Mary Simoni is a composer, author, teacher, pianist, consultant, arts administrator, and amateur photographer. She holds a Ph.D. in Music Theory, a M.Mus. in Music Composition, a B. Mus. in Music Education, and a B.Mus. in Music Theory and Composition from Michigan State University.
Prior to joining Rensselaer in 2011 as Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Simoni served as associate dean of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance. As associate dean, Simoni developed research opportunities and strategic planning processes for the school, developed and directed electronic publications, and launched and directed the University of Michigan record label, Block M Records to promote the vitality, multiplicity, and excellence of the University of Michigan through web-based publication of media-rich scholarly and creative research. Her work as a pianist specializes in the use of interactive electronics. Her compositions include the design of performance systems that extend the sonic capabilities of traditional acoustic instruments. “My composition and writing strive to advance the expressive capabilities of the human voice and traditional acoustic instruments,” Simoni said. “My research spans digital signal processing, sound synthesis, algorithmic composition, and the design and programming of new interfaces for musical performance.” Her music and multimedia works have been performed in Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States and have been recorded by Centaur Records, the Leonardo Music Journal published by the MIT Press, and the International Computer Music Association. She is the recipient of the Prize in Composition by the ArtNET Virtual Museum. Simoni is the author of the books “A Gentle Introduction to Algorithmic Composition,” and “Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music,” and is currently working on a book with Roger Dannenberg of Carnegie Mellon University on algorithmic composition. She has consulted for the Canadian Innovation Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Peace Foundation, and numerous universities and arts agencies throughout the world. She is a Medal Laureate of the Computer World Honors Award for her research in digital music information retrieval, and is a Professor Emerita of Performing Arts Technology at the University of Michigan. The Knight Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs have funded her research.