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Dr. Condoleezza Rice is a professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business, the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University. From January 2005-2009, Dr. Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States. Prior to serving as America’s chief diplomat, she also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001-2005.
Dr. Rice began formal music lessons at three when her Grandmother Ray noticed her granddaughter’s keen interest in music. In Dr. Rice’s book, Extraordinary, Ordinary People, she recounts: “I don’t remember learning to read music, so today it is like a native language for me. This made it much easier to master sight-reading, something that I do well to this day.” Dr. Rice continued to take piano lessons through childhood and perform at various school, church, and community events. At age fifteen, she performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D minor with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, her prize for winning a student competition. The same year, Rice entered the University of Denver as a music major though she soon switched to political science, a move that drastically changed the course of Rice’s life.
In 1993, while provost at Stanford University, she turned her attention again to the piano and started lessons with faculty member, George Barth. Musical highlights include a 2002 performance with Yo-Yo Ma at Constitution Hall, a 2008 recital for the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace, and a 2010 fundraiser with Aretha Franklin in Philadelphia’s Mann Music Centre.