Amazing Stanford Colleagues

One of the greatest joys of being associated with Stanford University was that I found myself engulfed by amazing colleagues. I have written about Nobel Laureates in a previous post in my discussion of how I was introduced to computer. Stanford affiliates have been awarded 58 Nobel prizes.

In addition, in my own Music Department, there are two colleagues who have made contributions to the field which are primary.

John Chowning

Dr. Chowning is the co-holder of the most lucrative patent Stanford University co-owned (previously this was the Stanford-Benet IQ test.) Dr. Chowning is the inventor of Frequency Modulation technology - the discovery of which has made virtually all electronic musical instruments possible. In addition, John is a well-respected and published composer and innovator in the field of electronic music, having inspired numerous composers, inventors, students and colleagues to further his creative endeavors. John has always remained a humble and caring human being and has assisted hundreds in their pursuits of musical and technological creativity. When I was contemplating retiring from Stanford, John Chowning wrote, "Bill is an extremely gifted musician whose intellect and boundless energy have made both the undergraduate and graduate choral and conducting programs at Stanford an unqualified success. Of all the graduate programs in music history and performance, Bill's has been the most successful over the years." John is a dear friend and colleague.

Leland Smith

I have already mentioned Leland Smith in a previous posting. As a co-founder of the Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music, bassoonist, innovator, and creator of the first computer-based notation system widely used by major publishers worldwide, Leland has revolutionized musical notational systems while inspiring thousands of forward-thinking musicians world wide.

Condolezza Rice

When we moved to the Stanford campus, and after our 4-years as Resident Fellows at Florence Moore Hall, we purchased a condo in the Peter Coutts complex. Our next-door neighbor, with whom we shared a common wall, was an outstanding professor named Condolezza Rice. We often met at our mail boxes and exchanged greetings, but we both were very busy and had limited interaction until after she was appointed as Provost of Stanford University. One day she invited Phyllis and me to her condo for tea and we had a wonderful time discussing music (she had initially planned to become a professional musician and was an excellent pianist.) I had just submitted my retirement papers and Condi told me that, as Provost, her deepest fear was that excellent professors would make the decision to leave Stanford before she had the opportunity of exploring options with them. She was gracious and a wonderful neighbor who later became the United States Secretary of State.

Kenneth Arrow

One of the tenors in the Stanford Chorale was a young man named Andrew Arrow. He was an excellent singer and became a very important soloist for the group. I, of course, had immediately recognized the name of "Arrow" because Ken Arrow, the economist, was one of the most visible of the Nobel Laureates from Stanford. Ken was not only known for his "Arrow's Impossibility Therom" his "General Equilibrium Theory" but also his outstanding students (five of whom have also been awarded the Nobel Prize.) He served on the staff of President John F. Kennedy's Council of Economic Advisers, and was awarded the National Medal of Science by President George W. Bush in 2006. He and his wife were friends and strong supporters of music. His son, Andy, has become a sought after actor and singer and is married to award winning actress, Donna Lynne Champlin.

Arthur Schawlow (click here for more information from my computer page)

Edward Feigenbaum (click here for more information from my computer page)

Stanford Music Faculty & Staff
Stanford Music Faculty & Staff

Row 1 - Frances Blaisdell, Kay Duffy, Marjorie Chauval, Margaret Fabrizio, Arthur Barnes, Barbara Allen, Leonard Ratner, John Planting
Row 2 - Sandor Salgo, Albert Cohen, Naomi Sparrow, Herbert Nanney, Gregory Wait, Wolfgang Kuhn, Adolph Baller
Row 3 - Earl Blew, John Chowning, William Mahrt, George Houle
Row 4 - Gennady Kleyman, Harold Schmidt, Andor Toth, Edward Colby, Charles Ferguson, William Ramsey, Elwood Williams, Herbert Myers

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