Dika Newlin

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Dika Newlin (November 22, 1923 – July 22, 2006) was a pianist, professor, musicologist, composer and punk rock singer. She received a Ph.D from Columbia University at the age of 22. She was one of the last living students of Arnold Schoenberg, a Schoenberg Scholar and a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond from 1978 to 2004. She performed as an Elvis impersonator and played punk rock while in her 70's in Richmond, Virginia.

She was featured in the documentary Murder City.

Early life

Dika Newlin was born in Portland, Oregon. Her name was chosen by her mother and refers to an Amazon in one of Sappho's poems.

Newlin was able to read the dictionary by age 3. She could play the piano by age 6 and began composing music at age 7. When she was 11 she wrote a symphonic piece, Cradle Song, that was performed three years later by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

She entered elementary school at age 5 and finished it at age 8. She graduated from high school when she was 12 and was admitted to the freshman class at Michigan State University, where her parents taught.

After graduating from Michigan State at age 16, she and her mother moved to Los Angeles so that she could study with Schoenberg at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Newlin kept a diary of her studies with Schoenberg, whom she called "Uncle Arnold." She published the diary in 1980 as Schoenberg Remembered: Diaries and Recollections (1938-76).

One entry in the diary relates how...
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