Dean of the Peabody Institute
Fred Bronstein – an accomplished pianist, dedicated music educator, and successful chief executive of American symphony orchestras – began his appointment as the first dean of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University on June 1, 2014. He came to Peabody after serving as president of the renowned St. Louis Symphony since 2008.
During his first eighteen months, Dean Bronstein has established the Dean’s “Breakthrough Plan” in order to focus the Institute on big strategic goals for the future built around four pillars: Excellence – to make Peabody as competitive as the most renowned schools of Johns Hopkins University; Interdisciplinary Experiences – to “own” the infusion of music across other disciplines in higher education; Innovation – as the oldest conservatory in the U.S., establish Peabody as a leading institution thinking about the future of classical music; and Community Connectivity – create a two-way partnership with communities that connects the Institute through collaborations and partnerships, while giving students the needed skills to be flexible and vibrant artists in the 21st century.
Dean Bronstein has restructured the Institute’s administration in order to align with long-term goals, revamped faculty contracts to reflect best practices and incorporate faculty evaluation for the first time, and established a $2.7 million Dean’s Fund to seed important innovations and facilitate change. Innovations include the launch of the Dean’s Incentive Grants for faculty and students designed to spur innovative work in the field, as well as the launch of the Dean’s Symposiums that bring to campus innovative artists and cultural leaders to talk about the evolution of classical music in the 21st Century and the creative approaches that are being initiated to meet those challenges and opportunities.
Also over the last 18 months, Dean Bronstein has committed Peabody to a bold vision for music of our time through the recording of the Peabody Symphony Orchestra’s first CD on Naxos featuring the music of Peabody faculty member and Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Kevin Puts, conducted by Marin Alsop, newly appointed director of Peabody’s Graduate Conducting program; by the launch of Peabody’s new contemporary ensemble, Now Hear This; and through Peabody’s hosting of the second annual international New Music Gathering.
In order to engage the entire Peabody community in its new direction, Dean Bronstein has appointed more than fifty faculty as well as students, staff, and volunteers to four task forces. The Peabody Curriculum for the Future and Reimagining Ensembles at Peabody task forces are rejuvenating and reshaping an educational experience that will ensure Peabody’s training for every student meets not only the high artistic standards of the past but the unique and changing cultural environment of the future. On a parallel track, the Peabody Faculty Governance Task Force is focused on creating a new system of faculty governance for the Conservatory, while the Peabody Diversity Pathway Task Force has been charged with developing a plan for diversity and inclusion across the Peabody Institute.
During his tenure in St. Louis, Dr. Bronstein led efforts to reverse steep multi-year downturns in symphony attendance resulting in a 36% increase in ticket revenue and a 26% increase in annual philanthropic support. In collaboration with the symphony’s artistic leadership, he introduced innovative concert programming, returned the orchestra to domestic and international touring after long absences, initiated new recording projects, and launched live performances on public radio. He led creation and early execution of a 10-year strategic plan, sealed new collective bargaining agreements with musicians well before old contracts expired, managed expenses to reduce deficits, and restructured the symphony’s marketing, education, and community outreach.
Prior to St. Louis, Dr. Bronstein served as president of the Omaha Symphony and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra where he led the search for a new and then unknown music director, Jaap van Zweden, who after less than a decade in Dallas has been appointed the next music director of the New York Philharmonic.
The move from a major orchestra to a university and conservatory is a natural extension of Bronstein’s career-long interest in the formation of young musicians. His first arts administrative experience was as executive director of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony, which has hundreds of alumni employed with orchestras around the world.
As a performer, Dr. Bronstein toured for eight years and could be heard on New World Records as part of Aequalis, a chamber group he co-founded with a focus on new American music, innovative programming and educational outreach. Fred Bronstein graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Music and earned a Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the State University of New York, Stony Brook. In 2005, Boston University’s College of Fine Arts presented him its Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession. He has served on the college’s Dean’s Advisory Council and on the university’s Board of Overseers.
For the latest news, updates, iniatives, and more from Fred Bronstein visit his from the Dean page.
Barbara Lambert, Executive Assistant