David H. Stull '89, Dean of Oberlin Conservatory of Music


On behalf of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Dean of the Conservatory David H. Stull accepted the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in February 2010. This signature honor is a capstone to his tenure as the conservatory’s chief academic officer, which began with his appointment in 2004.

At the conservatory, Stull has focused considerable attention on internationalism; since 2005, he has made numerous visits to China, engaging music pedagogues and administrators in conversations about the study of classical music in the West. In winter 2010-11 he accompanied the Oberlin Orchestra on its second tour of Asia. Also during his tenure as dean, Oberlin received what is believed to be the largest gift ever for advancing the study of jazz. As a result, the conservatory celebrated the opening and dedication of the Bertram and Judith Kohl Building in May 2010.

In January 2009, Stull moderated a panel discussion about contemporary music in Los Angeles at Walt Disney Concert Hall’s BP Hall. The event preceded a performance by the Oberlin Conservatory Symphony Orchestra that was part of a West Coast tour. In January 2007, he presided over the panel discussion “Playing to Win: The Future of Great Music in the 21st Century,” which preceded a performance by the Oberlin Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, led by Robert Spano, at Carnegie Hall. The following month, the conservatory presented the U.S. premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s opera Lost Highway. Both events garnered considerable critical acclaim.

Other achievements include founding Oberlin Music, the Oberlin record label; engineering a partnership with IODA (Independent Online Distribution Alliance), making music performed by students and faculty members at the Conservatory available for download from the Internet; implementing young artist and community music programs; supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of Oberlin’s students through the Creativity & Leadership Project; and introducing Music in America at Oberlin, the conservatory’s initiative to support and establish bold and transformative music programs in all communities throughout the United States, with a specific focus on underserved school districts.

A tubist, Stull is also Professor of Brass Studies at the Conservatory. He has performed with the American Brass Quintet, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Bravo Colorado Music Festival, and the Aspen Festival Orchestra, among others. His performances have included appearances in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Town Hall, and Merkin Hall in addition to tours throughout the United States and Europe. He has also recorded for commercial radio and television.

Stull has served as a guest speaker at the Interlochen Arts Academy on numerous occasions, has been a competition judge for Midwest Young Artists and for Juilliard’s pre-college division, and has appeared on National Public Radio’s Performance Today.
Prior to his appointment as dean, Stull served four years as associate dean, one semester as acting dean, and chair of Oberlin’s Educational Policy Committee for the Conservatory.

Before coming to Oberlin, Stull was a member of the brass faculty, the Director of Conservatory Admissions, and ultimately the Assistant Dean of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin. Before his tenure at Lawrence, Stull was Associate Director of Admissions at the Juilliard School, overseeing all aspects of the admissions process and serving as liaison for the Juilliard Opera Center and the Barnard, Columbia, and Juilliard exchange program. He also served as Director of Residential Life at the Aspen Music Festival from 1992 to 1994.

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Stull earned a Bachelor of Music degree in tuba performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, studying with Ronald Bishop. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Oberlin College. He pursued further study at the Juilliard School in the American Brass Quintet program and earned a Master of Music degree at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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Oberlin Orchestra
with Jeremy Denk '90, piano

Carnegie Hall
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

Saturday, January 19th, 2013
7:00pm Lecture
8:00pm Concert




Oberlin Illuminate

DeWitt Stern

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