The latest news, updates, initiatives, and more from Fred Bronstein, dean of the Peabody Institute.

Read Dean Bronstein’s bio here.

February 13, 2023: Quarterly Update

I am pleased to write to you today with my quarterly update reporting on Peabody’s current and future plans.

November 18, 2022: Quarterly Update

I am always astounded at how quickly the fall passes, and this year is certainly no exception. I am pleased to write to you with some updates as we approach the close of the semester.

August 31, 2022: Convocation Address

Good afternoon, let me begin by welcoming all of you, faculty, staff, and students, to the start of the 2022-23 Academic Year. It’s always so great to see everyone at the beginning of a new year – it is a bit quiet around here in July.

August 23, 2022: Quarterly Update

It is almost impossible to believe that summer is behind us, and we are upon the 2022-23 Academic Year here at Peabody. I hope everyone had a productive and pleasant hiatus and is ready to go. I know I am looking forward to the energy that comes with fall semester on campus.

May 25, 2022: Graduation Address

Now to be serious, how great is it for us to be here, live, in person, together. It’s taken some time to get here, but we did – you did!

And that’s the place I want to start. By again congratulating our graduates today on all your many accomplishments during your time here at Peabody, all done while navigating some pretty challenging circumstances.

May 23, 2022: Quarterly Update

It is hard to believe that we are now at the end of this academic year, one which has been both eventful and most productive. The end of the year offers an appropriate moment to delve into some key metrics tracking our institutional progress, so please bear with me as I take the liberty of sharing some of that information in this letter.

February 24, 2022: Quarterly Update

As we approach the halfway mark of the spring semester, and the two-year mark for the pandemic, I am pleased to be able to report that for the most part we are functioning normally, and that as the trajectory continues to improve, we look forward to the relaxation of restrictions that affect all our lives. I continue to be so proud of how our students have persevered during this very challenging time, and how our faculty and staff have worked hard to ensure that we could continue to fulfill the mission of educating the next generation of performing artists, teachers, and scholars. 

November 29, 2021: Quarterly Update

When I last wrote to you in this forum at the start of the academic year we were excited about the return to campus as we emerged from COVID, and at the same time, unsure exactly how everything would play out throughout the fall. I am very pleased to be able to report that we have successfully returned this fall with all our faculty and staff here supporting some 733 fulltime students.

August 19, 2021: Quarterly Update

I know we are all excited to be back in full swing on the Mt. Vernon campus for the 2021-22 Academic Year. As we go forward, we will, of course, continue to operate within state and local safety parameters and advisories regarding COVID, and in accordance with overall university protocols as things continue to evolve.

May 26, 2021: Commencement Address

Let me begin by again congratulating our graduates today on all your many accomplishments over the course of your years here at Peabody. You have worked hard, overcome obstacles, and called on internal resources you never knew you had in order to get to this point.

May 10, 2021: Quarterly Newsletter

The last 18 months have been remarkable in many ways. Remarkable for the circumstances that we have collectively had to navigate – truly uncharted territory for how we would conduct our program.

March 30, 2021: Update on Swastika Images Incident

I am writing to provide a brief update on the incident that occurred in late January, which included the discovery of four images appearing to be swastikas in the East Tower elevator on the Peabody Campus.

February 26, 2021: Quarterly Update

We are now a month into our hybrid spring semester. It has been a joy to be on campus and be able to hear the sounds of practicing again, and to see familiar faces.

February 8, 2021: Baltimore Sun Op-ed

Dean Fred Bronstein explores the post-COVID future of fine arts in an op-ed for The Baltimore Sun.

January 25, 2021: Graffiti Incident on Peabody Campus

I am writing to let you know that graffiti resembling a swastika was found on the Peabody campus on the left wall of the East Tower, near the elevator, earlier today. Please know that we have taken steps to begin investigating this incident, including notifying Campus Security and the Office of Institutional Equity.

December 9, 2020: Regarding Johns Hopkins

I am writing to follow up on the message from President Ron Daniels and JHU Medicine leadership sent today. As we now know, recently discovered documents reveal that Johns Hopkins owned and kept enslaved people in his household, at least up through 1850, according to census documents uncovered by university researchers.

December 4, 2020: Quarterly Update

With the election in the rearview mirror and vaccines for COVID-19 on the near horizon, I believe there is both room and need for optimism – tempered by interesting challenges facing the performing arts – as we look to the future.

