The former provost of the New England Conservatory and head of numerous musical institutions was 81


Robert K. Dodson

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US cellist Robert K. Dodson died on 15 October 2023 at the Albany Medical Center, aged 81. He was a performer, music educator and provost of the New England Conservatory (NEC) from 2004 to 2007.

Dodson was born on 2 January 1942 in Los Angeles, CA. Studying with Janos Starker, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and received an honorary doctorate in 2006. He also studied at Columbia University and NEC.

Throughout his career, he served as dean of Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Lawrence University Conservatory, vice principal and principal of the Royal Conservatory of Music, and artist-in-residence and faculty member at Queen’s University. While in Canada, Dodson founded and served as managing director of the Friends of Chamber Music. In addition, he was a member of the Vaghy Quartet for eleven years between 1969 and 1981.

After his post as provost of NEC, he became the director of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. In retirement, he was a volunteer member of the Olive Fire Department.   

Dodson is survived by his wife of 58 years, his daughter and son, his brother, four grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

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