The four winners of the MacArthur Genius Grant 2017.
Urban Design Program Director Kate Orff and Adjunct Damon Rich at our Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, each won a 2017 MacArthur Foundation "Genius" grant for their innovative work in urban design. Musician Tyshawn Sorey (GSAS’17) and Computer Scientist Regina Barzilay (ENG’03), both Columbia alumni, were also named MacArthur Fellows.
Tyshawn Sorey

Tyshawn Sorey is a musician of many talents: improvisation, 20th-century avant-garde and classical music, rhythm and blues, metal, funk and hip hop, among other genres.

David Hajdu

Any discussion of pop music hits has to include Yesterday, the Paul McCartney song that rocketed to the top of the charts when the Beatles released it in 1965.

Zosha Di Castri

Photo by John Pinderhughes

Di Castri, who at 31 is one of the youngest composers to be featured, describes herself as a composer, pianist and sound artist.
John Reddick

Photo courtesy of Apollo Theater Education Program

John Reddick is one of 18 northern Manhattan residents selected by the University to pursue research projects and develop their skills at Columbia.
Columbia Great Grad 2016 Natacha Diels
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Texas and New Mexico, Natacha Diels considers herself a nomad. She spent most of her life, however, in New York City, where she attended New York University, graduating with degrees in flute performance and integrated digital media.
Charlotte Levitt Columbia University
Charlotte Levitt cultivates an audience for the dozens of concerts put on each year at Columbia’s Miller Theatre, which 'The New York Times' has described as one of the “city’s foremost new music venues.”
Chris Washburne Plays Trombone at Miller Theater

Chris Washburne plays trombone, Tony Moreno, drums, Ole Mathisen on clarinet, Per Mathisen on bass at Miller Theater. Photo by Lena Adasheva, Courtesy of Chris Washburne.

A colorful painting on the wall of Chris Washburne’s Dodge Hall office portrays the associate professor of music as a superhero, riding a collection of musical instruments including trombone, tuba and piano.

As an undergraduate at Purdue University, Brad Garton majored in pharmacy because “growing up in the Midwest, being a musician wasn’t a legitimate job.”

Georg Friedrich Haas

Georg Friedrich Haas with his three upright Yamaha pianos, one tuned according to standard pitch and the other two to pitches smaller than a half step to accommodate his own microtonal compositions and his teaching. Photo by Eileen Barroso.

When the Berlin Philharmonic performed the Georg Friedrich Haas piece dark dreams at Carnegie Hall last October, critics were ecstatic and some audience members booed.