$15 – $50

Leonardo da Vinci, MUSICIAN & SCIENTIST

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Saint John's In the Village

218 West 11th Street

New York, NY 10014

View Map

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Event description


Leonardo DaVinci--The Musician and Scientist: How Leonardo da Vinci's musical knowledge and skills informed, and were informed by his scientific inventions and knowledge of the natural world.


Featuring Dr. Michael Eisenberg--Curator, Scholar, Historical Keyboard

Joined by:

Dongmyung Ahn--historical strings

Alex Yu--historical wind instruments

Carlo Valte--Historical Plucked Instruments

Patricia Sonego--Voice


It is probably not well known that Leonardo da Vinci was a musician. The brochure for the 2014 exhibit of Leonardo’s design of musical instruments at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan, Italy notes: "This catalogue introduces us to Leonardo the musician, a man with a talent for singing and poetry recitation, capable of accompanying himself on the lyre and presenting fascinating improvisational performances, always in search of new acoustic effects and aesthetics".

Musicologist Emanuel Winternitz, author of the 1982 book Leonardo da Vinci As a Musician, writes the following about the interpenetration of music with many of Da Vinci’s other activities:

“Ingredients of music, that is, acoustical phenomena (such as echo) are explored, often in analogy to the behavior of light, as contributions to theoretical physics; proportion theory is enriched by the concept of a perspective of sound in analogy to proportion in the visual realm; anatomy, the study of the living organism as a machine, provides" ... "an opportunity for creating new or better musical instruments, for instance, in the image of the larynx and its cartilage rings, or by the imitation of hand and finger tendons for the construction of keys for wind and other instruments; the colorful masks, processions, and stage plays. ... ”

Winternitz concludes:

"Leonardo's involvement with music was not one facet, one particle among many others, of his creative power but an essential, indispensable, integral, organic part of the whole structure of his scientific-artistic energy, interrrelated with the many other aspects that the universe had for him. Music -- as an activity as well as the subject of meditation -- is an element of his forma mentis, or, as he might have said, figurazione della mente."

The Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture is happy to bring this two-part thought-provoking presentation on Leonardo da Vinci as a musician and scientist to St. John’s in the Village, 218 W. 11th St., NYC. Dr. Michael Eisenberg, curator of a 2014 exhibit at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan on da Vinci’s designs of musical instruments, and the Codex Atlanticus, will lecture, and perform on harpsichord, organ and Renaissance harp. He will be joined by Dongmyung Ahn on historical strings, Alex Yu on historical wind instruments, Carlos Valte on historical plucked instruments, and and Patricia Sonego, voice.

Join us for these fascinating presentations! The event at St. John’s will include lecture, slides, musical demonstrations, and concert.

Saturday, April 13, 2 pm

To provide an overview of Leonardo's early musical journey, his musical instrument design, and his use of other scientific domains to inform his acoustical experiments as grounded in the musical, intellectual, and scientific inquiry of the Sforza, Medici, and Este courts.

Saturday, May 4th, 2 pm

To provide an in-depth analysis of Leonardo’s use of musical harmonic proportions to construct form and signification in “The Last Supper” and to interpret performative meaning in his “Festa del Paradiso” enactment of the harmony of the spheres.

Join us for these two fascinating presentations! Both events will be followed by a reception.



National Endowment for the Humanities fellow for studies on Leonardo da Vinci's integration of art and science, Dr. Michael Eisenberg specializes in early modern performance practice and its relationship to visual culture. In 2014 he was invited to curate the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana di Milano's exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci's images on music and acoustics with Pietro Marani. For seven years, he performed on the roster of the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series interpreting music of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque. Dr. Eisenberg has taught and held research fellowships at Columbia, Harvard, UCLA, the University of London School of Advanced Studies, the Italian Fulbright Commission, the Delmas Foundation, and the Getty Research Institute. As a member of the Metropolitan Opera Guild roster, he was selected as the only conductor to perform for the Placido Domingo Met Gala celebration. Michael has performed throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East, and for the National Public Radio, the BBC, CBC and HBO. His recording credits include two-time finalist prizes with recording contracts in the EMA/Dorian international recording competition. Michael is the founding artistic director of chamber ensembles Le Nuove Musicheand Ensemble for the Seicento and holds masters degrees in harpsichord and piano from the Mannes College of Music as a Sylvia Marlowe Fellow, and a Ph.D. from the City University of New York. Dr.Eisenberg is a 2019 Gilder Lehrman fellow at Princeton University.

