Popular ex-Curtis Dean takes over immediately as head of San Francisco Con

Popular ex-Curtis Dean takes over immediately as head of San Francisco Con


norman lebrecht

January 18, 2014

It’s a great interim appointment but the suddenness begs a few questions. Press release below.


private photo, 1984



The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Fitzpatrick as Provost and Dean. Fitzpatrick replaces outgoing Dean Mary Ellen Poole, who has stepped down after 10 years of distinguished service to the school. Former Dean and Chief Academic Officer of the Curtis Institute of Music, Fitzpatrick will serve in an interim capacity until the search for a new permanent dean for the Conservatory is completed.

“We are delighted to welcome Robert Fitzpatrick to the Conservatory at an exciting moment in our history,” says President David H. Stull. “Mr. Fitzpatrick has a wealth of management and leadership experience and is a highly accomplished musician and teacher. I am honored to have him join our community.” Stull notes that Fitzpatrick’s guidance in post-secondary educational administration will be particularly useful for the Conservatory’s accreditation report to WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) due later this year. “He has led numerous accreditation processes with multiple agencies and organizations, including a site visit to SFCM in the 1990s.”

“I am happy to accept the invitation from President Stull to join the San Francisco Conservatory administrative team charged with realizing his long term strategic vision,” says Fitzpatrick. “This dynamic plan will secure the place of the Conservatory among the planet’s most important destinations for aspiring musical artists who dream of becoming performers at the highest professional level, and who will influence the cultural life of their city, their country, and the world as inspiring musical citizens during the 21st century and beyond.” Fitzpatrick began his responsibilities at the Conservatory on Monday, January 13 and will meet the full community of Conservatory students and faculty when the Spring semester begins on Tuesday, January 21.


  • Congratulations, Mr. Fitzpatrick! Actually, we should probably congratulate the SFCM instead.

    Wasn’t Jorge Bolet on the SFCM faculty for several years before going to Bloomington, Indiana? If so, this would be another interesting Curtis connection.

  • ed says:

    Bravo! What better person to lead the conservatory to a first tier status, than someone who has already been there, and with such distinction.

  • Congratulations, Bob! And to SFCM as well – excellent choice!

  • Janey says:

    Let me add my congratulations!!! Wonderful choice!

  • Notting Dueing says:

    Popular? Not sure about that, but he certainly ran things with a close eye on everyone.