Robert Mann, founder and first violinist of the Julliard String Quartet and a member of the Julliard School Music Division faculty since 1946, has been named the recipient of the 2004 Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award.
Administered by the Office for the Arts (OFA), the award – which carries an honorarium of $10,000 – was established by Mrs. Ray A. Goldberg and the Max Goldberg Foundation to perpetuate the values and teaching skills represented by the late Vosgerchian, a longtime member of the Department of Music faculty at Harvard. Mann will conduct a master class with Harvard undergraduate instrumentalists and attend a dinner in his honor on May 14.
“We are pleased to recognize Robert Mann’s extraordinary contributions to music and music education with this award,” said Jack Megan, director of OFA. “As both an educator and performer, Mr. Mann’s talent and dedication to young music artists embody the spirit of Luise Vosgerchian.”
A native of Portland, Ore., Mann studied violin with Edouard Hurlimann at the Julliard School. In 1941, he won the Naumberg Competition and made his New York recital debut at Town Hall. After serving in the U.S. Army, he was asked by William Schuman to form the Julliard String Quartet in 1946, and he led that ensemble for 51 years.
Mann composed his first work at the age of 13, and has close to 100 compositions to his credit, several performed by such distinguished artists and ensembles as Itzhak Perlman, Dimitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic, and the La Salle Quartet. He studied conducting at the Julliard Graduate School and has continued conducting throughout his professional career.
As a teacher, Mann has been instrumental in the development of many string quartets, including the Alexander, American, Brentano, Colorado, Concord, Emerson, Lark, La Salle, Mendelssohn, New World, St. Lawrence, and Tokyo.