Home of authentic species-specific music: the NY Times #1 idea of 2009    

About / The creator

David Teie

DAVID TEIE was born into a musical family, one of a third generation of professional musicians. By the time he entered college he had set aside studies of piano, saxophone, and singing to concentrate on the cello. He worked with Stephen Kates and Berl Senofsky at the Peabody Conservatory where he received his Bachelors and Masters degrees and the Wertheimer award for cellists, and with William Pleeth in London on a Fulbright scholarship and studied composition with John Corigliano. He joined the National Symphony in 1984, eventually playing fifteen concerto performances with them, twelve with Maestro Rostopovich conducting, including performances on two U.S. tours and the first of the American Residencies. He spent the 1999 – 2000 season as acting principal cellist of the San Francisco Symphony.

He composed the string music for the CD by the rock group Echobrain founded by former Metallica bassist, Jason Newsted, was commissioned by Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony to write one of the Hechinger encores, Fuga Eroica which received its premiere with the NSO in February of 2004, and in November of 2005 premiered his Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra with the Anchorage Symphony. His flute concerto was recorded in 2012 and his settings of poems of Walt Whitman for choir and orchestra were premiered in 2014, the same year he was named conductor and music director of Washington, DC's premier chamber orchestra, the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra. David serves on the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Maryland.

In 2005 -06 David developed and outlined the first comprehensive theory that attempts to explain the cognitive processes involved in our appreciation of music. Working with Charles T. Snowdon at the University of Wisconsin, they studied the affect of David’s species-specific music on cotton-topped tamarin monkeys, resulting in the first controlled study that demonstrated significant and appropriate responses to music from any species other than human. David is currently working with Jagmeet Kanwal at Georgetown University to see if combination sensitivity is involved in emotional response to music, as David’s theory predicts. His research involving music and cognition has led to a number of published articles in premier publications including Biology Letters of the Royal Society and a chapter in the Oxford University Press book Evolution of Emotional Communication that contains the only comprehensive theory of the origins and affective processes of music that has passed peer review. His research led to invitations to speak at the 11th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition and the Washington Academy of Sciences. His species-specific music was listed as the New York Times #1 idea of the year in 2009.


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