Gerard Schwarz appointed to Frost School of Music

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Gerard Schwarz will succeed Thomas Sleeper at the Frost School of Music this fall.

Gerard Schwarz will succeed Thomas Sleeper at the Frost School of Music this fall.

Conductor Gerard Schwarz, a longtime advocate for American composers, has been hired by the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.  Schwarz will take up his new post as distinguished professor of music, conducting and orchestral studies this fall.

“Shelly Berg, the Dean at the Frost School of Music, has created a unique musical and educational environment, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to join him and the superb faculty to support the great artistic leaders of the future,” said Schwarz in a statement released by Frost. “Music education, for professionals and audiences alike, has been a guiding force and passion in my life, and I look forward to bringing that commitment to the Frost School under the mission of creative innovation and artistic excellence.”

Like his predecessor Thomas Sleeper who held the same position for 25 years, Schwarz is a strong advocate of neglected music, particularly unsung 20th century music by American composers, through his performances and many recordings.  Schwarz plans to inaugurate an annual festival around 20th-century American music, something he said he is already planning with Berg and Robert Carnochan, conductor of the Frost Wind Ensemble.

“Programming for the Frost Symphony Orchestra is very much on my mind and I think of this in three distinct areas: the most important works of the great repertoire of the past; works that have proven to be excellent of the 20th century that need exposure; and new works,” he said.

Conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony, Schwarz said he would also like to expand the graduate conducting program as well as foster greater interaction with the community by the Frost Symphony Orchestra.

“We are ecstatic to welcome the esteemed Gerard Schwarz to the Frost School,” said Dean Berg, in a statement released by Frost. “He is a tour de force as a conductor, musician, composer and recording artist. An embodiment of excellence, Gerard has created iconic organizations and raised the bar everywhere he has been.  I have no doubt that working with our world class colleagues, he will help us achieve new heights.”

Schwarz has been steadily increasing his profile in South Florida over recent seasons, having led concerts with the Boca Raton Symphonia and a highly acclaimed concert with the Frost Symphony Orchestra last October.

South Florida concertgoers need not wait until this fall to catch Schwarz on the podium. He will lead the Palm Beach Symphony Friday night April 12 at the Kravis Center in a program of Mozart and Bruckner with pianist Leon Fleisher.


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Tue Apr 9, 2019
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