Toby Mountain is a world renowned mastering engineer who has worked with such diverse artists as Boston, David Bowie, Arlo Guthrie, Alison Krauss, The Beach Boys, and Frank Zappa.
Toby was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1950. He went to local schools there, then to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire for four years of high school. He received no musical training until he entered Princeton University in the fall of 1968.
He majored in music at Princeton but continued to be self taught in guitar and piano. By the time he finished college in the spring of 1972, he had become proficient enough at writing and playing songs to perform in folk clubs and coffee houses in London. In 1973 he studied contemporary composition with composer, Jonathan Harvey, at the University of Southampton in England.
In the meantime, he learned classical guitar technique and taught at the Düsseldorf Musikschule from 1974 to 1976. He continued to perform in folk clubs throughout Germany as a solo artist and later with his trio, Everest.
In 1976 he was accepted to the music compostion/theory doctoral program at the University of California in Berkeley. He studied composition with Andrew Imbrie and Olly Wilson, and computer music at Stanford with John Chowning until he received his doctorate in Music in 1981.
While at Berkeley he received the Blumberg Memorial Fellowship, the coveted Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and second prize in the Nicola de Lorenzo Music competition. He was also commissioned to write music for the San Francisco based Paul Scardina Dance Company.
During his graduate years, he continued to perform and record popular music. In 1978 he recorded his debut album “Journeys” in San Francisco, which was released that summer in Europe through Camelback Records, followed by an extensive tour. He continued to tour in Europe for the next five years with his own band. In 1981 his second album, "Wishful Thinking," was released by Jump Music in Germany. After the band was unable to secure a record deal with WEA Music (Warner Brothers) in Hamburg, he decided to return to the United States to continue teaching in 1983.
He taught music theory and composition at the University of Connecticut (Storrs) from 1983-4. He has been teaching music and music technology at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester since 2004. His courses include Digital Media for Musicians, The History of Popular Music 1950-90, and The History of Jazz. He frequently gives guest lectures on Music and Digital Media at various colleges and secondary schools around the country.
Shortly after the introduction of the compact disc in 1983 he founded Northeastern Digital Recording, Inc., one of the first digital mastering facilities in the United States. Within a few years he had amassed mastering credits with several innovative labels such as Rykodisc, Rounder, Hollywood Records, and renowned artists like The Beach Boys, Boston, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Richard Thompson, Morphine, Joan Jett, Jimmy Sturr, Jay Geils, Arlo Guthrie, and Alison Krauss.
He has earned several gold and platinum albums and several Grammy awards and nominations. He is also a member of the Audio Engineering Society, and has published many articles in professional audio journals including "Mix" and "Electronic Musician."