|Paul Moravec (born
November 2, 1957), recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, is
the composer of numerous orchestral, chamber, choral, operatic, and lyric
pieces. His music has earned many distinctions, including the Rome Prize
Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three awards from the American Academy
of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the
Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. A graduate of Harvard College and
Columbia University, he has taught at Columbia, Dartmouth, and Hunter College
and currently holds the special position of University Professor
at Adelphi University. He was the 2013 Paul Fromm Composer-in-Residence
at the American Academy in Rome, served as Artist-in-Residence at the
Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and was also elected to
membership in the American Philosophical Society.
|Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (born
29 September 1934) is a Hungarian-American psychologist. He recognised
and named the psychological concept of flow, a highly focused mental
state conducive to productivity. He is the Distinguished Professor of
Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He is the
former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago
and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College.
His family name derives from the village of Csíkszentmihály in Transylvania. He was the third son of a career diplomat at the Hungarian Consulate in Fiume. His two older half-brothers died when Csikszentmihalyi was still young; one was an engineering student who was killed in the Siege of Budapest, and the other was sent to labor camps in Siberia by the Soviets.
His father was appointed Hungarian Ambassador to Italy shortly after the Second World War, moving the family to Rome. When Communists took over Hungary in 1949, Csikszentmihalyi's father resigned rather than work for the regime. The Communist regime responded by expelling his father and stripping the family of their Hungarian citizenship. To earn a living, his father opened a restaurant in Rome, and Mihaly dropped out of school to help with the family income. At this time, the young Csikszentmihalyi, then travelling in Switzerland, saw Carl Jung give a talk on the psychology of UFO sightings.Csikszentmihalyi emigrated to the United States at the age of 22, working nights to support himself while studying at the University of Chicago. He received his B.A. in 1959 and his PhD in 1965, both from the University of Chicago. He then taught at Lake Forest College, before becoming a professor at the University of Chicago in 1969.
He is noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity, but is best known as the architect of the notion of flow and for his years of research and writing on the topic. He is the author of many books and over 290 articles or book chapters. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, described Csikszentmihalyi as the world's leading researcher on positive psychology.
In his seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csíkszentmihályi outlines his theory that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow—a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The idea of flow is identical to the feeling of being in the zone or in the groove. The flow state is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where the person is fully immersed in what they are doing. This is a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great absorption, engagement, fulfillment, and skill—and during which temporal concerns (time, food, ego-self, etc.) are typically ignored.In an interview with Wired magazine, Csíkszentmihályi described flow as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."
© 2006 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded in Chicago on October 28, 2006. Portions were broadcast on WNUR the following year, and again in 2018; and on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio in 2007, and 2014. This transcription was made in 2021, and posted on this website at that time.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.