An Interview with the Buck

On May 3rd, the Cypress String Quartet is teaming up with the world-renowned Buck Institute for Research on Aging for a concert in support of Alzheimer’s research.


This week, the CSQ sat down with Raja Kamal, Senior Vice President of Institute Relations for the Buck, to talk about the connections between music and cognitive health and why CSQ is committed to supporting this groundbreaking work.

Why is the CSQ passionate about Alzheimer’s research?

CSQ: Music is often thought of as a luxury or something entertaining. CSQ believes music is essential not only to our humanity but to our health, and especially our cognitive health. Much like the documentary Alive Inside demonstrated, we have seen amateur musicians with advanced Alzheimer’s who can still play their instruments.

We do wonder whether musicians are less prone to cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s. We are excited to ask Dr. Bredesen about this at the May 3rd event! Of course, Alzheimer’s has touched every member of the quartet in some way. This disease is so prevalent and so disruptive to people’s lives and we will do whatever we can to help combat it!

Why is the Buck teaming up with the Cypress Quartet?

Kamal: At the Buck, we feel that we need to be associated with crème de la crème organizations and the Cypress Quartet definitely fits that description. We have also found that it is very important to expose our community to sublime music. We believe that music is universal and we hope to give our audience in Marin an opportunity to enjoy first-rate music and, at the same time, support Dale Bredesen’s research that could be the tipping point in moving the needle against Alzheimer’s.

CSQ: The CSQ feels a kindred spirit with the Buck Institute. Like the Buck, the Cypress has always looked at everything from alternative angles. We have never taken the traditional route and the Buck also supports fresh and innovative research. We are always looking for new ways to be a string quartet and asking ourselves, “what’s more effective?”, “how can we be even better?” and “how can we approach this music from a different angle?” This kind of pursuit of excellence and constant curiosity is also intrinsic to the scientific research of the Buck Institute.

Additionally, as a quartet, we are so steeped in the fine arts, that it is really fun and wonderful to be able to be part of the scientific community.
What aspect of the event are you
most excited about?

Kamal: The music of course! Music can have such a profound impact on everyone! I’m also looking forward to bringing together our community to talk about Alzheimer’s and celebrating the incredible work of Dr. Dale Bredesen. His systemic approach to Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment is on the cutting edge of research!

CSQ: In addition to the sublime music, we are very excited to play in such a marvelous setting. Many people don’t know that the Buck Institute campus is an I.M. Pei building, right in Novato! The building is an architectural treasure and we are so pleased to be playing in such a lovely setting!

We are also all very excited to meet Dr. Bredesen and speak with him more about his research and ask him about music and memory!

Tickets are $250 each | BUY TICKETS
Doors open at 2:30 pm
Performance begins at 3 pm
Reception with light refreshments following

Buck Institute, Gensler Bldg., Drexler Auditorium
8001 Redwood Blvd., Novato, CA

Advance ticket purchase is required.
VISA/MasterCard/AmEx accepted.
Call 415-493-3638 or email
A portion of the ticket cost is tax deductible.