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USIA Fellow Prof. Craig Wright

Professor Craig Wright is an Honorary / Advisory Fellow Musicologist of the United Sigma Intelligence Association (USIA).


Born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1944, Wright is the Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Music Emeritus at Yale University. He studied for a degree in piano performance at the Eastman School of Music from 1962–1966, during which period he discovered that he actually had very little talent for music!

If you cannot create, you perform, if you can’t perform, you teach. So off young Wright went to Harvard University to learn to become a classroom teacher of classical music, earning a Ph.D. in musicology in 1972. After a year of teaching at the University of Kentucky, Wright moved to Yale in 1973, where he remained for forty-four years, serving as chair of the Department of Music from 1986-1992.

At Yale, Wright developed two popular undergraduate courses: “Listening to Music,” and “Exploring the Nature of Genius.” In 2016 he was awarded Yale’s Sewall Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching and in 2018 the Yale Phi Beta Kappa Devane Medal for excellence in teaching and scholarship.

Interests & Awards

Although initially trained at Harvard to be a medieval musicologist, Wright’s interests ranged widely beyond music, to history, liturgy, and architecture. Gradually his research shifted to Mozart and from there to genius generally. Wright has written seven books on various aspects music and cultural history, the last being The Hidden Habits of Genius. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Chicago, and in 2010 was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Pioneer in Online Education

Never afraid to make a fool of himself, Wright eagerly embraced the opportunity to be a pioneer in the field of online education. teaching Yale’s first online course in 2010, and then serving as the university’s first Academic Director of Online Education from 2013 until his retirement in 2017. “That was my greatest pleasure at Yale,” he says. “We were given an unlimited budget and told to go out there and be creative!” His online course “Introduction to Classical Music” on Coursera currently has 170,000 followers.

Personal Life

Craig Wright has been married to attorney Sherry Dominick for forty-two years and is the father of four children and currently seven grandchildren. Many of the insights for The Hidden Habits of Genius came from watching these young people develop and seeing how different and distinctive each is. What did he learn? Parents are hugely overrated.


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