DePaul University names composer, community engagement leader as dean for School of Music

Ronald Caltabiano
DePaul University has selected Dr. Ronald Caltabiano, an internationally recognized composer with more than 25 years of experience in higher education, as the next dean for the School of Music, effective July 1. (UCSF DMM/ Marco Sanchez)
​​​​​CHICAGO — DePaul University has selected Dr. Ronald Caltabiano, an internationally recognized composer with more than 25 years of experience in higher education, as the next dean for the School of Music​, effective July 1.

In his current role as dean and professor for the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University in Indianapolis, Caltabiano oversees the areas of art, arts administration, dance, music, theatre and a community outreach program that reaches 1,800 low-income youth. Upon his arrival at Butler in 2011, he managed the completion and final fundraising for the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, a 450-seat multi-arts venue. His fundraising efforts doubled the annual philanthropic income for the college in four years. Caltabiano also is the founding director of Butler ArtsFest, an annual 11-day festival that brings national and international artists to Butler’s campus to work with students and faculty.

“Ronald’s experience as dean, including the management of large performance facilities, prepares him well to lead DePaul’s School of Music at a pivotal time as we construct our state-of-the-art music building,” said DePaul Provost Marten denBoer. “DePaul is gaining an accomplished musician and dedicated community leader who will build on the School of Music’s strengths and develop the next generation of world-class musicians.”

At DePaul, one of Caltabiano’s first tasks will be leading the School of Music through the construction of its new home​ on the west side of Halsted Street. Construction began in November 2015 on the new facility, and the university expects to complete the first building phase in spring 2018.

“One of my greatest passions is connecting with neighbors and developing community programs,” Caltabiano said. “In addition to better serving DePaul’s entire student body, the new music facility will be a wonderful cultural addition for all of Chicago and beyond to enjoy. I look forward to collaborating with the school’s talented faculty, staff and students during this exciting time.”

Trained at The Juilliard School in New York, Caltabiano launched his musical career as a composer. His compositions have been heard around the globe, with commissions and performances by the San Francisco, Cincinnati and Dallas Symphony Orchestras. Chamber ensembles that have performed his work include Juilliard, Emerson and Arditti String Quartets, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Fires of London. Numerous labels have recorded his compositions and his extensive experience with performers has enhanced his leadership as an educator.

While maintaining his independent career as a composer, Caltabiano taught music composition and theory at the Manhattan School of Music, Hong Kong Baptist University and Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining Butler University, he served as a faculty member and associate dean at the College of Creative Arts at San Francisco State University.

Since its founding 1912, the DePaul School of Music has become an international center for artistic and technical training in the musical arts. Its new 185,000-square-foot facility will include a 505-seat concert hall, two recital halls and a jazz hall, as well as teaching studios and rehearsal spaces. A second phase will feature a 160-seat venue for operas and vocal performances.

The School of Music, with its 386 students and more than 3,800 alumni, is renowned for its programs in performance, composition, jazz, music education, arts management and sound recording technology. Its alumni have performed onstage at such venues as New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House London, Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera and the Lyric Opera. The school’s 120 full- and part-time faculty members perform in many of Chicago’s renowned music institutions, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera, the Chicago Chamber Musicians and numerous chamber music and jazz ensembles.

With more than 23,500 students and about 300 academic programs, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest. It was founded in Chicago in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), a Roman Catholic religious community dedicated to following the ideals of St. Vincent de Paul, the 17th century priest for whom the university is named. DePaul’s tradition of providing a quality education to students from a broad range of backgrounds, with particular attention to first-generation students, has resulted in one of the nation’s most diverse student bodies. More information is available at www.depaul.edu​.

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