Location: Jordan Hall Building
At Oberlin College & Conservatory, Andrea Kalyn spent nine years as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs before being appointed Dean of the Conservatory and Professor of Music in February 2014. As chief academic officer of a school of 580 undergraduate musicians and 120 faculty and staff, Kalyn was responsible for establishing and implementing the vision and priorities of the conservatory within the context of Oberlin’s broader educational mission. She secured funding of more than $6.5 million, as well as significant donations of musical instruments and a major gift from jazz legend Sonny Rollins.
Kalyn played a lead role in the creation of Oberlin’s entrepreneurship program, Creativity & Leadership, and – as director of that program for seven years – she collaborated with an active group of alumni to establish LaunchU, Oberlin’s start-up accelerator and pitch competition. The spirit of both entrepreneurship and collaboration was evident throughout her curricular work, which included establishing the Oberlin-Como Piano Academy in partnership with the Lake Como International Academy; creating the department of Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement (PACE); launching a new major in jazz voice; extending the programming of the American Roots residency; overseeing the launch of the Artist Diploma in Piano Technology and developing new partnerships with Steinway & Sons and the Shanghai Conservatory; and, in collaboration with Oberlin’s Dean of Arts and Sciences, designing Oberlin’s innovative Center for Convergence, StudiOC.
Kalyn is fundamentally committed to advancing the place of music in the world and to strengthening connections among composers, performers, and audiences. Under her leadership, Oberlin opened the William and Helen Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space, an underground performance club in Oberlin’s new Gateway Complex; restructured its composition department, a project she initiated by hiring renowned composer Stephen Hartke as department chair; commissioned a full-length concerto for English horn by Bernard Rands in partnership with The Cleveland Orchestra and Oberlin professor Robert Walters; relaunched the Oberlin Music recording label distributed by Naxos; and supported significant connected-learning initiatives, including extended programming around opera performances and cross-disciplinary residencies by Jenny Koh, Billy Childs, Du Yun, Royce Vavrek, Mimi Xu, and others. The Oberlin Orchestra and Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble continued to tour extensively during her tenure, performing most notably at Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center and Ganz Hall, Kennedy Center, Ojai Festival, and Bang on a Can Marathon.