Converse College announced today the appointment of Miles Hoffman as Dean of its Carroll McDaniel Petrie School of Music. He will begin his duties with Converse August 6.
Hoffman earned his bachelor of arts with cum laude honors from Yale University and his master of music from the Juilliard School. He has spent the better part of his life educating others about music. He is known to most Americans through his music commentaries for National Public Radio’s flagship program Morning Edition, on which he is regularly heard by an audience of 14 million people, and for Performance Today, on which he provided weekly commentary for 13 years. He is author of “The NPR Classical Music Companion: Terms and Concepts from A to Z,” now in its eighth printing from the Houghton Mifflin Company. He is also the founder and artistic director of The American Chamber Players.
“This is a big move for my family and me because we have lived in the Washington, D.C. area since the late 1970s, but Converse’s Petrie School of Music has always held an elevated position in my mind and heart,” said Hoffman. “I first remember being so impressed with the college’s Friends of the Petrie School of Music Series because it presents such an esteemed roster of performers from throughout the world each year. My first performance at Converse was with The American Chamber Players as part of the series in 1998. We returned in 2000 and again in 2002. For the last two years, I have served as Artist-in-Residence and made my debut as a conductor with the Converse Symphony Orchestra in May of 2006. Through those visits to the campus, I was able to formulate a very good idea of Converse, so when the Dean of the Petrie School position became available, my interest was immediately piqued.”
Hoffman made his New York performance debut in 1979 at the 92nd Street Y and has since appeared frequently around the country in recital, as a chamber musician and as soloist with many orchestras. In 1982 he founded the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival, which he directed for nine years and which led to the formation of the American Chamber Players, a group with whom he regularly tours the United States and Canada. With the American Chamber Players, he has recorded works of Mozart, Bruch, Bloch, Stravinsky and Rochberg for a series of compact discs produced by the Library of Congress and distributed internationally on the Koch International Classics Label. In May of 2003, Hoffman was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters from Centenary College of Louisiana in recognition of his achievements as a performer and educator.
“Converse is thrilled that its Petrie School of Music will be led by one of America’s best known and most highly regarded musicians and commentators,” said Converse president Betsy Fleming. “Miles Hoffman’s accomplishments as a performer are remarkable, and his tireless efforts to bring music to the public through his lectures and work at NPR demonstrate his commitment to arts education. His musical artistry and keen intellect will make him a wonderful Dean for the Petrie School of Music, and we look forward to the great things under his leadership.”
Hoffman was intrigued by the idea of continuing his educational endeavors at Converse. “So much of what I’ve been doing for the past 25 years has revolved around educating people about music. I have traveled the country to teach, lecture and perform for organizations throughout the country and will continue to do so. But the Converse position give