The newest Jacobs SOM hire

Phil Ford

As some of you know, the school where I work — Indiana University's famed Jacobs School of Music — has made some pretty big hires in the last few years: Andre Watts, Leonard Slatkin, Joshua Bell, and of course my own illustrious self. But today they announced that they might have landed the biggest fish yet . . . André Rieu! Go read the press release! 

Though Mr. Rieu hardly needs introduction, there may be one or two persons among our readership who, perhaps for reasons of snobbery and prejudice, have remained ignorant of his art. They are making a grave mistake.

But beyond the sheer artistic "heft" that Mr. Rieu brings to JSOM (to say nothing of that mechanized chandelier!), I think what's really important about this hire are the pedagogical implications. It is no secret that the study of Western art music is in a state of crisis, and our young musicians need to find new paths to relevance:

"In these uncertain economic times, institutions such as the Jacobs School of Music must be ever mindful of the life paths which await our students," Richards said. "Cruise ships, dance bands, and 'pops' concerts have always been the bread and butter of our orchestral graduates. The appointment of Maestro Rieu brings to IU an invaluable new resource in preparing today's students for these challenging times. Like the marzipan and chocolate in one of Vienna's famous Mozartkugeln, Maestro Rieu and the Jacobs School promise to be a marriage made in heaven."  

That puts it well, I believe.

[UPDATE: April fools! Though I doubt I was fooling anyone here.]

About Phil Ford

Chairman of the Committee for the Memorial to the Victims of Modernism
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6 Responses to The newest Jacobs SOM hire

  1. MJ says:

    Better than Google’s.

  2. jonathan says:


  3. Andrew DA says:

    A chair of Light Classical Studies. I am simultaneously delighted and appalled.

  4. Peter G says:

    He’s a good second choice–rumor has it Paul Potts was playing hardball in his final negotiations.

  5. Dan Blim says:

    Somehow I think the image of a caged bird out on the terrace is fitting here. But also, it’s kind of mean to that poor bird.

  6. Juliette says:

    Oh my God! You really scared me there, for a second I thought it was true…

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