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In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus of Voice Richard Miller

May. 06, 2009

Richard Miller
Professor Emeritus of Voice, Richard Miller

Oberlin is 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 books on the subject of singing and more than 100 articles on voice pedagogy research and performance. He also edited song collections of Franz Liszt and Max Reger.

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.

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