Dean of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music Andrea Kalyn has announced that she will leave Oberlin at the end of the fall 2018 semester to become the president of the New England Conservatory beginning January 1, 2019.
“Andrea has been an inspiring and insightful colleague and collaborator,” says President Carmen Twillie Ambar. “Her vision and guidance has helped Oberlin College and Conservatory continue to serve as a leader in higher education through its commitment to academic and artistic excellence. We wish her the best in her new endeavors at NEC.”
Kalyn was appointed dean of the conservatory in February 2014 after serving for nine years as the conservatory’s associate dean for academic affairs.
She earned a PhD in musicology from the Eastman School of Music, where her scholarship focused on American music of the 20th century. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, also in musicology, are from the University of Western Ontario. She also holds an ARCT diploma in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Kalyn’s leadership guided numerous initiatives during her tenure including the creation of the Creativity & Leadership Project, a cross-campus initiative dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship among students at the college and conservatory. She was instrumental in securing more than $2 million in startup funding for the project and in creating a companion business-accelerator program called LaunchU. Another initiative launched under her leadership was the William and Helen Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space—a club-like venue in the lower level of the Hotel at Oberlin. Built in 2016, the Birenbaum serves as a cocurricular learning space by day and a showcase for conservatory musicians by night.
Kalyn was responsible for a number of new programs including Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement (PACE), which builds upon Oberlin’s legacy of excellence in music education with a 21st-century emphasis on social justice, arts advocacy, and community engagement. She also facilitated the creation of the Oberlin-Como program, a partnership with the International Piano Academy Lake Como, which is dedicated to nurturing the development of young pianists, and extended the programming of the American Roots residency to serve both conservatory and college students.
“It has been my great privilege to serve Oberlin, first as associate dean and then as dean of the conservatory,” Kalyn says. “The ethos of this extraordinary institution—the commitment to excellence, the culture of experimentation, and the preparation of students to create change and value in the world--will forever resonate throughout my work and life.
“It is the people who truly define an institution, however, and I cannot adequately express my gratitude to the faculty, staff, and students across campus with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. I have learned so much from the Oberlin community, but most profoundly from my conservatory colleagues, who inspire me daily with their talent, devotion, and care. I am so deeply thankful for both their work and generosity of spirit over many years, and it has been the honor of my life to serve as their dean.”
Details on the search for Dean Kalyn’s replacement will be shared as they become available.