September 10, 2020: Quarterly Update

It has been a remarkable road over the last four months of contingency planning and preparation as Peabody has addressed how to best serve our students during this ongoing pandemic. 

August 8, 2020: Letter to the Editor of The New York Times

Dean Fred Bronstein responds in a letter to the editor about The New York Times article "Make Orchestras More Diverse? End Blind Auditions."

June 5, 2020: Fighting Racism

Peabody is our community and so we too must think in terms of action steps at the local level.  To me, that means that we must do a better job of owning up to and confronting racism, beginning here at Peabody.  And in the end, actions matter most, so that is what we must focus on. 

June 1, 2020: Statement Against Injustice

We at Peabody join others across the university in adding our voice to a call for justice, fairness, and equity in light of the death of George Floyd, and too many others who have come before him.

May 20, 2020: Commencement Address

You are at the beginning of a great adventure, one that will have its peaks and valleys, but you have learned to be resilient and always to return to the purpose that has driven you to be an artist from the beginning.

May 8, 2020: Quarterly Update

This has been a time of both extraordinary change and adaptation, and at the same time, we have continued to do our work, meet our mission and educate our students, many of whom will graduate “virtually” in a few short weeks.

April 21, 2020: Financial Implications of COVID-19

Like the university, Peabody’s primary focus and concern will be the safety of our community, and the ability to continue to meet our mission of educating the next generation of performing artists at the highest level.

March 10, 2020: COVID- 19 Update

As you are all aware, the spread of the COVID-19 continues to be a significant public health concern across the world. I am writing to offer a few additional points specific to the Peabody community and our planned activities over the coming weeks.

February 12, 2020: Quarterly Update

I am pleased to write with an update having turned the corner on the 2019-20 academic year at Peabody. 

November 13, 2019: Quarterly Update

It is hard to believe that we are now nearly halfway through the 2019-20 academic year. I am pleased to write with this quarterly update.

August 22, 2019: Quarterly Update

I hope you had a pleasant and productive summer. I am pleased to share updates about the Peabody Institute as we launch the 2019-20 academic year.

June 7, 2019: Baltimore Sun Op-ed

Dean Bronstein expresses his concern for the Baltimore Symphony and explains how the BSO and the community could work together in the future in this op-ed for the Baltimore Sun.

June 3, 2019: Breakthrough Curriculum Update

As you are aware, Peabody’s innovative Breakthrough Curriculum was launched 18 months ago following two years of planning.

May 22, 2019: Commencement Address

I want to again congratulate all our graduates, all of you today on your many impressive accomplishments.  You have worked hard, faced setbacks, triumphed and done things you once thought impossible.

May 8, 2019: Quarterly Update

I am writing today to update you on important initiatives and developments at Peabody as we approach the close of the 2018-19 academic year.

March 1, 2019: Baltimore Sun Op-ed

In this op-ed for the Baltimore Sun Dean Bronstein questions the future of classical music if it does not come to embrace diversity and become more inclusive of underrepresented minorities.

February 11, 2019: Quarterly Update

I am pleased to share my quarterly report on the Peabody Institute.

November 11, 2018: Quarterly Update

Greetings! Welcome to the Dean’s page and my quarterly update on key initiatives at the Peabody Institute.

August 29, 2018: Convocation Address

Good afternoon.  It is great to see you all here.  I want to begin by welcoming everyone officially to Peabody’s 2018-19 academic year!

August 14, 2018: Quarterly Update

Greetings to all! I thank you for your continued interest in the Peabody Institute. I would like to update you on a number of important items related to the Institute over the past year, with a focus on numerical results in key areas, as well as take a look forward.

July 2, 2018: JMore profile

Dean Fred Bronstein is highlighted among other Jewish University and College leaders.

May 23, 2018: Commencement Address

I want to again congratulate all our graduates, all of you today on your many impressive accomplishments. You have worked hard, suffered setbacks, triumphed and done things you once thought impossible.

March 6, 2018: Quarterly Update

I am writing to update you on a number of important developments and initiatives at Peabody as we approach the half-way point in the spring semester for the 2017-18 academic year.

December 7, 2017: Americans for the Arts blog

Twenty-five years ago American orchestras began a conversation about what would happen to excellence in performance if orchestras broadened their missions to focus on education and community engagement.

