Professor David Ibbett
Alden Hall, AH216
+1 (508) 8315085
MA Clare College, Cambrdige
MMus Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Ph.D. University of Birmingham

Professor David Ibbett is a composer, educator, and musical advocate for science. He directs the Multiverse Concert Series, a project that combines music and science in live performance - and thus he has found the perfect home in WPI's unique STEAM culture. Together, David and his students develop the music, techniques, technologies and performance practices to unite the arts and sciences as an immersive experience for audiences of all ages.

Ibbett composes electrosymphonic music: a fusion of classical and electronic styles that interweaves influences from songs, symphonies, pop, rock and electronica. Musical strands are met with inspiration from the work of scientists: sonified data, musical metaphors for scientific concepts, and experimental sound and images from contemporary research.

In all projects, Ibbett seeks a deep collaboration with musicians, scientists, artists, and performers. He has worked with physicists (Dr. Matthew Kleban, NYU), biologists (Dr. Paul Garrity, Brandeis), engineers (Dr. Irmgard Bischofberger, MIT), sociologists (Dr. Clara Han, Johns Hopkins), astrophysicists (Dr. Priya Natarajan, Yale), and oceanographers (Dr. Sarah Davies, BU). Key projects include Octave of Light (2020), an album of exoplanet music with Roy Gould of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Climate Hope Concert (2022) with WBUR and the Urban Farming Institute; Black Hole Symphony (2021) and Mars Symphony (2023) with the Museum of Science, Boston and Laurie Leshin of NASA's JPL.

In 2020, Ibbett was the first guest composer at Fermilab, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. 

In 2023, Ibbett was named the first Resident Composer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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Professional Highlights & Honors
Guest Composer, 2020 - 2021
Resident Composer, 2023
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


Boston Globe
When composers and scientists join forces, it’s alchemy for the ears

David Ibbett, assistant teaching professor in the Department of Humanities & Arts, was featured in The Boston Globe for an article about composers who translate science into musical scores. Ibbett's "Mars Symphony" is being performed this summer at the Museum of Science in Boston

Boston Globe
David Ibbett’s Mars Symphony turns the mysterious red planet into an instrumental soundscape

Have you ever wondered what Mars sounds like? Visiting assistant teaching professor David Ibbett in the Department of Humanities & Arts composed the Mars Symphony. Three performances are scheduled at the Museum of Science, Boston this summer. He spoke with The Boston Globe about the sonification of science and this joint project with the Museum of Science and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He also discussed the composition on WGBH's The Culture Show podcast and the CultureLab podcast from New Scientist.