CHRIS YAVELOW is an award-winning composer, multimedia producer, and author with a dozen books to his credit. In the 1980s, he established an international reputation as a visionary journalist about the future of music and computers. By the 1990s, he had written hundreds of articles for such publications as Macworld, Electronic Musician, Byte, Computer Music Journal, Macromedia Journal, and New Media Magazine.
As a composer, Yavelow has been honored with more than three dozen international awards and fellowships; for example, his “Dona Nobis Pacem,” was unanimously awarded the grand prize at the Rencontres Internationales du Chant Choral in France. The National Endowment for the Arts commissioned one of his operas, The Passion of Vincent van Gogh. Later, the National Institute of Music Theater sponsored his award-winning chamber opera, Countdown, (listen) which went on to receive accolades as the first computer-assisted opera, the first virtual orchestra performance in 1987, and the first opera in cyberspace in 1994. He has received residency fellowships from the likes of the MacDowell Colony and the Cummington Community of the Arts in America, and the Camargo Foundation and Cité des Arts in France.
His 1400-page Macworld Music and Sound Bible was the first “Bible” book published by IDG, and it was their first book to win a Computer Press Association Award. Named one of Mix Bookshelf’s “Top Twenty Titles,” Yavelow’s Music and Sound Bible was the Main Selection for the Small Computer Book Club, and was subsequently translated into Japanese. Following that success, he co-authored Mastering the World of QuickTime (Random House) and two book/CD-ROM combos: Multimedia Power Tools (Random House) and Macintosh Virtual Playhouse (Hayden). Later, he was the editor of A-R Editions’ acclaimed Computer Music and Digital Audio book series for four years.
Chris Yavelow received graduate degrees from both Boston University and Harvard University. He earned diplomas from the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest, the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse in Germany, and in France: the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud, and the Conservatoire Américain de Fontainebleau--the latter followed a year of private study with Nadia Boulanger. He has held teaching positions at the University of Texas (Associate Professor and Composer in Residence), Schiller College (Music Department Chairman), and Harvard (Teaching Fellow). From 1988 through 1993 inclusive, he taught composition and theory at Claremont Graduate University in California. He currently teaches "Digital Media I & II," "Motion Graphics," and "Music as Cultural Expression" online for the University of Maryland University College where he is a Full Professor.
A frequent public speaker, his lectures have ranged from delivering the keynote speech at the “First Conference on Computers in Music Education,” to addressing the “G7 Information Superhighway Conference” about multimedia ergonomics. In 1999, he was honored to deliver an Erasmus Prize Lecture at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam--a presentation on the future of music, now that computers can generate credible works in any style.
Yavelow has been involved in programming since the 1980s when he created custom music software for Apple's Vivarium project, and worked as both a composer and a member of the programming team for the world's first multimedia CD-ROM, Verbum Interactive. His Finale Guided Tour was the first such product to detect and respond to screen-size, the first synced scrolling musical staff playback, the first auto-updating software, and more; he also designed the specification for Finale's "MIDI Tool." His CyberMozart has been used to generate "new" works of Mozart for major European symphony orchestras. His Email Magician was the first anti-spam program. He was lead programmer for the VPRO Digital Guide, the first CD-ROM to synchronize to broadcast television, as well as being the first fully automated internet account setup system for an entire nation (the Netherlands). His Meta-tag Manager was the first software of its kind, and was named one of the top ten webmaster tools of the 90s. He also developed LEGO's first CD-ROM, which, at the time, was the largest CD-ROM production in history, second only to Windows 95. The LEGO project necessitated his creation of Spike, a revolutionary QuickTime utility praised by Pixar and whose functionality has been widely copied. Lately, he has been involved with expert systems such as Music is the Message (watch), an "artificially intelligent" film-scoring exhibit that ran from 1998 thru 2000 at the newMetropolis Science and Technology Center (NEMO) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and FictionFixer, a groundbreaking "expert system" for writers.
In summary, the 70s were Chris Yavelow's performance years; he founded, co-founded, directed, or co-directed many performance organizations in New England, at least one of which, The Annex Players, still exists (renamed Dinosaur-Annex). The 80s and early 90s were his computer-music years during which he was active on the board of NEWCOMP (The New England Computer Arts Association), worked for Kurzweil during the crucial years when MIDI was established, and helped bring Macs to the entertainment industry in Hollywood where he was, for several years, the director of MEGA (the Macintosh Entertainment Guild of Americaa joint venture of Apple Computer and Paramount), and also founded FUGUE (the first Finale Users Group) while he was one of the directors of the LAMG (Los Angeles Macintosh Group). The 90s saw his gradual shift to multimedia development and expert systems.
In 2000, Chris Yavelow began applying his talents to writing novels under a nom de plume and soon became interested in distance education for music and digital media. In 2006, he founded a digital publishing company. An avid geocacher and hiker, Chris walked the Camino de Santiago in 2012 and plans to walk it again in the future. He continues to teach, compose music, write nonfiction, develop software, and design books and collages.