Category Archives: MIT Student/Alumni Musicians

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Robert Sprich

C. Robert Sprich (MIT class of 1960) graduated from MIT in 1961. He received his Ph.D. from Tufts University in 1971. While at MIT, he worked in the Music Library (1956–1961), was involved in the Lecture Series Committee,  and had an active interest in music at MIT. He is Professor of English and Media Studies at Bentley College (now Bentley University), where he has taught full time since 1966.

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Richard Orr

Richard Orr received three degrees from MIT in electrical engineering, B.S 1962, M.S 1963, PhD 1973.  An accomplished trombonist, he played with the young high school aged Chick Corea, and has played professionally with Herb Pomeroy, Buddy Rich, Rick Henderson, among other.  He was a member of the MIT jazz band, known then as the Techtonians, when Herb Pomeroy became director in 1963.    For much of his engineering career he has been with ITT Industries (formerly Stanford Telecom).

Rajesh Mehta

Rajesh Mehta received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Humanities from MIT in 1986. He is a trumpet player and composer active in Europe. At MIT he played in both the Concert Jazz Band and the Festival Jazz Ensemble. Jazz courses with Mark Harvey were critical in his musical development. He has developed extensions to the trumpet, and works to mix jazz with Indian Classical Music and other genres. In April 2001 he was MIT artist-in-residence.

Rajesh Mehta received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Humanities from MIT in 1986. He is a trumpet player and composer active in Europe. At MIT he played in both the Concert Jazz Band and the Festival Jazz Ensemble. Jazz courses with Mark Harvey were critical in his musical development. He has developed extensions to the trumpet, and works to mix jazz with Indian Classical Music and other genres. In April 2001 he was MIT artist-in-residence.

Karl Kornacker

Karl Kornacker received two degrees from MIT, S.B. in physics, 1958 and a PhD in biology, 1962.  He studied with noted cellist Janos Starker.  While at MIT, he played in the Orchestra under conductors Klaus Liepmann and John Corley, appearing twice as concerto soloist, and was very active in chamber music.  During his years at Ohio State University, Division of Biophysics, he continued playing chamber music and also had played with the Columbus Pro Music Chamber Orchestra.  His scientific interests span biophysics, cognitive physiology, statistics and computer science.

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Lionel Kinney

Lionel Kinney (b. 1932) received a B.S. degree at MIT in Civil Engineering in 1953.   He played trumpet in the MIT Symphony Orchestra, MIT Concert Band, as well as in the all-but-forgotten ROTC Band.  He also held various leadership and administrative positions in the orchestra and band, and was president of the “Combined Musical Clubs.”  As both a musician and student leader, he worked closely with Klaus Liepmann, the first professor of music at MIT, and John Corley, founding director and conductor of the MIT Concert Band.  His professional career was with Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria, IL, from 1957-1997, retiring as Senior Staff Engineer.

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Arnold Judson

Arnold Judson (b. 1927) received two degrees from MIT, a B.S. Chemical Engineering in 1947, and a M.S. Organizational Behavior in 1948.   He played the Beethoven Piano Concerto no.1 with the MIT Symphony Orchestra in 1947 (This was the first MITSO concert conducted by Klaus Liepmann, the first professor of music at MIT).   He was accompanist for the MIT Glee Club and played timpani in MITSO.  Mr. Judson wrote the music for the 1947 MIT Tech Show A Liberal Life, and later studied composition with Walter Piston.  He has written incidental music for theatrical productions, as well as piano, vocal and orchestral music. Mr. Judson continues to play piano and give occasional recitals.  He has had a successful career in business management and consulting and is the author of four books in the field.

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William Grossman

William Grossman (1947-2010), received two degrees in computer science from MIT, S.B. (1969) and M.S. (1971).  He was active as a pianist, French hornist, conductor and arranger in the MIT Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, Festival Jazz Ensemble and the Musical Theater Guild.  After studies at the Manhattan School of Music and New England Conservatory, he became a well regarded conductor, arranger, editor and rehearsal pianist for Broadway Theater productions in New York.   He also was involved with training of orchestral conductors at The  American Symphony Orchestra League’s conducting seminars.

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David Foxe

David Foxe received bachelor’s degrees in architecture and music from MIT in 2003.  From 1999 – 2003 he worked as a student assistant in the MIT Lewis Music Library.  As a student he played percussion in the MIT Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and also played piano for numerous concerts and events.  His compositions include works for piano, voice, chamber groups and orchestra. He practices architecture in Boston, and continues to write music.

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Cherry Emerson

Cherry Emerson (1916-2007) received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organic chemistry from Emory University, 1938 and 1939, and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT in 1941. An accomplished amateur pianist, he studied for a number of years with Alfredo Barili. With William R. Cuming, he founded Emerson & Cuming, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals. Founded in 1947, the firm became a worldwide company developing products crucial to such industries as aerospace and oil drilling. Mr. Emerson’s philanthropic activities have benefitted educational and cultural institutions, including MIT, Emory University, and the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. He was the primary donor supporting renovation of the MIT Music Library, which is named in honor of his mother-in-law, Rosalind Denny Lewis.  Cherry Emerson died in 2007.