Robert Freeman Photo PortraitRobert Freeman received his undergraduate degree in music at Harvard in 1957, concurrently completing a diploma in piano at the Longy School and studying during the summers of 1955 and 1956 with Artur Balsam and Rudolf Serkin. After a year in Europe on one of Harvard's Sheldon Traveling Fellowships, he earned MFA and PhD degrees in musicology at Princeton, where he joined the faculty in 1963. He served as assistant and associate professor at MIT during the period 1968-73, and in the fall of 1972 was appointed director of the Eastman School of Music, which he led from 1972 to 1996. Appointed president of the New England Conservatory in 1996, he moved to the University of Texas at Austin in 2000 as Dean of the College of Fine Arts, a position from which he stepped down in the fall of 2006. A Steinway artist since the mid 1970s, Freeman has performed as pianist in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and has recorded with colleagues both at Eastman and at UT. His honors include two years as a Fulbright fellow to Vienna, 1960-62; a Martha Baird Rockefeller grant in 1962-63; the Civic Medal of Rochester, New York, awarded in connection with his work on downtown revitalization; and an honorary DMA from Hamilton College. He has published on a variety of topics in 18th-century music history and on the history and future of the education of musicians. He has served on advisory councils for music and the arts at Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Howard, Middlebury, and Vanderbilt, and is a member of the boards of the Austin Symphony, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, and the National Center for Human Performance at the Texas Medical Center in Houston.  He chairs the board of the Institute for Music and Brain Science at Harvard-Massachusetts General Hospital. At the University of Texas he holds the Susan Menefee Ragan Regents Professorship in Fine Arts.
Source: Butler School of Music website (Accessed 30 April 2008).

Physical description

The Robert Freeman collection consists of approximately 5 lin. ft. (five record cartons), organized into ten series. The collection is comprised of paper files and a few photographs.


This collection was generated by Robert Freeman during his tenure as President of NEC from 1997-1999. After Freeman's presidency, these materials were transferred from the President’s Office to the NEC Archives.


Access to the Freeman Collection is granted by the Archivist or Director of
Libraries. Appointments must be scheduled in advance. There are restrictions pertaining to this collection as determined by the Director of Libraries and the Office of the President.


All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory.
Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the Director of Libraries. This collection should be cited as: Robert Freeman Collection in the Archives at New England Conservatory, Boston.