Texas Tech University

Dean of the College of Visual & Performing Arts

Noel Zahler, DMA

Andrew Martin

Noel Zahler began his role as dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts on September 1, 2016. Prior to coming to Texas Tech, Zahler was dean of the College of Arts, Communication and Design at Long Island University (LIU). He was head of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University for four years and University of Minnesota for three years. He spent 20 years at Connecticut College, ending his career there as the Sylvia Pasternak Marx Professor of Music.

While at LIU, Zahler increased recruitment among international students, authored articulation agreements with institutions in Norway, Saudi Arabia, Italy, China and others and created a Summer High School Honors Institute residency program for prospective students. He also worked with other colleges on campus, including the School of Health Professions and Nursing and the College of Management, to create collaborative programs.

He trained as a classical guitarist and also plays, but does not perform on, the piano. His compositions, which are mostly in the post-modernist style, are for instrumental, vocal and electronic media. He has composed music for a variety of instruments and groups as well as interactive dance music, a virtual reality soundscape, a documentary, a number of computer animated videos and a chamber opera. In addition to writing and recording, Zahler created original software for musicians, including Score Follow, which follows a live performer and provides automatic accompaniment or spatialization as prescribed by the composer.

Zahler holds bachelor's and master's degrees from City University of New York's Queens College, a master of fine arts degree from Princeton University and a doctor of musical arts from Columbia University as well as a Certificato di Perfezionamento from L'Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He also has studied at The Juilliard School.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including a National Endowment for the Arts Consortium Commission, a Fulbright/Hayes Fellowship and an Aaron Copland Foundation Grant. Zahler has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Italian National Research Council.