BLOOMINGTON — Franklin Larey, an internationally recognized music scholar and concert pianist, is the new director of the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music.
A native of South Africa, Larey is considered one of that country's leading pianists and has performed internationally as well as at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and Carnegie Hall in New York.
Formerly a teacher at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., Larey begins as professor and music school director on Thursday. He also taught at the University of Cape Town.
Mark Brodl, IWU provost and dean of faculty, said Larey is “not only a visionary, but also brings practical experience in uniting communities around music.”
Brodl said Larey would focus on recruitment and retention, increasing the school's visibility and "expanding our commitment to excellence."
Larey has a doctorate from Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music.
Growing up under apartheid in South Africa, he did not have access to public piano lessons in the town of his birth. For his 16th birthday, his parents began paying for him to take private piano lessons.
Associate music professor William Hudson will remain as interim associate director through the 2019-20 academic year.
IWU's fall classes begin Aug. 26.