Walzel named dean of music

Administrator comes to KU from University of Utah

KU has named Robert Walzel, director of the School of Music at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, its new dean of music, effective June 1.

Walzel will succeed Alicia Clair, who has served as interim dean of the newly established School of Music since July 1. Walzel was selected after a national search.

Robert Walzel

“Robert’s musical talents and leadership experience position him to guide and help ensure the long-term strength of this new school,” said Interim Provost Danny Anderson.

Walzel has been director at Utah since 2001. Before that, he held a similar position at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He was a faculty member for 11 years at Texas Tech University and served as principal clarinetist of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. His appearances as a soloist and chamber musician have included performances with the Ensemble of Santa Fe, Dallas String Quartet, Texas Clarinet Consort, Intermezzo, Clear Lake Chamber Music Society and the Society for the Performing Arts in Houston.

He also has appeared as a soloist in Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America. With pianist Steven Glaser, Walzel has toured as an artistic ambassador for the United States Information Agency.

“KU is honored to have an internationally known musician of Robert Walzel’s caliber,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “He is a talented leader for our school and its exceptional faculty.”

Walzel holds a doctorate of musical arts from the University of North Texas and a master’s in music and bachelor’s degree in music teacher education, both from the University of Houston.

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the traditions of great music-making and music-learning that have been such an integral component of your outstanding institution for so many years,” Walzel said. “Since attending the Midwest Music and Art Camp back in the early 1970s as a junior high student, I have enjoyed a fondness for everything about KU.”

Anderson thanked the search committee for their work during the selection process. John Stephens, professor of music, served as chair of the committee.

“I also want to thank Alicia Clair for her leadership during the creation of the School of Music,” said Anderson. “Her guidance was essential to ensuring a smooth transition into a new era.”

The School of Music emerged from a reorganization of KU’s fine arts programs in July. The master’s of music program ranks 12th among public universities, according to U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

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