Thursday, May 07, 2009

In Memoriam Richard Miller

Richard Miller, one of the most important pioneers in the field of vocal pedagogy and Professor Emeritus at Oberlin College, passed away Tuesday at the age of 83. This message by Marvin Krislov, president of Oberlin College, was forwarded to me this morning:
I am deeply saddened to report the death of Professor Emeritus of Voice, Richard Miller. Richard died Tuesday, May 5, 2009.

It is impossible to capture in words the significance of Richard's contribution to the field of music as an artist, teacher, and mentor; it was utterly extraordinary. After 42 years of advancing the art of teaching and the name of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Richard retired at the end of the 2005-06 academic year. His students have continually occupied the great performance stages of the world and have transmitted his passion for music to audiences and students alike. His innovative approach to teaching has been well documented through his prodigious output as a scholar and his methods have shaped the curricula of private teachers and conservatories throughout the world.

An adjunct staff member in the Cleveland Clinic Foundation's Otolaryngology, Head, and Neck Surgery Department, an associate of Collegium Medicorum Theatri, and a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing, Richard was a frequent adjudicator for vocal performance competitions around the world. He wrote eight textbooks and more than 100 articles on voice pedagogy research and performance, and edited three collections of songs.

Richard founded Oberlin's Otto B. Schoepfle Vocal Arts Center, an acoustic laboratory that measures vocal production and provides visual and auditory feedback to the singer. The center was the first of its kind to be based within a music school.

He was honored many times for his contributions to the profession. He won the Voice Foundation of America's Voice Education Research and Awareness Award in 2006, the New York Singing Teachers Association's Recognition Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2002, and was honored with the French Ministry of Culture's Chevalier/Officier, L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1990.

Richard was an avid painter, gardener, and pianist, and vigorously pursued his work following his retirement from Oberlin. He will be greatly missed by all of us.


Marvin Krislov

My thoughts and prayers go out to the many people who have worked with and been influenced by Richard over the years.

1 comment:

  1. I spent my 1st wedding annniversary at a week-long Richard Miller workshop. :-) I am blessed with an understanding spouse. But, Richard Miller changed the way I think about the voice as well as how I teach. His passion for understanding all the ins & outs of healthy vocal production showed me how I could really make a difference in my studio and in my singing. He was a great man and will be sorely missed - especially among those in the vocal field.