Noel Zahler - Center for the Arts in Society - Carnegie Mellon University

Noel Zahler

Head, School of Music

Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Ave,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Noel Zahler is a composer, researcher, teacher and administrator who has led departments, schools of music and interdisciplinary programs at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Minnesota and Connecticut College. His entrepreneurial expertise has been sought in the creation of collaborations and partnerships throughout the music world. He has earned degrees from Columbia University (DMA), Princeton University (MFA), L'Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Certificato di Perfezionamento), Siena, Italy, and C.U.N.Y. Queens College (BA/MA).

Zahler is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including a National Endowment for the Arts Consortium Commission, a Fulbright/Hayes Fellowship to Italy, two MacDowell Colony Fellowships, an Aaron Copland Foundation Grant in support of recording, a Connecticut Commission on the Arts Individual Artists Grant, a Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) prize for the sound score to the computer-realized video Gothic Tempest, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Grant (music perception) and a National Science Foundation grant (Decoding the Human Conducting Gesture). A fellow of the Associated Kyoto Program, Dr. Zahler also has been granted an Italian National Research Council Award, New York State Council for the Arts grant in support of recordings and a National Endowment for the Humanities Scholarship.

His compositions include a wide range of vocal and instrumental works, as well as electroacoustic, interactive and multimedia works. His compositions are published by Associated Music Publishers (G. Schirmer, Inc.), American Composers Edition, and APNM music publishers. Recordings of his music: Regions I, Four Songs of Departure, and Harlequin are available on the OPUS ONE record label. Agarttha, is available on the Capstone label, Trio for violin and piano, and Concerto for clarinet, chamber orchestra and interactive computer are available on Albany Records. L’espace entre nous is recorded on the SIMAX label. Several internationally acclaimed ensembles have performed Zahler’s compositions, including the American Composers Orchestra, the Manhattan Sinfonietta, the Arden Trio, the Charleston String Quartet, the Meridian String Quartet, the League of Composers/ISCM, and University of Iowa Center for New Music, as well as other groups and individuals throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

A frequent collaborator with artists, architects, mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists, Dr. Zahler is the co-author of three computer software programs including the Artificially Intelligent Computer Performer, Score Follow and Music Matrix, as well as numerous co-authored articles.

Zahler’s writings on and about music include three articles in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, six articles in the New Grove Dictionary of Music in the United States, a critical edition of Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question (Peer Southern Music Publishers, 1986), and numerous articles on music theory and composition, artificial intelligence and music, and computer music. He is listed in Who’s Who in Music, Who’s Who in the United States and Who's Who in the World.  Currently, Dr. Zahler is Head of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, where he also teaches composition.