Texas Tech University



School of Music Names New Director

By Amanda Castro-Crist & Shannon Sears

September 12, 2018

The Texas Tech University School of Music, housed within the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts (TCVPA), has named Kim Walker as its new director. Walker began in her new role July 1.

"It is with tremendous pleasure that I look forward to partnering with the superb students, faculty and staff at the School of Music to realize their potential as they shape and impact the future of music," Walker said. "Together, we will build on the strengths of the school and university to prepare future generations who are ready for our global digital world, with expert leadership to create new, bold and daring opportunities.

"I'd like to extend my thanks to Dean Noel Zahler and the faculty, staff and students for this unique opportunity to cross-pollinate our talents and join in the tradition of excellence that the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts and Texas Tech University embody."

Walker is a bassoonist and former dean and principal of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. As director of the School of Music, Walker will coordinate and guide all aspects of the School of Music in collaboration with the School of Music faculty and the rest of TCVPA.

"During this very exciting time for both the School of Music and the college, Kim Walker's experience and vision will complement our strategic initiatives and help us all to raise the profile of the school and college nationally and internationally," Zahler said. "She will help us create partnerships with other institutions, broaden our recruiting of high-quality students and faculty and lift the visibility of the School of Music's faculty and alumni."

Walker has extensive experience in administration, fundraising and international and interdisciplinary collaboration. In 1994, she joined the Indiana University faculty as a music professor and served as associate dean of research for the arts and humanities. Her time there also included service as associate dean for the vice chancellor, dean of faculties and as director of arts and culture outreach in the President's Office.

In 2004, Walker began serving as a music professor and dean of the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney in Australia. She served as the university's cultural ambassador, where she increased international enrollment and community engagement, established an ongoing research incentive program and authored agreements with institutions in Europe, Asia and the U.S., including the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Royal College of Music, the Juilliard School of Music and the Shanghai Conservatory. She also helped establish a combined undergraduate degree between music and medicine, the first of its kind in the world.

Walker studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Geneva Conservatory and the Basel Schola Cantorum. She founded the consulting company VirtuosoCEO and is a visiting guest professor at Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music. An internationally best-selling author, Walker's latest book, "INSPIRE," is scheduled for publication in late 2018.

She brings 30 years of international performance experience as a soloist and chamber musician on six continents as well as an orchestral background performing as first bassoon with some of Europe's leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and RAI Torino. Walker has performed as a soloist with leading orchestras, including the London Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic, the BBC London and RIAS Berlin. She also is a celebrated recording artist with more than 30 solo and chamber music recordings with various labels.

Walker's vision includes "championing not only the Goin' Band – but also the School of Music's diverse genres (Opera, Orchestra, Historic Performance, and Jazz, contemporary and popular)." Walker states, "We want to see our TTU School of Music turning up on the center court of the music industry, the playing fields of our global alliances and in the main stage of our Lubbock community.

Our goal is to throw open the doors, and build musical collaborations to enrich us, but also to enrich the musical life of Lubbock and beyond. The School of Music is Lubbock's largest presenter of music. We are deeply grateful to the many guest artists who share their brilliance with us on stage but also in master classes and classrooms, deepening in many ways the student experience.

Our challenge is to match these expanding teaching programs and graduate study with wonderful facilities and resources, to attract even more top musicians and audiences to our campus and to expand our student intake. As Audrey Hepburn once said, 'Nothing is impossible... the word itself says "I'm possible!"' Students are arriving just this month from London, New York, South America, and the major music institutions in the US, Germany, and Asia.

Our capacity to develop graduate studies, to draw and retain the best musicians of the future, is also underpinned by the extraordinary generosity this year of the Helen Jones and CH Foundations, our alumni, and support from our Friends of Music.

And no arts institution, no school of arts excellence, no musician should forget the audience.

This year we are not only continuing but are enriching our concert series, including our Chamber music, Jazz, Opera, Vernacular, and Mariachi programs to name but a few,as well as our Conductor's Series!

I urge you to scoop up all the brochures now available for these concerts and join us on at least a few of these musical journeys, hopefully becoming a regular guest. I am looking forward to a long, successful and somewhat outrageous collaboration!"