• To bring together the worlds of science and the arts
  • To advance understanding of the value of music and other art forms to the mind, brain and body

CLICK HERE for videos and transcripts from our conferences on:

  • Worlds in Collision: Music and the Trauma of War
  • The Beethoven Question: Can Art Make Life Worth Living?
  • Why Music? Is Music Different from the Other Arts?


50 Top Chamber Classics and Why We Love Them

Kings Place, Saturday 28 June, 10:00 - 17:30

Kings Place audience members and BBC Music Magazine readers voted for the nation's 50 favourite chamber works.  Why did they choose these works as their top 50 pieces? Is it because the emotional intensity of the music makes them happy, or sends chills down their spines, or makes them cry? Beethoven was reduced to tears by the Cavatina from his Quartet, Op. 130, and Tolstoy famously wept at the slow movement of Tchaikovsky's First Quartet.

Stephen Johnson, neuroscientist Michael Trimble (Emeritus Professor of the Institute of Neurology), empirical musicologist Tuomas Eerola (Professor of Music Cognition at Durham University), the outstanding chamber music performer, pianist Ian Brown, and Musical Brain Artistic Director Ian Ritchie, will address the questions:

What do these pieces have in common? How is beauty registered in the brain? Which keys make us happy, which keys make us sad?

A day of illustrated talks, debate and open discussion.

Musicians:  Marisol Lee violin, Raphael Lang cello, Ian Brown piano

Click HERE to book and for more information.

Mozart and the Power of Music: Memory, Myth & Magic

Senate House, Friday 24 October, 09:30 - 20:00

In partnership with the Institute of Musical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Musicologists, scientists, medical professionals and performers will debate the questions: how does performing and listening to music affect the brain? Does it increase your capacity to retain information? Is there a 'Mozart Effect'? Does music have the power to heal?

Speakers: Dr Jessica Grahn, Prof Jane Ginsborg, Stephen Johnson, Nigel Osborne, Prof Michael Trimble and Kirsteen Davidson-Kelly

Performers:  Ian Brown piano, James Gilchrist tenor, Anna Tilbrook piano 

Booking available soon.

Music, Poetry and the Trauma of War

LSO St Luke's, Sunday 2 November, 10:00 - 17:30

Throughout recorded history, music has accompanied soldiers marching to war, but it has also mourned their loss and attempted to help survivors come to terms with the devestation that ensues. This study day complements the world premiere of Equal Voices, Sally Beamish's setting of Andrew Motion's poem commemorating the First World War and looks at how poets and composers have responded to conflict.

Speakers: Stephen Johnson, Hugh McManners, Lord Alderdice, Lt Col Bob Meldrum, Andrew Motion and Sally Beamish

Performers: LSO musicians

This event includes a ticket to the evening premiere of Equal Voices in the LSO concert at the Barbican.

Booking available soon.

The Musical Brain ®
Registered Charity Number: 1135554