Six Degrees of Valhalla is inspired by Stanley Milgram’s experiments in social networks; actor Kevin Bacon’s eponymous parlor game; the stellar academic genealogies of Rice graduate students, alumni and faculty; and the enduring awesomeness of Valhalla, Rice’s graduate student pub.

valhallamain3Geoffrey Herd



Herd is a violinist and the founder and director of the Geneva Music Festival, who has performed throughout Asia and Latin America. He is a doctoral student in the studio of Paul Kantor (b. 1955).

kantor1. KANTOR is the Sallie Shepherd Perkins Professor of Violin at the Shepherd School and has performed at the Aspen Music Festival and School for 37 years. Kantor studied violin at Juilliard with Dorothy DeLay (1917–2002). spacer633x50

dorothydelay2. At Juilliard, DELAY helped train 15-time Grammy Award winner Itzhak Perlman (b. 1945), who performed violin solos in films such as “Schindler’s List” and “Memoirs of a Geisha.” spacer633x50

itzhakperlmanwhitehouse23. PERLMAN teaches violin as part of Juilliard’s precollege program. While a student, Perlman also studied under Ivan Galamian (1903–1981).spacer633x50spacer633x50

galamian054. GALAMIAN taught violin at Juilliard before founding the Meadowmount School of Music, a summer program for talented young musicians, among them Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell. Galamian was a student of Konstantin Mostras (1886–1965).spacer633x50

konstantin-mostras5. MOSTRAS, a Russian violinist and conductor, taught at the Moscow Conservatory and developed his own course on violin technique in 1931. Mostras was a pupil of Leopold Auer (1845–1930).spacer633x50

leopold_auer6. AUER was a renowned performer, conductor and teacher in Russia and the United States. He taught many famous musicians, including Clara Rockmore, who became a star on an early electronic instrument, the theremin.