Pierre Divenyi started his career as a pianist, giving recitals in Europe and the U.S. As a graduate student at the University of Washington, his interests turned toward science; he obtained his doctorate in systematic musicology with a thesis on the effects of tone context on the rhythmic perception in micro-melodies. That work led him to conduct psychoacoustic studies on the perception of tone sequences, of time intervals, and of the location of simultaneous sound sources, first at Central Institute for the Deaf and then at the Speech and Hearing Research Laboratory at the VA Medical Center in Martinez, CA, of which he became the director.
His research over the past 20 years has been focused on auditory scene analysis and, in particular, on the problem of separating speech from background noise, the so-called “Cocktail-party effect,” and its dysfunction in aging. In search of a solution to this problem, he organized several international interdisciplinary meetings that brought together auditory scientists and computer scientists. He is very happy to have become a member of the CCRMA community and is looking forward to developing collaborative research efforts to investigate and model the way we hear complex acoustic structures in music.
Over the last decade, he edited two books on this subject and was recipient of several collaborative interdisciplinary grants to study the problem of speech separation. He has been visiting professor and visiting scientist at several universities and research institutions and has been invited give lectures, both in the US and abroad.