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Steinhardt Music App Allows Fans to “Step Inside” Mahler Symphonies

February 10, 2016

Scholars and fans of the German-born composer Gustav Mahler will get a unique opportunity to digitally immerse themselves in a range of recordings of the German-born composer’s Sixth Symphony, thanks to a unique project pioneered at NYU Steinhardt’s Music Experience Design Lab (MusEDLab), the New York Philharmonic, and Norwegian-based developer MusIT.

Stepping Inside Mahler’s Sixth, a public event at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, enables attendees to sample a new application prototype that digitally explores, compares, and contrasts audio tracks with music scores. Developed by Professor Alex Ruthmann and his team at the MusEDLab using MusIT’s OIID technology, the prototype incorporates four historical sound recordings as well as various annotated scores of Mahler’s famous Sixth Symphony. Source music includes performances conducted by Philharmonic Music Directors Dimitri Mitropoulos, Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, current director Alan Gilbert, and historic scores from the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives.

“This technology allows users to really step inside a performance, leveraging technology to gain a better understanding of what distinguishes one performance from another,” said Ruthmann. “The Phil is really the perfect partner for this, given the richness of its archives and its commitment to finding new and innovative ways for fans and students alike to experience the highest quality music.”

“The Philharmonic has a particularly rich history when it comes to Mahler and his work, so we’re extremely excited to be working with NYU’s MusEDLab to bring Mahler’s music to life in new and exciting ways,” said Barbara Haws, Archivist and Historian at the New York Philharmonic. “What makes this event particularly gratifying is that the prototype can be manipulated and enjoyed on a number of levels, appealing to Mahler scholars as well as new listeners – it’s fun.”

Stepping Inside Mahler’s Sixth is part of the New York Philharmonic’s free Insights at the Atrium series, and will be held at 7:30 p.m. on February 10, the day before conductor Semyon Bychkov will conduct a series of performances of the same work. Interactive iPad stations will allow attendees to “test drive” the app at a media-rich event featuring Ruthmann, music historian Erik Ryding, Philharmonic Audio Director Lawrence Rock, and Philharmonic Archivist/Historian Barbara Haws, who has spearheaded the digitization of the rich Philharmonic Archives through the Leon Levy Digital Archives project.

The event takes place at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (Columbus Avenue at 62nd Street) and is co-presented with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Insights at the Atrium events are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. For more information, visit

About the NYU Steinhardt Music Experience Design Lab (MusEDLab)
The Music Experience Design Laboratory at the NYU Steinhardt School researches, designs, and develops new technologies and experiences for music making, learning and engagement together with community and industry partners. This includes incubated student-led entrepreneurial projects, industry/community sponsored-research and development, and external foundation-funded research. Visit here for more information.


This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Shonna Keogan | (212) 998-6796


Users of the MusEDLab prototype can drill down on different symphonic sections, using archival recordings provided by the New York Philharmonic.

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