December 6, 2017: Quarterly Update

More than two years ago, Peabody launched its Breakthrough Plan and this past year, translated that vision into a five-year “roadmap” encompassing both an academic vision and a detailed financial framework and business plan to support the academic vision.

November 1, 2017: Diversity Update

I write to you today on a topic of central importance to Peabody and its long-term objectives, specifically to provide an update on various initiatives related to diversity and inclusion that have been in the works and are now moving forward.

September 1, 2017: Convocation Address

Good afternoon.  It is great to see you all here.  I want to begin by welcoming everyone officially to Peabody’s 2017-18 academic year, our 160th year in existence as the oldest conservatory in the United States, and by the way, this year we are also celebrating our 40th year as part of Johns Hopkins University.

September 1, 2017: Quarterly Update

Today starts Peabody Institute’s 2017-18 academic year, our 160th year in existence as the oldest conservatory in the United States. This year we also celebrate our 40th year as part of Johns Hopkins University.

August 1, 2017: Stay Thirsty column

In this column for Stay Thirsty Magazine, Dean Bronstein talks about the future of music and how the Peabody Institute prepares students for the changing landscape through the Breakthrough Curriculum.

May 23, 2017: Commencement Address

I want to begin by again saluting our graduates on your enormous accomplishments, but the first thing I want you to do is turn around to your families and thank them again, because you owe them big time. Go ahead, do that! It’s important to recognize your families and friends who have given their love and support and helped you on your way.

May 10, 2017: Quarterly Update

Welcome to this space, and my quarterly dean’s update from the Peabody Institute. As we reach the end of the 2016-17 academic year, there is much happening at Peabody which I hope you will find of interest.

May 8, 2017: Dean's Incentive Grants

The Dean’s Incentive Grants provide grant funding to seed faculty- and student-led projects that focus on innovation, interdisciplinary initiatives, or community partnerships to advance Peabody’s goals.

March 20, 2017: Arts Education Funding

A recent article in the Baltimore Sun addressed the damaging impact of the $130M deficit in funding for Baltimore City Public Schools, making it apparent that the arts are likely to be an early casualty.

February 23, 2017: Quarterly Update

I begin my quarterly update in this space by recapping some very exciting recent news regarding Peabody faculty and alumni. Here at Peabody our faculty makes us proud each and every day. We felt this even more keenly when Michael Hersch, Chair of the Composition Department, was recently awarded the President’s Frontier Award.

December 21, 2016: Quarterly Update

As we approach the close of the Fall 2015 semester, I am pleased to share some news and updates from the Peabody Institute, where strategically we are focusing on the Four Pillars of Excellence, Interdisciplinary Experiences, Innovation, and Community Connectivity.

November 29, 2016: Dean's Incentive Grants

I’m pleased to announce the winners of the second round of Dean’s Incentive Grants, designed to foster innovation, interdisciplinary initiatives and community connectivity, three of the four pillars of the Breakthrough Plan. Grants are funded for up to $15,000 for faculty initiatives and up to $5,000 for student initiatives, per project.

November 17, 2016: Quarterly Update

It is hard to imagine that we are already closing in on the end of the first semester of the 2016-17 Academic Year here at Peabody. As we approach this mid-point, I’m pleased to report on a number of developments, achievements, and initiatives.

November 15, 2016: Diversity Update

President Daniels’ recent message to the entire Johns Hopkins University community offers a good opportunity to review initiatives at Peabody recently undertaken in the critical area of diversity.

September 15, 2016: Convocation Address

Welcome to all of you. It’s wonderful to see you. It’s always so inspirational to me when the year starts. The energy of our students is palpable. Now, why are you here? I mean, I know the obvious, you’re here to learn your instrument and to learn music; to be able to get good enough to make a career.

August 22, 2016: Quarterly Update

Thank you for visiting this space. I write with an update as we kick off a new academic year at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

June 1, 2016: Quarterly Update

I bring greetings to you from all of us at the Peabody Institute, and am pleased to have this opportunity to update you on a number of important developments. Having presided this past May over my second graduation as dean, I continue to be as honored to serve in this role as I was on my first day.

