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“What Matters to Me and Why” is a monthly talk and discussion series featuring USC faculty and administrators. The series encourages reflection about values, beliefs, and motivation in the lives of those who help shape our university. Presenters are encouraged to talk about choices made, difficulties encountered, and commitments solidified.


In celebration of the series' 25th Anniversary, we will be featuring all stars of USC's Trojan family. This month we welcome Douglas Tornquist to the stage, for what will surely be the first presentation of its kind for the WMMW audience. You won't want to miss it. As always, lunch will be provided. Arrive early to grab a good seat.  



Douglas Tournquist teaches at the USC Thornton School of Music, California Institute of the Arts and the Colburn School. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from USC and soon became a busy freelance performer, playing everywhere from amusement parks to the ballet, opera and symphony (sometimes on the same day!). He has played with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, Pacific Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony and all the regional orchestras in Southern California and under the batons of Erich Leinsdorf, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, Esa Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Witold Lutoslawski and Valerie Gergiev.


He has recorded with Diana Krall, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, Randy Newman, Meat Loaf and Beck, among others. Since his first recording in 1989 for the film score for Edward Scissorhands, he’s played on the soundtracks of over 400 films, TV shows and video games. He was the voice of Wreck it Ralph and played on John Williams’s scores for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Big Friendly Giant.

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  • Alexis Arellanes
  • Hanna Tish

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