New Dean of the Conservatorium of Music

25 January 2012

Professor Karl Kramer will be the new dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Professor Karl Kramer will be the new dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Internationally renowned performer, music educator and academic, Professor Karl Kramer, has been appointed as the new Dean and Principal of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Professor Kramer is currently Professor and Director of the School of Music at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, arguably one of the best comprehensive music schools in the United States.

Previously he held several other significant academic leadership positions including professor and dean at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music at the State University of New York, and professor and dean at New World School of the Arts in Miami. He has a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music, as well as a Master of Music from Yale University.

"Following an international search, Professor Kramer was the outstanding candidate for the position," said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney. "He has a well deserved reputation as a music scholar, an innovative teacher and a professional performer. Wherever he has been previously Professor Kramer has demonstrated a remarkable ability to capture the energy and imagination of his students and colleagues, and to lead them in developing programs of real musical and academic interest," Dr Spence said.

Professor Kramer said: "I am honoured and humbled to receive this opportunity to lead the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. I look forward to collaborating with the distinguished faculty and staff as the Con looks to its hundredth birthday and beyond. The diversity of its student body and faculty, its depth and breadth of programs, and its iconic facilities synergise to define this world-class institution. I am also excited at the prospect of collaborating with other arts institutions in Sydney, taking advantage of the multiple resources of a great research university, and exploring opportunities to work with my colleagues in the design and implementation of interdisciplinary programs. For the musician of the future, while needing to be firmly grounded in core musical values, will require the vision and courage to bend his or her art in unique directions to garner success. Building on the Con's foundation of excellence, I will continue the traditions established under previous deans with an eye toward exploring and expanding into new areas. For the last 10 years I have had the privilege to lead one of the preeminent music schools in the United States at the University of Illinois. But I must say that coming to Sydney, one of the most culturally endowed and liveable cities in the world, is a dream job come true."

In his current role at Illinois, Professor Kramer is credited with expanding the size and depth of the music faculty, increasing student enrolments, raising significant philanthropic support, and creating several new degree programs. He has earned a reputation for introducing new life, fresh ideas and a vision to the Illinois School of Music to make it one of the strongest and most notable Schools of Music in the United States.

Professor Kramer is a sought-after national consultant in the evaluation and accreditation of institutions for higher learning in music. He has also held the position of Associate Professor and Chair of the Music Department at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut and was the Founder and Director of the Regional Centre for the Arts in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Professor Kramer has been a professional musician for more than 30 years with a performance career involving symphonic, operatic, and chamber music. He is Principal Tuba with Sinfonia da Camera and New Haven Symphony Orchestra and spent 25 years as a member of the Connecticut Grand Opera Orchestra. Previously, he also performed with Brass Ring and Miami Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Professor Kramer's research in brass music has focused on the symphonic brass music of Richard Strauss from a historical, analytical and a performance practice perspective. His research into Strauss' final symphonic brass ensemble work, the 1943 Festmusik, had its North American premiere with the New Haven Symphony at Yale University and was published in an article for the Journal of the International Richard Strauss Society. He founded the quintet Brass Ring in 1981 as a vehicle for serious chamber music and has published a number of brass quintet arrangements for the group and the Kendor Music Company.

Professor Kramer has been awarded numerous commissioning, recording, and project grants from various sources including Chamber Music America, Meet The Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.

Professor Kramer will take up his position in April 2012.

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