Horne Professorship Funded

June 7, 2013
Cathy Partlow Strauss

Philanthropist Stephen Rubin, president and publisher of Henry Holt & Co., has committed a sum of $150,000 to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music to establish the Marilyn Horne Professorship and Residency Fund.

The purpose of the fund is to support a visit for the next three years by Marilyn Horne, or a renowned operatic figure who embodies the attributes of the renowned mezzo-soprano and teacher. The donation will also provide financial assistance for career advancement opportunities for the most promising voice students in the conservatory, to be identified as Rubin Scholars.

Rubin’s contribution has been given in honor of the renowned mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, who has now been a Visiting Professor at Oberlin Conservatory for seven years. While on campus for her residency each year, she presents public and private master classes, private lessons, and mentorship for the finest aspiring singers enrolled in the conservatory. This gift will help sustain Horne’s work at Oberlin.

In a statement provided by Stephen Rubin, he wrote, “Marilyn Horne is, by universal agreement, one of the greatest vocalists of the twentieth century. She also happens to be a superlative teacher. Her high standards and impeccable credentials and taste guarantee that she can instruct a whole new generation of singers in what is fast becoming a lost art. That she is also a dear friend of mine makes this twice as meaningful for me.”

Said Horne, “This is a special honor for me, personally, and a wonderful resource for Oberlin.” Oberlin Conservatory’s Dean David H. Stull added, “On behalf of all of us at Oberlin, I extend my sincere gratitude to Steve Rubin for his extraordinary generosity. Steve and Marilyn are both passionate advocates for advancing the art of great singing, and this investment will directly support talented young students for generations into the future. We are thrilled to honor Marilyn Horne for her unparalleled contributions as an artist and her brilliant work as a teacher, and look forward to Professor Horne being with us for many years to come.”

In the five decades since her operatic debut in 1954, Marilyn Horne remains one of the most iconic artists to grace the stage. In 2002, Opera News wrote that she “may be the most influential singer in American history.” An incredibly versatile performer and highly decorated artist, Horne is actively dedicated to excellence in vocal art, with ongoing commitments for private teaching and master classes scheduled throughout the world well into the next decade.

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