Stephen Malinowski

The subtleties and intricate patterns at the core of DNA of western classical music—which have enchanted and fascinated people for centuries—still challenge us today: how do we find our way into a musical language developed long ago and containing considerable structural complexities?

Musician and inventor Stephen Malinowski uses a simple visual approach to stimulate our ability to build expectations and thereby enhance our engagement with the music.

In this TEDx performance, Malinowski uses a newly-developed version of his Music Animation Machine software which allows him to synchronize his graphical score in a live performance. Violinist Etienne Abelin who collaborated on the development of this technology will play music of Johann Sebastian Bach, together with pianist Dorothy Yeung.


Born in Santa Monica, California, USA in 1953, Stephen Malinowski studied composition with Thea Musgrave, Peter Fricker, and Stanley Krebs. He started working on the Music Animation Machine in the 1970s, writing computer software in the 1980s, selling videotapes of his animations in the 1990s and working as a developer of psychoacoustically-inspired audio processing algorithms in 2001. In 2011 he created the animations for Björk’s Biophilia app. He developed the live synchronization tool in 2012 and premieres it together with Etienne Abelin of classYcal in October 2012 with the Nuernberg Symphony Orchestra, at TEDxZurich and at the Ynight – Classical in Club in Zurich. Over 100 million views and countless enthusiastic comments on his Youtube channels give testimony of the profound impact of Malinowski’s work and approach.

Etienne Abelin is a violinist and conductor. He’s an initiator of ((superar)) suisse, a start-up that brings music to socially disadvantaged children, and helps launch classYcal, an emerging community dedicated to promoting innovations in classical music, for example by bringing classical music to the dance floor. He’s also a member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, a principal second violin of the Orchestra Mozart Bologna, both led by Claudio Abbado, and he was the Artist-in-Residence and music curator at the Festspielhaus St.Pölten in Austria 2010. Etienne is a founding member of the Hub Zurich and is passionate about Italian gelato and smooth cappucinos.

Dorothy Yeung started the piano at the age of three and enjoys a career as a professional classical pianist besides of being active as a cultural ambassador heading fund raising initiatives, designing events and working as a cultural consultant for international organisations. Born in London and better known as Dot, she is now based in Zurich and is a member of Hub Zurich and the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce. She is also the founder and director of the LIP Party and LIP Lounge which stands for Local (Swiss), International (Expats) Party, bringing together Swiss and Internationals in a relaxed party atmosphere always with a key element of live music.

More about the artists

Websites: (Stephen Malinowski) (Visualizations Stephen Malinowski) (Etienne Abelin) (Dorothy Yeung)

@musanim (Stephen Malinowski)
@etienneabelin (Etienne Abelin)

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