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Faculty & Staff Focus, General Information, Media Advisory

LSU School of Music Names Stephen David Beck as New Director

03/14/2012 03:26 PM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU School of Music announced today that Stephen David Beck, current Haymon Professor of Composition & Computer Music at LSU, has been selected to serve as the school’s new director, effective July 1.


Beck will assume the director position from Willis Delony, the Aloysia Barineau Professor of Keyboard Studies and professor of jazz studies, who has served as associate dean of the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts and interim director of the School of Music since the fall of 2010.


“I am honored to have been given this opportunity and humbled by the support of my colleagues,” Beck said. “It has been a privilege to be a member of a faculty with such outstanding musicians, composers, theorists, musicologists and educators. I have every confidence that we will maintain our high level of achievement while growing our program to include new and emerging areas of study.”


In addition to his new position, Beck will maintain a joint appointment at the Center for Computation & Technology, or CCT, where he has served as the area head for the cultural computing focus area and as director of the AVATAR initiative in digital media.


“Our students and faculty in the School of Music both need and deserve a leader with imagination and creativity,” said Laurence Kaptain, dean of the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts. “As a composer, Dr. Beck has taken LSU on new paths in musical performance with the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana and provided sterling leadership in AVATAR, a multidisciplinary hiring initiative at LSU. Dr. Beck was also instrumental in seeking and receiving approval for an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in experimental music and digital media. He has cultivated a cadre of outstanding graduate students who are on track to become international leaders in the creative and emerging technologies.”


Beck received his Ph.D. in music composition and theory from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1988, and held a Fulbright Fellowship in 1985-86, where he was a researcher at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique in Paris. His current research includes sound diffusion systems, high-performance computing applications in music and virtual music instruments. In 2009, he founded the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana, which has become a widely regarded ensemble nationally and internationally.


“LSU’s School of Music is not only a pillar of excellence at LSU, but it is a flagship unit within a flagship institution,” LSU Chancellor Mike Martin said. “Stephen Beck’s experience in advancing technology at LSU will transfer well into the new challenges that performing artists face and the opportunities they will encounter.”


LSU Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost Jack Hamilton described Beck as “an excellent choice” to direct the School of Music.


“I have known him for years and admire him,” Hamilton said of Beck. “He is a proven campus leader and can now employ those qualities in taking the School of Music to new levels of success and achievement.”

LSU Media Relations