Discipline: Music Composition

Robert Yekovich

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 1982, 1984, 1987

Robert Alan Yekovich became the fifth dean of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in 2003. He is also the Elma Schneider Professor of Music at the university.

After receiving a bachelor’s and master’s of music from the Lamont School of Music at Denver, Yekovich earned a doctorate at Columbia University. He has held teaching positions at Columbia University, Connecticut College, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Denver.

In 1991, he became dean of music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) at the University of North Carolina. During his time there, he established the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute with a $10 million commitment from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.

Yekovich's accomplishments since joining the Shepherd School include appointing a large cadre of nationally and internationally renowned studio faculty and artist teachers; a dramatic increase in the School’s endowed and annual gift funds, particularly for merit scholarships; enhancing the quality of the orchestra, opera and chamber music programs; two east coast tours by the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra culminating in performances at Carnegie Hall; the recently established partnership with the New York Philharmonic’s Global Academy; launching an exchange program with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig; and the imminent ground breaking of a new $100 million facility that will house a 600 seat state-of-the-art theater. The new music building when completed in July 2020, combined with Alice Pratt Brown Hall and a connecting plaza will form the new Rice University Music and Performing Arts Center.

Yekovich is a composer whose works have been performed and broadcast throughout North and South America. His honors include a commission from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University. He serves on many boards and ongoing committees.



Robert Yekovich worked in the MacDowell studio.

Built in 1912, Pine Studio was renamed MacDowell Studio in 1943 in recognition of support from a group of Edward MacDowell’s music students. It was built as a composers’ studio and the stuccoed walls were intended to be soundproof. Like many of the studios on property, MacDowell was winterized in the 1950s when the program began welcoming…

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