Endowed Chairs

Dicterow_Chair_Page.jpgGlenn Dicterow
Robert Mann Chair in Strings and Chamber Music

In 2013, the Robert Mann Chair in Strings and Chamber Music was established to honor Robert Mann, composer, violin virtuoso, and one of the founders of the world famous Juilliard Quartet. Robert won the prestigious Naumburg Competition in 1941 and went on to make his New York debut shortly after. Following his graduation from Julliard, however, he was drafted into the army. Upon his return, at the invitation of Juilliard’s president, Robert Mann formed the Juilliard String Quartet in 1946, and he would remain the ensemble’s first violinist for more than fifty years.The Chair was graciously funded by Robert’s brother and sister-in-law, Claude and Alfred Mann. The Manns have long been dedicated supporters of USC, offering financial support made possible through their own talents and accomplishments. The Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering was established at USC in 1998 as a non-profit organization to bridge the gap between biomedical invention and the creation of commercially successful medical products. Mr. Mann is a prominent biomedical entrepreneur, and he and his wife continue to invest in this important work because they have seen how the research and developments created at his Institutes have improved quality of life for so many people. Mr. Mann is also a USC Life Trustee and an honorary doctor of Humane Letters.


Gilfry_Chair_Pagel.jpgRod Gilfry
Stephen Crocker Professorship in Music

In 1987, the Stephen H. Professorship in Music was established with a desired preference for opera. The Chair was graciously funded through an estate gift by Stephen H. Crocker.


Midori_Endowed_Chairs_Web.jpgMidori Goto
Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin

In 1974, the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin was established to honor the legacy of Jascha Heifetz, widely regarded as the most important and influential violinist of the twentieth century. A child prodigy, he moved with his family to the United States where his Carnegie Hall debut won rapturous reviews. He had a long and successful recording career, but following an injury to his bowing arm, he focused on teaching. Heifetz taught the violin extensively, holding master classes first at UCLA, then at USC, along with renowned cellist Gregor Piatigorsky and violist William Primrose. He con­tin­ued to teach at USC until 1983.

The Chair was graciously funded through the generosity of multiple donors and the USC’s Board of Trustees.


Kirshbaum_Endowed_Chairs_Web.jpgRalph Kirshbaum
Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello

In 1974, the Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello was established to honor the legacy of Gregor Piatigorsky, widely regarded as one of the greatest string players of all time. As a child, he was taught violin and piano by his father. After seeing and hearing the cello, he determined to become a cellist and was given his first cello when he was seven. He won a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory and was hired as the principal cellist for the Bolshoi Theater. In 1929, he first visited the United States, playing with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. From 1941 to 1949, he was the head of the cello department at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and he also taught at Tanglewood, Boston University, and the University of Southern California, where he remained until his death. Piatigorsky participated in a chamber group with Arthur Rubinstein (piano), William Primrose (viola) and Jascha Heifetz (violin).

The Chair was graciously funded through the generosity of multiple donors and the USC’s Board of Trustees.


Mintzer_Chair_Page.jpgBob Mintzer
Bowen H. “Buzz” and Barbara M. McCoy Chair in Jazz

In 2004, the Bowen H. “Buzz” and Barbara M. McCoy Chair in Jazz was established to compensate and support a premiere jazz artist and educator to hold this chair. The chair was also established to honor Steven B. Sample, who served as USC’s 10th president from 1991 to August 2010. Sample is a tenured professor in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. As president, he co-taught with management expert Warren Bennis an undergraduate course titled “The Art and Adventure of Leadership.” His book, The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership, has been a Los Angeles Times best-seller, was named one of six “must-reads” for leaders by Harvard Management Update of the Harvard Business School, and has been translated into five languages. He donates all royalties from the book to a scholarship fund for USC undergraduates. A member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Sample is the author of numerous journal articles and published papers in science and engineering and higher education. His patents in the field of digital appliance controls have been licensed to practically every major manufacturer of appliance controls and microwave ovens in the world. Over 300 million home appliances have been built using his inventions. Picking up jazz drumming since his youth, Sample has played with some of the best jazz drummers of our era.

The Chair was graciously funded by Buzz McCoy, real estate and business counselor with Buzz McCoy Associates, Inc. and current USC Thornton Board of Councilors member, and his wife Barbara.


Reynolds_Chair_Page.jpgH. Robert Reynolds
H. Robert Reynolds Professorship in Wind Conducting

In 2008, the H. Robert Reynolds Professorship in Wind Conducting was established to honor the legacy of H. Robert Reynolds, Principal Conductor of the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble. Both a current faculty member and an acknowledged leader in the area of wind music for over half a century, Mr. Reynolds has been widely regarded as the premiere wind conductor of his generation. Having conducted numerous premiere performances, he has won the praise of composers such as Aaron Copland, Karel Husa, Gyorgy Ligeti, Darius Milhaud and Gunther Schuller, among others and, as such, has influenced countless young conductors and composers through his teachings and commissions.

The Chair was graciously funded through the generosity of multiple donors following a lead gift from John Daniels, Managing Partner of Orange Coast Productions LLC, free-lance conductor, music director and longtime friend of H. Robert Reynolds.


Alice_Schoenfeld_Endowed_Page.jpgAlice Schoenfeld
Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Chair in String Instruction

In 2008, the Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Chair in String Instruction was established to honor both the legacies of Alice Schoenfeld, professor emerita of violin at the USC Thornton School of Music and an internationally renowned violinist, and Eleonore Schoenfeld, former chair of strings at the USC Thornton School of Music and holder of the Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello.

The Chair was graciously funded by Alice Schoenfeld, who established the chair in honor of her sister Eleonore and their time together as the Schoenfeld Duo. Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld, internationally renowned violinist and cellist, both served on the USC Thornton faculty beginning in 1959, and were holders of the Alice & Eleonore Schoenfeld Chair in String Instruction and the Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello, respectively. They concertized extensively as soloists with leading philharmonic and radio orchestras, in recitals, and as the acclaimed Schoenfeld Duo.

The sisters were educated in Berlin. Alice, a protégé of the eminent professor Karl Klingler, the heir of the great Joachim tradition, quickly rose to the top ranks of violinists, making her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic at the age of ten while Eleonore was admitted at the early age of fourteen to the prestigious Hochschule für Musik in Berlin to study with professor Adolf Steiner.

After a very successful career in Germany, the sisters emigrated to Los Angeles and continued their career as recitalists and soloists with major orchestras while serving as frequent guest artists, lecturers, and master class clinicians worldwide. Collectively they made hundreds of recordings of the solo and chamber music literature for major television and radio stations throughout Europe, the United States, China, and Australia.

Professor Eleonore Schoenfeld served as the director of the International Gregor Piatigorsky Seminar for Cellists at USC Thornton from 1979 until she passed away in 2007.

Their reputation attracted talented students from all over the world to USC Thornton, many of whom were top prize winners in national and international competitions, became world-renowned soloists, and garnered positions with the most prestigious universities and orchestras all over the world.

Both Alice and Eleonore were recipients of the USC Ramo Music Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2008 they were presented with the coveted emblem as national winners of the Artist Teacher Award by the American String Teacher’s Association.