Nolan Gasser
Musician, Entertainment Tech Disrupter

A renowned composer, pianist, musicologist, and tech entrepreneur, Dr. Nolan Gasser has had a front-row seat on both sides of the entertainment business. As a composer, his works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and opera houses/theaters around the world. As a musicologist, his book, Why You Like It has become the definitive work on musical taste. As co-creator of Pandora Radio and now the founder of Katch — a cutting-edge film/TV data analytics firm, he has overseen revolutions in both the music and media sectors.


Now, Dr. Gasser brings his unique experience and creativity to arts-based and corporate audiences with a set of stimulating and insightful lectures — on why we love music, how music increases productivity, and the data revolution in entertainment.  Music is a universal in our lives — a source of joy, social bonding, and physical & emotional wellness; it is a window into who we are as individuals and collectives. Learn why in these stimulating lectures.

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Why You Like ItThe Science and Culture of Musical Taste
Flatiron Books

In this sweeping and authoritative book, Dr. Nolan Gasser—a composer, pianist, and musicologist, and the chief architect of the Music Genome Project, which powers Pandora Radio—breaks down what musical taste is, where it comes from, and what our favorite songs say about us.

The Revolution Is Here: Data and the New Entertainment Industry Drawing on his 25-year career in the entertainment data space – first, as a creator of Pandora Radio and now as a founder of Katch, a thriving film / TV data analytics firm, Dr. Gasser shares his first-hand insights into how “smart” data is transforming the way entertainment is created, marketed, and consumed. A media revolution is underway: learn what it means for you.
How Music Improves Corporate Productivity In our post-COVID world, maintaining corporate cohesion and strong productivity has become increasingly difficult. In this enlightening talk (with optional workshops), Dr. Gasser explains how music — an inherent social connector — can bring employees closer together, increase efficiency, and cultivate a happier, more productive workforce.
Why We Love The Music We Do From the musical mind behind Pandora Radio and the author of WHY YOU LIKE IT: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste comes a lively and music-filled discussion on why we all love music, what our musical taste says about us, and how empowering our musical taste can make us all healthier in mind, body, and spirit.

Nolan Gasser writes about the pros and cons of the streaming music revolution and the unifying powers of music in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times.
Nolan Gasser provides his take on the personality and messaging profiles of the 2020 Democratic candidates based on their walk-on songs in a fun article for Business Insider.
Nolan Gasser talks about his book Why You Like It on NPR. The Economist gave Nolan Gasser’s Why You Like It a riveting review.
The Washington Post 
raves about Why You Like It, naming it one of the 
Top 10 Books to Read in April.
Kirkus gives Nolan Gasser’s Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste a starred review.
Nolan Gasser is working to create music therapy to help cancer patients individually rest and heal.
Will music treat cancer? Nolan Gasser works to create a “prescription” of music for cancer patients.
Read about the opening night of Benny & Joon at Paper Mill Playhouse with music by Nolan Gasser.
Times Square Chronicles 
introduced the creators of  the musical Benny & Joon. Musical Benny & Joon plays at Paper Mill Playhouse with music by Nolan Gasser. Check out Nolan Gasser’s personal website.

Read about Nolan Gasser’s new media technology company calledKatch.
Check out Nolan Gasser’s feature in Shondaland.
Listen to Nolan Gasser in Watching America with Dr. Alan Campbell.
Listen to Nolan Gasser talk with Paula Podstone.

“Nolan’s presentation was entertaining, compelling, and insightful. Out of a list of 30 speakers that included Tom Friedman, David Brooks, Dave Barry, and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, only Condoleezza Rice got more votes than Nolan for 'best speaker'! He always has an opening invitation to present at the Carmel Authors and Ideas Festival.”
– Carmel Authors and Ideas Festival

“Nolan’s lecture was a home run! We had a packed house and everyone was both educated and entertained. I’ve never had more attendees come up to me afterward and say how much they enjoyed a lecture. He delivered a complicated subject matter—the science of our musical tastes—in an accessible and entertaining style. His mix of visual graphics, humor, and his exceptional skills as a pianist left the audience enthralled."
– Linda Hall Library (Kansas City), Modern Inventions Lecture Series

“I enthusiastically recommend Nolan Gasser without hesitation as an extremely engaging and entertaining speaker. Remarks I heard from attendees after his performance included: 'Fascinating that the parallels to our world are so strong!' 'Gasser’s approach is so akin to our way of analyzing problems.' 'Loved his live examples of similar themes across very different musicians. Although obvious when he pointed them out, I never recognized them before on my own!' The audience was so stimulated by Nolan’s presentation precisely because his stories and descriptions seemed so eerily familiar – although placed in an entirely new context. Long after Nolan’s presentation, many conversations continued to gravitate back to his points. Attendees were fascinated that they had found a kindred soul in an apparently unrelated field.”
– CQA Conference, Wynn Las Vegas

Praise for Why You Like It "[Why You Like It is] one of those rare books that both geeks and casual listeners can enjoy, combining science, art and sheer enthusiasm to explain why you might love bluegrass while your significant other prefers the blues."
The Washington Post

"Why You Like It is a beautifully written, fresh, and articulate explanation of the science and art of music that will greatly expand your understanding, knowledge, and love of all music. It doesn't get any better than this."
— Steve Miller, famed rock musician and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

"A sprawling, packed-to-the-brim study of the art and science of music, as monumental and as busy as a Bach fugue."
- Kirkus Reviews, a starred review