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On stage at Beethoven and Your Brain
Photo courtesy Dan Falk, NewScientist

Daniel Levitin, author of the best-selling books This Is Your Brain on Music and The World In Six Songs, has performed with Sting, cracked jokes with Robin Williams, and been heard on the CBC, NPR, and at Google HQ. Together with conductor Edwin Outwater, they explore what happens to your brain when it comes into contact with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. You will find out what is going on in the mind of the conductor, the musicians, and the audience (you!) in this interactive presentation. With live audience surveys using the latest technology, this will be a Beethoven experience that you will never forget!

Video courtesy Sean Liliani, The Mark News







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Daniel Levitin
Daniel Levitin is a Professor of Psychology, Music, and Computer Science at McGill University. An expert in music and the brain, he has published over 100 scientific articles. Dr. Levitin is also one of the best-selling scientist authors in the world with This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession and his latest book, The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature. Prior to entering academia, Levitin was a record producer and engineer with artists such as Blue Oyster Cult, Chris Isaak, and Stevie Wonder. He plays bass and contrabass clarinets, tenor saxophone, guitar, and electric bass.


One of North American’s most creative, dynamic, and engaging conductors, Edwin Outwater is Music Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Ontario, Canada. His innovative programming has earned him international acclaim, in particular for his Intersections series. With a goal of reinventing the orchestral experience, Outwater has collaborated with artists from composers Mason Bates, Gabriela Lena Frank, Nicole Lizeé and Nico Muhly, to authors Daniel Handler and Daniel Levitin and rock musicians Dan Deacon and Richard Reed Parry.
Mentored as Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and assistant conductor of the YouTube Symphony by Michael Tilson Thomas, the Harvard-educated conductor with a degree in English Literature is a versatile and sought-after conductor. Mr. Outwater travels frequently, leading orchestras all over the world. He has conducted the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the San Francisco Opera, the symphonies of Chicago, Columbus, New Jersey, Memphis, Toronto, Victoria, and many others.
Edwin Outwater











Beethoven and Your Brain - a synaptic symphony - John Terauds, Toronto Star

The audience seemed to relish every moment of the performance, which was part concert, part science lecture, and part “interactive Beethoven love-in…” – Dan Falk, NewScientist

This unique opportunity of placing “a stethoscope in music” largely attributed to the full-house attendance at Koerner Hall. At the end, each in the audience should have appreciated the fact that music, after all, need not be a complex language if one places his/her senses on simple musical building blocks. – Patrick Lam,

The audience ate it up.
Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette

With licence from the maestro to act as they please, the audience responded first with a pair of isolated whoops and hollers, then collected into a community outburst of spontaneous clapping, stomping, yelping and whoop-pah!
With the otherwise staid symphony crowd tasting a new-found freedom of understanding, expression, and emotive response to symphonic music, is it possible the horse is out of the barn?
Stephen Preece, Kitchener-Waterloo Record

Mervon Mehta quotation