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Advanced Music Performance students rev up for concerts

Baritone Youngmoo Kim, a Media Lab graduate student, will open the spring series of Advanced Music Performance (AMP) concerts with a performance of arias by Mozart, Donizetti, Verdi, Schumann and Ravel on Wednesday, March 15 at 5pm in Killian Hall.

Now in his second year of private vocal study through AMP, Mr. Kim came to MIT with a background in music performance, holding a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and a master's degree from Stanford University. At MIT, he has united his vocal expertise with his research in the Media Lab's Machine Listening Group, where he studies the analysis and synthesis of the human singing voice in order to create a convincing simulation.

"My research applies to the voice in general, but many of the experiments I've done have used my own voice," said Mr. Kim, adding wryly, "I'm usually available as a test subject." His project, "SoundSpin," a business plan for music distribution over the Internet using the MPEG-4 format, was recently named a semifinalist in the Sloan School of Management's $50K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Founded in 1983, AMP is open by audition to MIT students who demonstrate considerable technical and musical skills and wish to develop them through intensive private study. In addition to a full year of private study (for a total of 12 subject credits), students must also attend a regular performance seminar, participate in a departmental performing group and present a solo public performance.

"AMP is my way of forcing myself to keep up my solo work and to make sure violin stays important in my life," said Dawn Perlner, a junior who says she's proud to call herself a music major. "It also serves as an outlet for my extra emotional baggage and a break from problem sets."

Ms. Perlner chose MIT for the opportunities to study both mathematics and music. "The music department is small and supportive, the classes are top-notch... and I get to study with top people in both fields," she said.

AMP concerts continue through Wednesday, April 26. For complete listings, see the Arts Calendar. For more information, call x3-2826.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 15, 2000.

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