Robert Blocker

Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music & Professor of Piano

Robert Blocker, the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music at Yale University, is acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading arts administrators. Before assuming his current position in July of 1995, he was the founding Dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. At UCLA, Dean Blocker held a joint appointment in the Anderson School of Management, where he taught Arts Administration.

Following baccalaureate studies at Furman University (BA, 1968), Mr. Blocker earned graduate degrees (MM, 1970; DMA, 1972) at the University of North Texas. He was a fellow at the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard in 1986 and is the recipient of three honorary degrees. In 2006, Mr. Blocker was named honorary Professor of Piano at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. His many contributions to the music community include service on the advisory boards for the Avery Fisher Artist program and the Stoeger Prize at Lincoln Center, the Gilmore Artist Advisory Board, and the Curatorium of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. He was featured in the Steinway & Sons 2000 film commemorating the tercentennial year of the piano. He appears regularly on national radio and television as an artist and commentator and is active as a consultant to major educational institutions and government agencies. 

Under his leadership, the Yale School of Music endowment has grown from $29 million to $300 million, including a transformative anonymous gift of $100 million. During Mr. Blocker’s tenure as dean, there have been unprecedented renovations on the School of Music’s campus, including the enhancement of the Center for Study of Music Technology that permits students, faculty, and administration to communicate, via real time broadcasting with institutions around the world. Other notable renovations include Sprague Memorial Hall and Leigh Hall. The planning process for the Hendrie Hall renovation project has begun, and this effort will bring to completion the renovation and renewal of all School of Music facilities.

Robert Blocker is highly regarded internationally for his artistry as a concert pianist. Recent orchestral engagements include the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, Monterey Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, and the Prague and Moscow Chamber Orchestras. Later this year, Naxos will release a CD of three Mozart concerti performed by Mr. Blocker with the Biava Quartet. 

Education

  • DMA, University of North Texas, 1972
  • MM, University of North Texas, 1970
  • BA, Furman University, 1968

Courses

Leadership Strategies for Music Presenters
MGT 626

Achievements

Honorary Professor of Piano
Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, PRC
2006
The Samuel Simon Sanford Medal
Yale University School of Music
2005
President’s Citation for Extraordinary Service
University of North Texas
2005
Distinguished Alumni Award
Furman University
1999
Order of the Palmetto
(highest distinction for service awarded by the state of South Carolina)
1993