Robert Dodson Appointed Director of the Boston University School of Music

Contact: Ellen Carr, 617-353-8783 |
Contact: Jean Connaughton, 617-353-7293 |

(Boston) – Robert K. Dodson, an educator with over 30 years’ experience as a teacher and administrator at prestigious music schools in the United States and Canada, will serve as Director of the School of Music in the Boston University College of Fine Arts, announced Walt C. Meissner, Dean ad interim of the College.

Dodson, who begins his appointment this month, comes to Boston University from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he was Director of the Division of Music in the Meadows School of the Arts. Over the past two decades, he has served as Provost of the New England Conservatory in Boston, Dean of the Oberlin College Conservatory in Ohio, Dean of the Lawrence University Conservatory in Wisconsin, and Principal of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

“We are delighted to welcome Robert Dodson as Director of our School of Music,” said Dean Meissner. “His track record of success in leading some of the country’s most prestigious music schools, his reputation as an effective and compassionate leader, and his commitment to working in close collaboration with our faculty to move the School forward, all convinced us that he was the right choice.”

As Director of the BU School of Music, Dodson will oversee a resident undergraduate and graduate student body of 500, online graduate programs in music education, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, a premier summer program for talented high school musicians. The School of Music has a full-time and adjunct faculty of 163, and a staff of 23. Dodson will provide the vision to build upon the School’s long history of significant accomplishment as a professional institution preparing performers, composers, scholars and teachers for careers in music, with the entrepreneurial skills to face the challenges of their chosen profession in the twenty-first century.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to join the School of Music at Boston University. Its rich history and prospects, its renowned faculty of artists and scholars, its association with the intellectual and artistic resources of the College of Fine Arts and of Boston University, and its presence in the great City of Boston, together offer extraordinary potential for unique accomplishment in music.”

Dodson’s depth of experience, developed in a variety of academic and performance settings, has prepared him well for his new role. As Provost of New England Conservatory, he fostered faculty participation in decision-making and planning. At Oberlin College, he developed a relationship with the Cleveland Orchestra, resulting in the engagement of voice students and the Oberlin Choir for multiple performances with the Orchestra. While Dodson was Dean of the Lawrence University Conservatory, the institution achieved significant growth in applications and enrollment over ten years.

Robert Dodson received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Indiana University School of Music. Trained as a cellist, he began his career with the Vaghy String Quartet, which performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, and was recorded frequently by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. During that time, Dodson was also Associate Professor and Artist-in-Residence at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, which he established as a center for cello and chamber music, from which students proceeded to the profession or to graduate studies in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. A longtime presence on the international music scene, Dodson has taught in the Gifted Youth Program in the Banff School of Fine Arts, Banff, Alberta; given cello classes and private lessons at Central Conservatory, Beijing, China; and served as a Faculty Artist in the Music Studies Abroad program, with performances in New York City and in Vaison-la-Romaine, France.

“In addition to his more than three decades of experience as a successful academic leader of music schools, Robert Dodson brings a performer’s perspective and ear to his new leadership role in our School of Music,” remarked University Provost David Campbell. “His studies under the great cellist Janos Starker have shown him the highest standards for performance pedagogy. We are delighted that he has joined us. “

The search for a new Director for the School of Music was led by Dr. Aram Chobanian, President Emeritus of Boston University, who chaired a 12-member search committee. In September 2008, Professor André de Quadros, Director of the School of Music since 2002, announced his decision to step down from the directorship to devote more time to his diverse artistic, scholarly, and humanitarian interests.

Institutional Biographies

The Boston University School of Music at the College of Fine Arts, founded in 1872, is the oldest degree-granting music program in the United States. The School is committed to integrating professional training and the study of the liberal arts for undergraduate students, and to providing graduate students with the rich intellectual and artistic environment essential for professional development. Alumni and faculty of the School of Music can be found in major symphony orchestras, opera companies, prestigious ensembles, and educational institutions throughout the world. Among the School’s many prominent alumni are Ikuko Mizuno, violinist, Boston Symphony Orchestra; Anthony Tommasini, chief music critic, The New York Times; Fred Bronstein, executive director, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; and Albert Sherman, stage director, New York City Opera.

Boston University is one of the leading private research and teaching institutions in the world today, with two primary campuses in the heart of Boston and programs around the world. The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.


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Ellen Carr at 617-353-8783 or
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