The UNC School of the Arts School of Music has a new dean.
Brian Cole, currently dean of academic affairs at the Valencia, Spain, campus of Berklee College of Music, will take the UNCSA job, effective Aug. 1.
“Brian Cole is an accomplished musician and conductor and is a perfect fit for UNCSA,” UNCSA Chancellor Lindsay Bierman said. “He’s an innovative and strategically minded leader, with strengths in program development, collaborative arts initiatives and community outreach.
“His grounding in performance and academia, as well as his international experience, have richly informed his perspective. He’s a dynamic leader who will take our School of Music to the next level.”
At Berklee’s Valencia campus, Cole is responsible for the academic direction of the Boston college’s first international campus.
Since joining Berklee in June 2012, Cole supervised an expansion the master’s programs, including a fourth program in Music Production, Technology & Innovation, launched in 2013.
Cole visited UNCSA in April, while interviewing for the position.
“I found UNCSA to be a dynamic institution that is committed to creating complete artists, and this is so important in the music industry today,” he wrote by email from Spain on Tuesday. “Today’s young artists must not only master their craft, but also develop diverse skills sets so that they can respond to opportunities in a rapidly evolving musical landscape. They must be immersed in the creative process of writing music, capable of leveraging technology to support their art and have the knowledge and tools to build effective artistic networks.
“UNCSA’s tag line ‘#we create here’ truly speaks to its mission and focus, and I’m excited to join this team and help build on its success. I believe there are some really exciting things on the way for the School of Music and the entire institution.”
Before joining Berklee, Cole was associate dean for seven years at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, one of the largest schools of music in Latin America. There, he supervised graduate and undergraduate performance programs in classical, jazz and Caribbean music.
As a conductor, Cole has led orchestras and operas throughout the United States, Europe, South America and the Caribbean. In 2002, he joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as conducting assistant, and served as assistant conductor and director of education and outreach programs for the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.
Cole’s opera credits include a variety of works such as Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande”; Britten’s three chamber operas “Albert Herring,” “The Rape of Lucretia” and “The Turn of the Screw”; Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”; Puccini’s “La Bohéme”; Menotti’s “The Telephone” and “Amahl and the Night Visitors”; Moore’s “The Ballad of Baby Doe”; and Argento’s “A Water Bird Talk.”
Cole has a Master of Music in instrumental conducting from the University of Illinois and is a candidate for a Doctor of Musical Arts in orchestral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Cole is succeeding Karen Beres, who has served as interim music dean since former Dean Wade Weast left in July.
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