SUNY Purchase names new School of the Arts dean

SUNY Purchase College has announced that Lorenzo Candelaria has been appointed dean of the School of the Arts. Candelaria, who is currently associate provost and professor of Music History at the University of Texas at El Paso, UTEP, will replace Ravi Rajan, who left SUNY Purchase at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year to become president of California Institute of the Arts. Candelaria will begin his new role at Purchase College in July 2018.

Lorenzo Candelaria, appointed dean of the School of the Arts for SUNY Purchase College. Photo courtesy

A noted scholar and arts administrator, Candelaria brings decades experience in arts advocacy and arts education to SUNY Purchase. As dean of the School of the Arts, he will oversee the nationally acclaimed conservatories of dance, music, and theatre arts, and the highly regarded School of Art+Design and arts management programs.

“As a candidate, Dr. Candelaria presented a vision for the School of the Arts that built on his work to bring the arts to diverse American communities—an initiative that he has led as Associate Provost at UTEP,” said SUNY Purchase Provost Barry Pearson. “As dean, Dr. Candelaria will continue to broaden the relationship to the arts across campus, and extend it to communities beyond the college, while finding ways to bring greater national and international attention to Purchase College’s School of the Arts.”

Candelaria said, “Purchase College is a transformative community that genuinely embraces the opportunities and challenges of transdisciplinarity, social inclusion, and global citizenship. I look forward to growing in this unique and stimulating environment while working hard with our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to drive a national conversation on a central role for the arts in public education.”

Candelaria received his undergraduate education at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin Conservatory where he studied violin under Victor Danchenko and Marilyn Macdonald. He received his PhD from Yale University with distinction in the field of historical musicology. Prior to arriving at UTEP in 2013, Candelaria served for 12 years on the musicology faculty of the University of Texas at Austin and, in 2006, held the position of distinguished faculty fellow in ethnomusicology at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.

A dedicated advocate for the arts in education and in public discourses on pressing issues of the day, Candelaria currently holds the position of vice president for Education and Community Engagement with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Post-Classical Ensemble in Washington, D.C., an experimental orchestral laboratory that integrates music, theater, film, and dance in thematic programs that revitalize the concert experience and promote relevant roles for the arts in contemporary society.

He is active nationally and internationally as a speaker and writer. Candelaria’s current research focuses on Catholic music cultures in Spain, Mexico, and in the Hispanic Southwestern United States. Recent books include “American Music: A Panorama,” and “The Rosary Cantoral: Ritual and Social Design in a Chantbook from Early Renaissance Toledo,” a winner of the American Musicological Society’s Robert M. Stevenson Award. His current book project, “Music in Early Mexican Catholicism,” focuses on the central roles of the visual and performing arts in the religious formation of indigenous communities in 16th century Mexico.



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