CARLO VALTE, Historical Plucked Instruments

Carlo Valte (Oud, guitar) is an active performer and educator in New York and abroad. He performs as Oudist with ALBA Consort, The Compass Trio, Sendebar, Adufera and performed with Hesperus on guitar, oud and percussion for the live music with silent film project The Golem. Past performances include Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, L’Auditori de Barcelona, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors series, Museo Tamayo (Mexico D.F.), NYPR’s Greene space and The United Nations. He has given workshops, master classes and educational programs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Queens College (CUNY), University of Chicago, The Oriental Institute, Northern Illinois University and many other public and independent schools in NYC and the Tri-state area and Spain including Barcelona, Tarragona and Reus. He has coached ensembles since 2005 for the annual New York Guitar Seminar. His past recordings are with One Soul Records, Vienna Modern Masters, and N. Y. Collegium. His own education started in classical guitar with conductor Michael Dadap. He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Music degrees at the Mannes College of Music as a student of Frederic Hand and historical performance practice with Pat O'Brien. His interest in Medieval and Near Eastern Music led him to study the Oud with Simon Shaheen in New York and Nasser Houari in Rabat, Morocco.

“Carlo Valte was virtuosic on the Oud…" - Contrapunts, Catalunya Radio

“Valte took center stage with several captivating solos…” - Express Milwaukee

DONGMYUNG AHN, Historical Strings

Period violinist Dongmyung Ahn is a performer, educator, and scholar, whose interests span from the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries. She is a co-founder of Guido’s Ear, an ensemble that specializes in the music of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. As a Baroque and Classical violinist, she has performed with the New York Collegium, Early Music New York, Clarion Music Society, Sebastian Chamber Players, Sinfonia New York, Concert Royal, Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity, and Joshua Rifkin’s Bach Ensemble. She has also played the rebec in the critically acclaimed production of The Play of Daniel at the Cloisters. A dedicated educator, she is the director of the Queens College Baroque Ensemble. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Fellowship.

ALEX YU, Historical Wind Instruments

Alex Kwok-Wai Yu is a versatile musician who embraces a career as a recorder player, clarinetist and conductor. He has given solo performances in such venues as Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Grand Theatre, and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Alex has received scholarship to attend the virtuoso recorder seminar at the Amherst Early Music Festival and the Queens College Bach Workshop directed by Raymond Erickson. He was a member of the Queens College Baroque Ensemble from and has played concerto performances as soloist with the ensemble. He was recipient of the Paul Maynard Award in Early Music and Adele Lerner Chamber Music Award. His major teachers include Bart Spanhove, Eva Legene, Nina Stern and Harry Wong. Alex has been featured in the Gotham Early Music Scene Midtown Concerts series regularly with Concentus. Alex holds degrees in clarinet performance from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, CUNY, and has studies under Charles Neidich, Andrew Simon and Deborah Chodacki. Alex was awarded twice the Bernard van Zuiden Music Scholarship from the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society. He was the first-prize winner of the American Protégé International Romantic Music Competition, and has participated in major music festivals such as the Sarasota Music Festival and Orford Music Academy in Quebec, Canada. Alex was appointed as an adjunct faculty in clarinet at Queens College, CUNY. He is currently the Assistant Conductor of Queensboro Symphony Orchestra.


"Voice of an angel - a beguiling voice hailed for its true sensitivity and drama," says Toronto's National Post of American coloratura soprano Patricia Sonego. A frequent recitalist, Patricia performs a wide range of repertoire with various chamber ensembles. She is a featured guest artist on the prestigious Grinberg Classical Salon Series in New York City, presenting performance/lecture programs on the great composers, both male and female, of Russian, French, Italian, German and Spanish art song from the 16th through 21st centuries. She also tours with the Baroque chamber ensemble 'Le Nuove Musiche' performing songs of the 16th and 17th century.

Patricia made her operatic debut in New York City in the world premiere of American composer Jack Beeson's 'Sorry, wrong number,' with the Center for Contemporary Opera under the baton of Richard Marshall (recorded for Albany Records). She has premiered numerous works by contemporary composers, including 'Messages for Raoul Wallenberg' by Terry Winter Owens with Alaria chamber ensemble at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall; and art songs by famed Broadway composer Charles Strouse (Annie, Bye Bye Birdie) with Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Matt Herskowitz. Ms. Sonego’s most recent recording is the world premiere of 'Two Poems' by Patrick Hardish, with pianist Taka Kigawa (‘Song Cycles,’ CCR/NAXOS). She recorded the world premiere of ‘For Milton,’ a serial music work for Milton Babbitt by award-winning composer John Melby (Perspectives of New Music/Open Space Magazine). Ms. Sonego’s debut CD ‘A Simple Pleasure’ (IMS Canada), with pianist Michael Eisenberg, features the world premiere recording of American composer Seymour Barab’s song cycle ‘The Rivals’ (IMS Canada).


Refund is within 7 days of each lecture event date. I.e.: for 4/13 lecture, refund ends on 4/6.


Share with friends

Date and Time


Saint John's In the Village

218 West 11th Street

New York, NY 10014

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Save This Event

Event Saved