Violist, teacher, administrator, and alumnus Adam Meyer has been appointed associate dean for administration at Juilliard. As such he will work closely with the provost and dean, Ara Guzelimian, as well as with staff and faculty members from the School’s Dance, Drama, and Music divisions.
Meyer, who earned his master’s from Juilliard in 2004, received his B.A. from Oberlin and his D.M.A. from Stony Brook University. Most recently he has been the dean of students at the Perlman Music Program; he also teaches in the Stony Brook University Pre-College Program and is a chamber music coach at the New York Youth Symphony.
“I’m delighted to welcome Adam Meyer in this important capacity,” Guzelimian said. “As an accomplished performer and administrator, he understands firsthand what is needed to provide a broad education for a talented young artist. He is very familiar with Juilliard from his own time here but also brings to us the fresh perspective of his education at two other distinguished schools. In addition, his work at the Perlman Music Program is a superb complement to all that takes place at Juilliard.”
Meyer replaces Virginia Allen, who will stay on at Juilliard as a faculty member. She was on the conducting faculty from 1998 to 2009, is a co-founder of the Juilliard Trombone Choir, and was the executive director of the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies from 2001 to 2005. She is also the artistic director of the summer Conducting Workshop for Music Educators.
Prior to taking the position, Meyer spoke with The Journal about becoming an administrator, balancing his art and his professional lives, and what he brings to the job as a Juilliard graduate.
Meyer described his new position as “being an extension of the Dean’s Office, and working with students and counseling and advising them as needed as well as supporting the faculty. The Associate Dean’s Office is where administrative initiatives meet implementation, which means figuring out how to follow through on and execute ideas.”
While Meyer didn’t have much interaction with administrators as a Juilliard student, his eventual move into administration was inspired in part by a taking President Joseph W. Polisi’s course, “American Society and the Arts.”
“He was still hands-on teaching that class then, and I met with him in small groups and one-on-one,” Meyer said. “It was such a rare opportunity to get to know someone of his ability and talents and position, and it really inspired me to think beyond the practice room and about how what I do impacts the world around me.”
As the founding violist of the Bryant Park Quartet, Meyer has had the luxury of being able to perform and work as an administrator over the past four years. His Juilliard position will take far more time than his job at Perlman did, but Meyer said, “It’s really important for me to be a musician—that’s something that I never want to give up completely.”
Having attended three conservatories, Meyer has a keen sense of how they operate. “Fortunately I’ve always been able to identify some administrators I could talk to, which is really important. It’s so frustrating when a student feels like the answer is going to be ‘no’ before they even walk in the door,” he said. “I want to be the type of administrator who has an open door for both students and faculty.”
Meyer said that in addition to his perspective as a performer and a teacher, probably the most important thing he brings to his new job is “knowing what being a student here is like: the pressures, the intensity, the immersion in your craft. Those memories are still fresh, and I hope they’ll help me relate to what the students need and understand the faculty point of view.”
He continued, “Juilliard is such an exciting, complicated place. I’m really inspired by the process of getting up to speed both with things I wasn’t involved in as a student and also with the behind-the-scenes of what I was.”