About

Theodore Levin

Arthur R. Virgin Professor, Department of Music, Dartmouth College

Fellow, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (1979–1981)

Theodore Levin is a longtime student of music, expressive culture, and traditional spirituality in Central Asia and Siberia. His two books, The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York) and Where Rivers and Mountains Sing: Sound, Music, and Nomadism in Tuva and Beyond, are both published by Indiana University Press. As an advocate for music and musicians from other cultures, he has produced recordings, curated concerts and festivals, and contributed to international arts initiatives. During an extended leave from Dartmouth, he served as the first executive director of the Silk Road Project, founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Currently he serves as Senior Project Consultant to the Aga Khan Music Initiative, and as chair of the Arts and Culture sub-board of the Open Society (Soros) Foundations. His research and advocacy activities focus on the role of arts and culture in promoting and strengthening civil society in countries where it is endangered or still emerging. He is presently working on a book on culture and development in Asia, writing and editing a textbook on the music of Central Asia for university students in the region, and completing a 10-volume CD-DVD series, "Music of Central Asia," released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. At Dartmouth he teaches courses on ethnomusicology and world music, sacred music in East and West, and an interdisciplinary course on the Silk Road offered through the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Program.