May 18, 2016: Commencement Address

I want to begin by congratulating you and your families again on your graduation – you made it! And now you get to go out into the world to take that next step – to use all your talents and skills you’ve acquired to make music and to make a difference.

March 23, 2016: Quarterly Update

Thank you for your continued interest in the Peabody Institute, and for coming to this space to learn more about our initiatives. There are a number of important updates.

March 21, 2016: Announcing Midori

Peabody’s greatest strength is built on its outstanding faculty as well as a burgeoning group of faculty/artists that we invite to campus to work with our students. I am thrilled to announce that renowned violinist Midori has accepted our invitation to serve as a distinguished visiting artist here at Peabody throughout the 2016-17 academic year.

January 20, 2016: Dean's Incentive Grants

Last spring we announced the launch of a new program, the Dean’s Incentive Grants, designed to foster innovation, interdisciplinary initiatives and community connectivity, three of the four pillars identified in our Breakthrough Plan.

September 22, 2015: Quarterly Update

Early fall on campus is always an exciting time, full of promise and potential and new beginnings. This is very true as the fall semester begins at Peabody this year, and I’m pleased to share with you some of the news and updates from our Mount Vernon home.

September 3, 2015: Convocation Address

Welcome and good afternoon. It is great to see you all here. It was quiet around the campus during the summer, and it was good to get lots of work done, but I missed you. It’s great to have you back, faculty and students, and I’m looking forward to a productive year of learning, performing, and growth for all of us.

July 1, 2015: 21st Century Cities panel

Dean Bronstein joins other Hopkins experts along with alumni, students, parents, and friends for a chance to engage in an important conversation about the 21st Century Cities Initiative, part of JHU’s Rising to the Challenge. The program also features a performance by current Masters student Justin Sergi.

June 16, 2015: New York Times letter

Dean Bronstein responds to an Op-Ed from June 13 in The New York Times, Don’t Go to Music School, with Our Future Musicians.

June 5, 2015: Quarterly Update

The academic year has come to a close with both familiar, time-honored traditions and new efforts and initiatives. That juxtaposition of the new and the old is becoming a defining characteristic of the Peabody Institute, and I am excited to share with you a few recent updates.

May 22, 2015: Commencement Address

I want to begin by again congratulating each and every one of you on your graduation from Peabody. We’re proud of you. Your family and friends are proud of you. You worked hard to get here. The good news is that you were successful. The challenge is, OK, “what’s next?” We asked that same question about classical music in our symposium this past fall.

February 12, 2015: Quarterly Update

February at Peabody means auditions. For one week this month, our beautiful Mount Vernon campus is filled with hopeful applicants, playing their very best in the last step of a rigorous application process. It is an exciting time and one which naturally turns our focus to the future.

January 1, 2015: JHU Gazette profile

In this profile for the Hopkins Gazette, Dean Bronstein discusses how he is meeting the challenge of bringing the oldest conservatory in the U.S. into the 21st century.

December 2, 2014: Quarterly Update

As I approach the six-month mark as dean of the Peabody Institute, I am excited about the work that in which we are engaged at Peabody. We are entering an energizing process of repositioning the Institute within the world of music conservatories, in our home community of Baltimore.

October 23, 2014: "What's Next?" Symposium

One of the things that distinguishes Johns Hopkins University is that it is a convener of conversations about important issues, whether they be scientific, health-related, or in the humanities. Johns Hopkins is a “go to” place when people from around the world seek answers, perspective, and knowledge.

October 21, 2014: Baltimore Sun OpEd

In this op-ed for the Baltimore Sun, Dean Bronstein shares his thoughts on the essential role that artists and cultural institutions play in the community and reflects on the responsibility of conservatories for the holistic development of young musicians.

September 4, 2014: Convocation Address

Good afternoon. I’m Fred Bronstein, your new Dean. I want to begin by welcoming everyone, students, faculty and staff to the start of our 2014-15 Academic year. And I want to offer a special greeting to students who are new to Peabody.

August 30, 2014: Baltimore Sun profile

Identifying some of the challenges ahead as well as focusing in on the Institute’s greatest assets, Dean Bronstein opens up to Tim Smith about his goals for the future of Peabody in this candid interview.

August 22, 2014: Introduction

Having only just arrived in Baltimore at the beginning of June, I have spent these last few months on a listening tour, learning about Peabody, its history, many strengths, and opportunities.