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Science and Music Series hits the right notes

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Music-loving members of the Salk community have discovered a uniquely satisfying way to cap a weekend. Approximately one Sunday afternoon a month, they have been gathering in the Institute's de Hoffmann auditorium to enjoy musical masterpieces performed by emerging artists and learn about Salk discoveries straight from the stellar scientists responsible for them.

Since last October, the Science and Music Series has boasted sold-out performances ranging from classical to jazz, featuring winners of such prestigious international musical contests as the Arthur Rubenstein, Van Cliburn, Paganini and Fulbright Concerto competitions. Sharing the billing with these extraordinary musicians has been a Steinway concert grand piano, a generous gift from Conrad Prebys, and distinguished Salk scientists Fred Gage, Ron Evans, Greg Lemke, Tom Albright and Marc Montminy, who have spoken about their cutting-edge research. Most recently, on March 16, Karen Joy Davis joined award-winning violinist Sean Lee in a program of works by Beethoven, Dvořák, Falla and Wieniawski. In addition to her musical talents, Davis is the executive producer of the Science and Music Series.

By all accounts, the unusual pairing is a big success. "The auditorium is so cozy that you feel as if you're getting a private performance," says Edward Shamieh, a retired engineer and frequent attendee. "Plus you get to learn a little about what's going on at the Salk Institute. It's a beautiful combination: music for the spirit and science for the mind."

The six-concert series concludes May 18, with Fei-Fei Dong, 2013 Cliburn Competition finalist. Clodagh O'Shea, associate professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, will discuss her work engineering novel virus-based cancer therapies.

For more information on the Salk Science and Music Series or to purchase tickets, visit the website www.salk.edu/music or phone 858.453.4100 x 2098.