Silence and Memory: An Exploration of Music, Mind and Brain
with Ittai Shapira, Emir Gamsız, Joseph LeDoux, and Ruth Oscharoff
co-sponsored by the Contemporary Freudian Society and the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research
6pm doors • 7pm show
Join violinist and composer Cornelius Dufallo (ETHEL, Flux Quartet), violinist and composer Ittai Shapira, pianist and composer Emir Gamsız, neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, and psychoanalyst Ruth Oscharoff for a provocative investigation of how composers use silence and how it affects us. Long before John Cage’s infamous 4′33″ made an entire piece out of silence, composers have used rests and pauses to bring their music to life. Now, these brilliant creators and thinkers are delving into the secrets of silence, melding dynamic art and cutting-edge science into a captivating whole.
The evening will begin and end with music. Dufallo will play his own compositions before discussing the meanings of silence in music and psychotherapy. Oscharoff will augment this discussion with the concept of “silent interpretations”, a powerful psychoanalytic tool. LeDoux, author of The Emotional Brain and Anxious, will describe key findings from his research on emotion and memory and their connection to music.
Both Shapira and Gamsız will play their original compositions and share their personal perspectives on the role of silence, music, and memory on individual and cultural levels; LeDoux and Colin Dempsey will round out the creative roster with songs about the mind, the brain, and mental illness from the band Amygdaloids. Together, these incisive, diverse voices will discover deep insights about the pauses and rests that fill our lives.
Cornelius Dufallo, LCSW, DMA, is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City. He is also an innovative composer and violinist.
Dufallo has been a member of several notable ensembles, including the Flux Quartet (1996–2001), Ne(x)tworks (2003–11), and ETHEL (2005–12). Currently, he performs part time as an associate musician in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
In the performance of his own work, Dufallo was described as “an intensely introspective thinker who is as committed to visual communication as he is to the purely musical” (Washington Post). His work with musical technology illustrates “how much amplification can expand the instrument’s palette. Far from robbing the violin of its beauty, electronics add textural elements and graduations of timbre that the acoustic instrument cannot approximate” (New York Times).
Cornelius Dufallo is a psychoanalytic candidate in the training institute of the Contemporary Freudian Society.
Ruth Oscharoff, MA, MSSW, is a psychoanalyst in private practice with adults and adolescents in New York City. A member of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), she is supervisor and instructor in the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (CAP) program, where she teaches a clinical seminar, and is on the CAP Board. She is also a member of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA). Training analysts, supervisors, and faculty at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP), she is a former Director of the Clinical Center and was twice President of the Training Institute. A supervisor in both the adult and child/adolescent programs of the Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, she also served on its Board and Training Committee. As a clinician and faculty member in various other psychoanalytic, psychotherapy and academic settings during her career, she has written, taught, and presented on the process of psychoanalytic treatment with children, adolescents, and adults from a contemporary Freudian perspective.
Emir Gamsız has one of the most extraordinary life stories among classical musicians. He started to play the piano at the age of 20. He was a professional basketball player in the Turkish Professional Basketball League until he was injured in a game and, one day, while he was waiting to heal at home, just by hearing a Chopin waltz played once by his mother (a ballet teacher), he succeeded in playing it after a few hours of practice. Not playing the piano until age 20 did not deter him from pursuing piano professionally. After a year of private lessons, he became the oldest student accepted to the piano department of Istanbul University State Conservatoire. He was given the Young Musician of the Year award by the Lions Club in 1999.
After completing his studies in Turkey, he went to Paris to study with Hüseyin Sermet and Seba Baştuğ Şen. Gamsız made a big entrance to the chamber music scene in Europe. He played chamber music with well-known musicians, such as Chen Halevi, Natalie Clein, Marina Chiche, and the Belcea Quartet, and he also played solo recitals in France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Turkey, and the United States. He founded the Istanbul Trio in 2002. He prepared and broadcast a radio program, produced and performed a children’s show that was sold-out for five years, and penned articles for Andante music magazine in Turkey.
