The following is music by / from people with genius level IQs!
I had the most wonderfully inspiring and humbling morning. I had the idea to put together this article about the sound of music genius.. certified MacArthur Grant winning genius. It took me on a music journey through all walks of sound. From jaw dropping jazz sax & violin concertos, lifting vocals, and even incredible sound design machines and what is being done about sound preservation. I have found so much new music to listen to! I am currently listening to some sax work by Miguel Zenón and I am actually feeling something indescribable… incredible!
You can watch and listen via the video example links or I have compiled all the examples into a playlist at the bottom of this post.
The MacArthur Fellows Program, MacArthur Fellowship, or “Genius Grant” is a prize awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation typically to between 20 and 40 individuals, working in any field, who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work” and are citizens or residents of the United States.
- Max Roach, drummer and jazz composer : Video Example *drum solo
- Bernice Johnson Reagon, music historian, composer, and vocalist : Video Example *acapella
- Ali Akbar Khan, musician : Video Example *sitar solo
- Gunther Schuller, composer, conductor, jazz historian : Video Example *tuba concerto
- Cecil Taylor, jazz pianist and composer : Video Example *piano improvisation
- Steve Lacy, saxophonist and composer : Video Example *jazz saxophone
- Anthony Braxton, avant-garde composer and musician : Video Example *jazz saxophone
- Ornette Coleman, jazz performer and composer : Video Example *jazz saxophone
- Meredith Monk, vocalist, composer, director : Video Example *musical film scene
- Trimpin, sound sculptor : Video Example *sound machine design
- Ken Vandermark, saxophonist, composer : Video Example *baritone solo improvisation
- Stephen Hough, pianist and composer : Video Example *performing Chopin Ballade No 1
- Marin Alsop, symphony conductor : Video Example *conductor of Mozart Piano Concerto No.22
- Regina Carter, jazz violinist : Video Example *violin performance
- John Zorn, composer and musician : Video Example *live performance
- Corey Harris, blues musician : Video Example *acoustic guitar & vocals
- Dawn Upshaw, vocalist : Video Example *vocal solo
- Leila Josefowicz, violinist : Video Example *Bruch 1st Violin Concerto
- Miguel Zenón, saxophonist and composer : Video Example *solo jazz saxophone
- Jason Moran, jazz pianist and composer : Video Example *solo jazz piano
- Sebastian Ruth, violist, violinist, and music educator : Video Example *viola section
- Dafnis Prieto, jazz percussionist and composer : Video Example *percussion / drums
- Jeremy Denk, pianist and writer : Video Example *piano
- Carl Haber, audio preservationist : Video Example *speaking on audio preservation
- Vijay Iyer, jazz pianist and composer : Video Example *jazz piano solo
Pop Musician Geniuses *for fun! 😉
- Shakira – IQ 140 – No Example necessary, but notable.
- Madonna – IQ 140 – No Example necessary, but notable.
- Natalie Portman – IQ 140 – One example, and it’s as priceless as you would expect! I can’t test the embed the video because apparently NBC Universal thinks that people in Brazil don’t deserve to listen to it.