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Updated 11:00 AM May 17, 2005




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New dean to take baton at School of Music

Christopher Kendall, an award-winning conductor and accomplished musician, will become the new dean of the School of Music, President Mary Sue Coleman and Provost Paul N. Courant announced May 13.
Photo by Martin Vloet,
U-M Photo Services

Kendall, director of the University of Maryland School of Music since 1996, will begin Aug. 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

“Christopher Kendall is a superb musician and accomplished leader,” Courant said. “He is committed to the success of our music school in all of its domains, including theatre, musical theatre and dance. He is a joy to work with, and I am confident that he will engage in collaborations to the benefit of the entire University community.”

During Kendall’s tenure at Maryland, the school experienced extraordinary growth in the stature of its music program and its occupancy of the new $130 million Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, which combines public arts presentation with the academic disciplines of music, dance and theater.

At U-M, Kendall will oversee the completion of the Walgreen Drama Center on North Campus that will house the Arthur Miller Theatre, along with the departments of theater, drama and musical theater.

“It’s a great honor to be invited to this extraordinary institution,” Kendall said. “The University of Michigan School of Music is recognized far and wide for its outstanding faculty and programs, offering its students an unbroken continuum from the deepest traditions to the creation of brand new work. As a performing artist intrigued by both early and new music, I have a particular appreciation for this infusion of performance with scholarship, creation and the dynamic interrelationship among the art forms.”

Kendall, who plays the lute, earned a bachelor of music degree from Antioch College in 1972 and a master of music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 1974.

Prior to 1996, Kendall was associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony (1987-93) and director of the music division and Tanglewood Institute of the Boston University School of the Arts. Since 1975 he has been the conductor and artistic director of the 20th Century Consort at the Smithsonian Institution. He also is founder and lutenist of the Folger Consort at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Kendall has been guest conductor with the Seattle Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (Ontario), the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the New York Chamber Symphony; the Annapolis Symphony; the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Collage and Dinosaur Annex (both new music ensembles in Boston), the Orchestra, Symphony and Chamber Orchestra of The Juilliard School and the Musica Nova Ensemble at the Eastman School.

Kendall’s awards include the 1984, 1987 and 1989 Emmy and the Washington Area Music (Wammie) Awards with the 20th Century Consort; the 1989 Woolson Award with the Folger Consort; and the 1992 Smithson Award with the 20th Century Consort. Kendall’s performances can be heard in recording on the ASV, Centaur, Bard, Delos, CRI, Nonesuch and Smithsonian Collection labels.

“U-M’s School of Music is in an ideal position to encourage talented young artists, scholars and educators to be intellectually curious and to become arts leaders and activists,” Kendall said. “This is a wonderful thing: has there been a time in any of our memories when American culture more urgently needed the humanizing influence of the arts? I don’t know of any place that more perfectly expresses the essential role of the arts in our lives than the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor. My family and I are thrilled to be joining this wonderful community.”

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