The violinist received the award in a ceremony on 13 May


Photo: Christopher Ian Smith,

Violinist Robert McDuffie

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US violinist Robert McDuffie has been awarded an honorary doctorate in music from Emory University in Atlanta, US, for his work as an ‘arts advocate, musical collaborator and violin virtuoso’. He received the degree during Emory’s 179th Commencement ceremony on 13 May.

Born to a musical family in Macon in Georgia, US, McDuffie studied at the Juilliard School in New York. Now an Emmy award-winner and Grammy award nominee, McDuffie has premiered concertos by composers including Philip Glass and R.E.M’s Mike Mills, and has performed as a soloist with notable orchestras including the New York, Los Angeles, and London Philharmonics.

McDuffie established the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy in 2003, for which he received the Premio Simpatia by the mayor of Rome for his contribution to the capital’s cultural life, as well as the Medaglia Ufficiale della Camera dei Deputati, the Medaglia Speciale del Natale di Roma, and the Premio delle Muse in Florence.

In 2006 he founded the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, a special institute within Mercer University’s School of Music which offers full-tuition scholarships to 27 string players. He also holds the Mercer University Genelle and Mansfield Jennings Distinguished University Professor Chair, the Robert McDuffie Violin Faculty Chair at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and served on the board of directors for New York City’s Harlem School of the Arts as the chairman of the artistic and education committee for ten years.

McDuffie performs on the 1735 ’Ladenburg’ Guarneri del Gesù violin, previously owned by Nicolò Paganini and Louis Spohr.

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