MACON--World-renowned violinist and Macon native Robert McDuffie joins Mercer University as Distinguished University Professor of Music, effective July 1, University President R. Kirby Godsey announced today. The Grammy-nominated artist is considered one of the top violinists in the world, regularly performing with major orchestras in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia, in solo recital, and in chamber music collaboration with other musicians.
"We are delighted to establish this arrangement with Robert McDuffie, which we hope will endure for many years to come," said President Godsey. "Mercer is extremely fortunate to have Mr. McDuffie on campus to share his enormous talent and wealth of experience with our young, gifted musicians here. Robert's interest in becoming a faculty member at the University is a tribute to Mercer's music program and his participation will underscore Mercer's ongoing commitment to excellence in every arena of its endeavors."
As Distinguished University Professor of Music, McDuffie will make regular visits to the Music Department of the University. During each visit, he will conduct master classes in violin and chamber music and offer other instructional activities to a select group of promising young musicians. He will also perform one major concert at the University each year.
Robert McDuffie has appeared as soloist with many of the major orchestras of the world, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal and Toronto Symphonies; Philadelphia, Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, North German Radio Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome and all of the major orchestras of Australia.
Mr. McDuffie was a Visting Artist at the American Academy in Rome during 2002 and gave several concerts in the famed music salon of Villa Aurelia. During his tenure in Rome, he teamed up with Italian financier Simone Chiarella and formed the Rome Chamber Music Festival at Villa Aurelia, an annual two-week festival held in June. Additional European performances have taken place at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonie in Cologne with the Bochum Symphoniker and in Rotterdam with the Noord Nederlands Orkest.
Mr. McDuffie's acclaimed recordings for Telarc include the violin concertos of Mendelssohn, Bruch, Adams, Glass, Barber and Rozsa, as well as Viennese favorites. He plays a 1735 Guarneri del Gesù violin, known as the "ex-Ladenburg," which has been played by some of the world's greatest violinists, including Niccolò Paganini during the last year of his life.
Robert McDuffie began his study of the violin in Macon with Robert Schwarzenberger at age six. Three years later, he continued studies with Henrik Schwarzenberger until age 16, when he relocated to New York to attend the pre-college division of The Juilliard School. He has also studied with Dorothy DeLay, Jens Ellerman, Robert Mann and Margaret Pardee. He later received his performance diploma from Juilliard. Mr. McDuffie has been profiled on NBC's "Today," "CBS Sunday Morning," PBS's "Charlie Rose," A&E's "Breakfast with the Arts" and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He has served as a commentator for National Public Radio. Robert McDuffie lives in New York with his wife, Camille, also a Georgia native, and his two children, Eliza and Will.