Cellist Merry Peckham will become Juilliard’s assistant dean and director of chamber music

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Merry Peckham | juilliard.edu

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The Juilliard School has announced the appointment of Merry Peckham as its new assistant dean and director of chamber music from January 2024. Peckham is a chamber musician, educator and arts administrator who currently serves as chair of chamber music at the New England Conservatory (NEC) and associate director for the Perlman Music Program.

’We are incredibly excited to welcome Merry to the college faculty,’ said David Serkin Ludwig, dean and director of the music division. ’She has an unimpeachable track record as an advocate for chamber music, and we know that her experience and passion will be of great benefit to our students. I look forward to working with her to build on our successes and find new creative opportunities for chamber music at Juilliard.’

Prior to joining the NEC faculty, Peckham was coordinator of string chamber music at Oberlin Conservatory and, in 1988, became a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music. From 2005 to 2017, she was the cellist of the Elysian Piano Trio. As a founding member of the Cavani Quartet, she played thousands of concerts in the US and abroad for more than three decades.

Peckham won the overall string category as well as the cello division of the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition. Among the honours she has received are a Naumburg Chamber Music Award, Musical America’s Young Artists of the Year Award, and the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for adventurous programming of contemporary music. From 2004 to 2016, she hosted the weekly radio show Offbeat.

Peckham received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, where she studied with cellist János Starker and his student Gary Hoffman; and her master’s degree from Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Paul Katz and Peter Salaff of the Cleveland Quartet. She pursued additional studies at Yale with Aldo Parisot at Ohio State University; and with Toby Perlman. 

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