Nolan Gasser holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from Stanford University, where he has served as an Adjunct Professor, teaching courses on Medieval and Renaissance music history to undergraduate music majors. His most renowned accomplishment as a musicologist is via his role as Architect of Pandora Radio’s Music Genome Project, whereby he directed and defined the musical operation that stands behind the wildly successful Internet Radio service. A detailed interview on Nolan’s work as architect of the Music Genome Project appeared in the technology journal Ars Technica. To view the Ars Technica article, click here.


Nolan is currently completing a book, WHY YOU LIKE IT: The Science and Culture of Music Taste—to be published by Flatiron Books, a division of Macmillan Press, in 2016. The book explores the full dimension of music, unveiling for a lay audience what lies behind our musical taste—from a musicological, scientific, cultural, and physiological standpoint; the book explores what our musical taste says about us, what we can do to enhance it, and how it can make our lives richer and more successful.


Nolan is active as a speaker on a variety of musical subjects for venues both public and private—in which he combines his experiences at Pandora, with his expertise on the interrelations of music, culture, and science (mathematics, physics, biology, neuroscience, genetics) to explain the origins and nature of our collective and individual musical taste – combined with a good deal of humor and even piano performance, as requested. A wide array of topics / approaches is possible, and can be tailored to the desires of the client.


For info on booking Nolan for a speaking engagement, and to discuss content and availability, contact:

WME Speakers (reference Nolan Gasser in your email)



Nolan likewise holds the position as Artistic Director of the Classical Archives website (, a position he has held since 2002 – although his activities at the site have recently decreased due to his other demands. Nolan’s musicological work at Classical Archives can be seen not only in his oversight of the musical database, but likewise in the many Exclusive Features created under his direction – including interviews with such musical luminaries as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Hilary Hahn, John Corigliano, René Fleming, Paul Hillier, Joshua Bell, David Finckel and Wu Han, Alan Gilbert, and many others (see

Copyright 2013 Nolan Gasser
Last update: Feburary 18th 2013