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Music News

From English Degree to Grammy Award

Music Man

December 16, 2011

In 1993, in a small, dingy apartment in Berkeley, Calif., Warner Bros. Records producer Rob Cavallo sat on an overturned bucket. He listened, rapt, while a punk band of three scruffy 20-somethings belted out their latest…

Peter Berton, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations at USC, was born in Poland and at age 6 moved to Harbin, China, one of the largest Jewish communities in the Far East. He studied violin in Japan and after waiting 12 years for a visa to come to the United States, began graduate studies at Columbia University. Berton became a consultant for the Library of Congress one year after his arrival to the U.S. Photo by Jie Gu.

The "Godfather" of Japanese Studies

December 8, 2011

Dapper in a formal tailcoat, Peter Berton stood between American and Japanese flags as he accepted the Order of the Rising Sun. The Japanese government honored the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations…

Ronda Bransteitter, a postdoctoral researcher in molecular biology in USC Dornsife, enjoys playing the piano located in the Ray R. Irani Hall interaction lounge. The upright was a gift from  Patrick and Cindy Haden in 2005. Photo by Ambrosia Viramontes-Brody.

Moonlight Sonata for Scientists

May 23, 2011

When classes let out for the day and buildings around USC campus close for the night, piano tunes from Bach to Coldplay echo through the hallways at Ray R. Irani Hall. The soft sound of fingers dancing across piano keys is a…

Senior Jake Bloch created the documentary "Awe" for his religion honors thesis in USC Dorsife. The film investigates and merges scientific theories and religious pursuits. Photo courtesy of Jake Bloch.

An Awe-Inspiring Film

May 12, 2011

Senior Jake Bloch grew up seeing religion and science mixed together — right on his father’s bookshelf. Books by Alfred North Whitehead sat side by side with those by Albert Einstein, along with Houston Smith…

Yo-Yo Ma plays the cello to a composition by Bruce Adolphe based on a poem by Antonio Damasio. In the background is brain activity imagery produced in Hanna Damasio’s laboratory. Photo credit Hiroyuki Ito/The New York Times/Redux.

Brains and Beauty

August 27, 2010

Mind first bloomed quietly And no one knows when, Although we know where: Within a brain that lived within a body. Sound heady? It should. This is the introduction to a poem written by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio of USC…

David Román, professor of English and American studies and ethnicity, in USC College (left) and his undergraduate Zachary Wolf co-wrote a major performance review for <em>Theatre Journal</em>, as part of a Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) endeavor. Photo credit Pamela J. Johnson.

Surfs Up on Broadway

April 29, 2010

Zachary Wolf, an English senior in USC College, knows his professor's research well because it is also his own. Wolf and David Roman, professor of English and American studies and ethnicity, collaborated on and wrote the lead…

Photo courtesy of the Natural History Museum and Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging.

Fridays Are Happening

April 26, 2010

Combining science, music and a late night at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County might seem like a strange idea to some. But Michael Quick, executive vice dean in USC College and moderator of the museum’s…

John Treleaven as Siegfried and Linda Watson as Brünnhilde in "Siegfried." Photo by Monika Rittershaus, courtesy of LA Opera.

Reveling in the Ring

January 15, 2010

Every Saturday afternoon a 9-year-old boy plunks down next to his father and together they listen. The radio dial properly adjusted, a broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera's production of Puccini's La Bohème begins. A…

Robin D. G. Kelley, professor of American studies and ethnicity, and history, spent 14 years researching and writing his new biography of legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. Photo credit LisaGay Hamilton.

No Myths, Just Monk: The Story of a Musical Legend

October 27, 2009

Every day for almost a year, Robin D. G. Kelley dug through junk to find a man. In a storage facility stacked to the ceiling with overflowing bags and boxes, Kelley donned a dust mask and spent hours sorting through the…

Renowned Scholar Joins USC College

Renowned Scholar Joins USC College

March 1, 2006

Regarded as one of the country’s preeminent scholars in African American history, Robin D.G. Kelley will join the faculty of USC College July 1. He will hold a joint appointment as a professor of history and American…