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This is a contributing entry for Virginia Women in History - Central Virginia Region and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
A composer and sound artist, Judith Shatin champions music that blurs the line between acoustic and digital. She established the Center for Computer Music within the University of Virginia's music department housed in Old Cabell Hall, where she also teaches.

  • Photograph of Judith Shatin, courtesy of Judith Shatin.
  • The Library of Virginia honored Judith Shatin as one of its Virginia Women in History in 2012.
  • The Virginia Women in History Digital Trail is made possible by the Library of Virginia and American Evolution: Virginia to America, 1619–2019.
As founder and director of the Virginia Center for Computer Music, Judith Shatin (b. 1949) combines her musical training and her fascination with sounds, natural and built, to create works that expand the traditional definitions of music and composer. For Shatin, there is no distinction between acoustic and digital music. She uses combinations of instruments, electronic media, and even wild animal sounds. In an interview, Shatin said that she is "interested in creating perceptible rhythmic frameworks and in developing musical structures that invite both physical and intellectual response."

Shatin, a student of piano and flute, received degrees from Douglass College, The Juilliard School, and Princeton University. While at Princeton she studied under the composer Milton Babbitt, a pioneer in using computers to write music. In 1979 Shatin joined the faculty of the University of Virginia, where she is William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Music and where in 1987 she established the Center for Computer Music. In addition to her tenure as president of American Women Composers, Inc. (1989–1993), she has served on the boards of the International Alliance for Women in Music, the American Composers Alliance, and the League of Composers/ISCM. Shatin has received four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as awards from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She is married to Michael Kubovy, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia.

Reprinted with permission of the Library of Virginia.