In 2008, he became the first Turkish pianist to perform Bach’s Goldberg Variations in Turkey. After moving to New York City in 2007, Gamsız and his wife, Ege Maltepe (actress, theatre director, and playwright), created numerous interdisciplinary projects. Some of these projects include Variations After Joe (2009), Two Faces of Schumann (2009), Drama in Beethoven (2010), Genius #Chopin (2012), and Talking to Schubert (2014). They presented a weekly concert series in the West Village’s legendary Caffe Vivaldi between 2013 and 2016. Gamsız also founded the New Yorker Ensemble in 2013.
Gamsız released his first album of original compositions, Alla Turca Around the World (Alla Turca ile Devr-i Alem) in 2014, and his second album Piano Lullabies will be released in the summer of 2019. As a pianist, Gamsız is attracting audiences with his Chatty Pianist concept concerts and his chamber music performances. As a composer, he is currently working on The Saga of Istanbul (based on Turkish poet Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu’s monumental masterpiece İstanbul Destanı), Fuga Alla Turca (24 fugues based on Turkish motifs), and Divine Robots (stage show). Gamsız and Maltepe are in the post-production of their cinema films Chekhov in New York, Transformism, and Greatest Classic. In the summer of 2018, he founded Bach Café in Istanbul and started a multi-lingual online newspaper gazetekultur.com.
In his dual role as violinist-composer, Ittai Shapira is a rarity in the 21st century, but follows a long line of musicians who, in writing and performing their own works, have relished both forms of creativity.
Described by the New York Times as “an Israeli dynamo with a flourishing solo violin career” and “electrifying” by the London Times, Ittai Shapira regularly performs with prestigious orchestras across the globe. Engagements include performances with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Belgrade Philharmonic under Sir Neville Marriner, the Cape Town Philharmonic, the Czech National Symphony, the Detroit Symphony under Yoel Levi, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Israeli Virtuosi at Alice Tully Hall hosted by Itzhak Perlman, The Knights, the Philharmonia, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the Russian Philharmonic with Thomas Sanderling, and the Symphony Orchestras of Budapest and Shanghai. Performances include a tour of Finland and Sweden with the Oulu Sinfonia. Shapira made his Carnegie Hall Debut in 2003 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He has premiered 19 concertos and recorded 20 CDs.
In addition to performing standard repertoire, he has collaborated with the Daniel Pearl Foundation for a film on HBO, has performed with Glenn Close and Brooke Shields, and is now collaborating with scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine on Music and the Brain as Artist in Residence. Shapira serves as Artist in Residence and Consultant for the Madison Theatre at Molloy College, and has been touring performing his own concertos for violin and orchestra.
He has recently premiered and recorded his concerto for violin and cello, Sephardic Journeys, coupled with his violin and clarinet concerto, a multidisciplinary project in close collaboration with Sir Salman Rushdie and visual artist Alexander Klingspor. The two works will be paired on a recording with the BBC National Orchestra Wales. His other concertos include Chunhyang for violin and soprano (with philosopher Laureen Park) and The Ethics (in collaboration with anthropologist Natasha Zaretsky) for violin and chorus, which premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2015.
Ittai Shapira studied with Ilona Feher in Israel and Dorothy DeLay and Robert Mann at the Juilliard School. He is the co-founder of the Ilona Feher Foundation with his colleague Hagai Shaham, dedicated to the promotion and nurturing of young Israeli violinists. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Sound Potential, an organization dedicated to medical, educational, and societal healing through music. The Victor Herbert Foundation has recently given him a special award in recognition and support for his unique projects.
Joseph LeDoux is the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at NYU in the Center for Neural Science and he directs the Emotional Brain Institute of NYU and the Nathan Kline Institute. He also a Professor of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical School. His work is focused on the brain mechanisms of memory and emotion, and he is the author of The Emotional Brain, Synaptic Self, and Anxious. LeDoux has received a number of awards, including the Karl Spencer Lashley Award from the American Philosophical Society, the Fyssen International Prize in Cognitive Science, the Jean Louis Signoret Prize of the IPSEN Foundation, the Santiago Grisolia Prize, the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, the American Psychological Association Donald O Hebb Award, and the Jean-Marie Delwart Foundation 2016 International Prize for Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms Underlying Mood. LeDoux is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His book Anxious received the 2016 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association. LeDoux is also the lead singer and songwriter in rock band The Amygdaloids and in the acoustic duo So We Are.