” now sounds anything but scary, and his last three operas, Resurrection, Skellig and Death and the Powers, have rare emotional depth. Machover, now a fully mature composer, is unafraid of harnessing the old-fashioned powers of opera, unafraid of sentimentality, unafraid of C major.”

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BBC report on “Festival City”

Last night’s world premiere of “Festival City” went off without a hitch. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra players were on fire, and the acoustics in Usher Hall were excellent. Kudos too to the Edinburgh International Festival audience for their commitment and enthusiasm to new work. Check out this BBC report from the rehearsal, including a video with interviews with Tod Machover and RSNO conductor Peter Oundjian. The entire performance was also recorded and we hope will be broadcast soon. Stay tuned…

Read and watch video here: Edinburgh’s crowdsourced symphony made with MIT apps

BBC Scotland interview with Tod Machover


From Tod Machover’s Facebook:

Just did a live interview on BBC Scotland for my FESTIVAL CITY project for the Edinburgh International Festival. We talked about the idea of collecting sounds of the city, mixing those with music, and the hosts had even made their own collage of Edinburgh sounds for me to listen to. You can participate in the project at or follow our blog at

Listen to the interview here.

David Almond on BBC’s Desert Island Discs

Check out this wonderful interview with David Almond on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs series. David discusses children’s literature and the music he’d want if he were a castaway. Thirty minutes into the interview he talks about the opera version of Skellig, on which he collaborated with composer Tod Machover. Here’s what BBC program says about David:

Most of his work is for children but the adults who populate the juries of heavyweight literary prizes really like it too. The accolades began with his first novel Skellig published in 1998 when he was 47; it won the mighty “Whitbread Children’s” award and then many others besides.

Ever since, he’s been acclaimed for his ability to craft complex, philosophical narratives with strikingly down to earth characterisations.

Listen to the interview here: BBC Desert Island Discs with author David Almond. 

David Almond (from the BBC)

David Almond (from the BBC)

Tod Machover at the Dallas Opera (Video)

Tod returns by popular demand to speak with opera lovers at the Dallas Opera on September 18. He’s joined by Sara Heaton, who performed in “Death and the Powers” in the role of Miranda.  Here they are in “Composing Conversations”:

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