After Hours
Pesetsky, Kaiser, and Sugawara in performance with the New Philharmonia 

(Which one sings Sinatra?)

                                                                                            New Philharmonia Orchestra, Sinatra inset


Out of the classroom, away from the office, the MIT SHASS community is full of surprises and unexpected talents.  As it turns out, some moonlight as orchestra musicians and others as—Frank Sinatra. 

This St. Patrick's Day, March 17, two program heads will be doing just that in a special concert by the Newton-based New Philharmonia Orchestra: David Pesetsky, Head of Linguistics, and David Kaiser, Head of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS).   

For Pesetsky, who has led the "New Phil" orchestra's second violin section since its founding in 1995, this is a regular gig. Each week during the school year, he rehearses with the orchestra, which gives some ten performances a year.  

For David Kaiser, however, this is definitely not a regular gig! The New Phil concerts are typically focused on classical programming (Brahms, Beethoven, Mahler), but the March 17 event is the "Pub Night & Karaoke Concert," featuring traditional Celtic music, audience sing-a-long favorites and pops numbers.  


 L:  Professor David Pesetsky, Head, Linguistics; and graduate student Ayaka Sugawara, at the New Philharmonia
 R: Professor David Kasier, Head, Program in Science, Technology and Society 

                    Kaiser will be taking the stage as Frank Sinatra—
                    belting out a number, backed by violinist David Pesetsky
                    and the New Philharmonia symphony orchestra. 

And that’s where Professor Kaiser comes in. Although he is often an audience member at the orchestra's concerts (his wife Tracy Gleason, a psychology professor at Wellesley College, is the principal oboist), on this occasion Kaiser will be taking the stage as Frank Sinatra—belting out a number backed by the entire symphony orchestra. 

Why? "I grew up playing jazz piano," says Kaiser, "and in high school I often played in a nice Italian restaurant near my home in New Jersey. So while I have great admiration for the New Phil's classical repertoire, I've got to say, nothing beats ol' Blue Eyes."

Pesetsky and Kaiser aren't even the only SHASS people performing in the concert. Pesetsky shares his violin stand with a second-year graduate student in the Linguistics department, Ayaka Sugawara, who joined the orchestra after attending one of its concerts.

The New Philharmonia's St. Patrick's Day Concert takes place on Saturday, March 17 at 7pm at the First Baptist Church in Newton Centre. 

Suggested Links

More information at New Philharmonia

MIT SHASS | Linguistics at MIT

MIT SHASS | Program in Science, Technology and Society

David Pesetsky
Head, MIT SHASS Linguistics;
Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics,

David Kaiser
Head, MIT SHASS Program in Science, Technology, and Society;
Senior Lecturer, MIT Department of Physics



Orchestra courtesy of New Philharmonia
Pesetsky and Sugawara, by Yusuke Imanishi
David Kaiser, by Jon Sachs