Tod Machover is widely recognized as one of the most significant and innovative composers of his generation, and is also celebrated for inventing new technology for music, including Hyperinstruments which he launched in 1986. Machover studied with Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions at The Juilliard School and was the first Director of Musical Research at Pierre Boulez's IRCAM in Paris. He has been Professor of Music and Media at the MIT Media Lab since it was founded in 1985, and is Director of the Lab's Hyperinstruments and Opera of the Future Groups. Since 2006, Machover has also been Visiting Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Machover's compositions have been commissioned and performed by many of the world's most prestigious ensembles and soloists, including the Ensemble InterContemporain, the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Speculum Musicae, BBC Scottish Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Houston Grand Opera, Bunkamura (Tokyo), Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Collage New Music, Speculum Musicae, Ars Electronica, Casa da Musica (Porto), American Composers Orchestra, Tokyo String Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Ying Quartet, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Kim Kashkahian, David Starobin, Matt Haimovitz, and many more. His work has been awarded numerous prizes and honors, among others from from the Fromm and Koussevitzky Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, the German Culture Ministry, and the French Culture Ministry, which named him a Chevalier de l'Order des Arts et des Lettres. In 2007 he was awarded the Steinmetz Prize from the IEEE
Tod Machover has invented many new technologies for music, most notably his Hyperinstruments that use smart computers to augment musical expression and creativity. He has designed these hyperinstruments for some of the world's greatest musicians, from Yo-Yo Ma to Prince, as well as for the general public and for children, as in his Toy Symphony project (www.toysymphony.net) - called "a vast, celebratory ode to the joy of music and its power to bring young and old together, diversity into unity (The Boston Globe)" - which has been touring worldwide since 2002. In addition, the music composition software Hyperscore - originally developed by his team at the MIT Media Lab for children in the context of Toy Symphony - is fast gaining worldwide recognition as a popular creative tool for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Machover has been particularly noted for his operatic compositions, which include: VALIS (1987), a science fiction opera - called 'the first opera of the 21st century' by The New York Times - commissioned for the tenth anniversary of the Centre Georges Pompidou; Media/Medium (1994), a "magic" opera for magicians Penn & Teller; the audience-interactive Brain Opera (1996/8), commissioned for the first Lincoln Center Festival, toured worldwide, and permanently installed at the Haus der Musik in Vienna since 2000; and Resurrection (1999), based on Tolstoy's last novel and commissioned by Houston Grand Opera. In addition, Machover has created numerous large-scale music installations for the general public, including the building-size underground art experience Meteorite (2000-2005) in Essen, Germany, a collaboration with media entrepreneur Andre Heller. He is currently working on a robotic opera, Death and the Powers, in collaboration with poet/librettist Robert Pinsky and director Diane Paulus, which will premiere in Monaco in September 2009
Machover's new opera, Skellig (based on the best-selling novel by David Almond), premieres in November 2008 at the Sage Gateshead (Newcastle, UK) which commissioned the work.