Thomas Dolby at o2 Ritz Manchester

Thomas Dolby
Thomas Dolby

Perhaps best known for blinding us with science, Thomas Dolby has always blurred the lines between composition and invention.

Thomas Morgan Robertson (born 14 October 1958), known by the stage name Thomas Dolby, is an English musician, producer, composer, entrepreneur and teacher.

Dolby came to prominence in the 1980s, releasing hit singles including “She Blinded Me with Science” (1982) and “Hyperactive!” (1984). He has also worked as a producer and as a session musician.

Dolby is associated with the new wave movement of the early 1980s, a form of pop music incorporating electronic instruments, but Dolby’s work covers a wide range of musical styles and moods distinct from the high-energy pop sound of his few, better-known commercial successes.

In the 1990s, Dolby founded Beatnik, a Silicon Valley software company which developed the polyphonic ringtone software and created the Nokia tune. Its technology was used in more than half a billion cell phones. He was also the music director for TED Conferences. On the faculty at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University since 2014, Dolby leads Peabody’s Music for New Media program, which enrolled its first students in the fall of 2018.

In July 1998, Dolby received a “Lifetime Achievement in Internet Music” award from Yahoo! Internet Life. In 2012, he performed at Moogfest and was the recipient of The Moog Innovation Award, which celebrates “pioneering artists whose genre-defying work exemplifies the bold, innovative spirit of Bob Moog”. In February 2018, Dolby was awarded the Roland Lifetime Achievement Award. Dolby has received four Grammy nominations, two each in 1984 and 1988.

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