Thomas Dolby: Johns Hopkins' Newest Professor

Chris Willman

The pioneering new wave artist will teach a course called "Sound on Film" at the school's Baltimore campus.

The man who blinded us with science will now don a professor’s robe.

Thomas Dolby, the creator of the '80s new wave anthem, will join Johns Hopkins University as the first Homewood Professor of the Arts.

A creative leader at the forefront of digital music and merging music with film and technology, Dolby will teach “Sound on Film,” a collaboration between the school’s Film and Media Studies and the Recording Arts and Sciences program at the Peabody Institute, where students create soundtracks for films.

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He also will be artistic director of a film center Johns Hopkins is launching along with the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Maryland Film Festival in Station North, Baltimore’s gentrified arts and entertainment district, located between the main campus and downtown.

“This is a thrilling opportunity for me,” said Dolby, whose father, grandfather and great grandfather all taught at the University of Cambridge. “I love the city and I look forward to bringing something very new to the table.”

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Dolby served as musical director for the TED conferences from 2001 to 20012. Last year, he toured the States, performing a live soundtrack to his award-winning documentary short, The Invisible Lighthouse -- which he shot, scored and edited himself -- about growing up in Snape (where he still lives), his U.K. hometown that is being threatened with extinction by the encroaching tides.

Dolby’s appointment was made possible in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which gave the university $1.2 million to launch a  collaboration between the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Peabody Institute to support initiatives aimed at strengthening the integration of the arts into public life.

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