Lawrence Zbikowski appointed Deputy Provost for the Arts

Lawrence Zbikowski, Associate Professor in Music and the College, has been named Deputy Provost for the Arts, Provost Thomas Rosenbaum announced. Zbikowski’s three-year term begins July 1, 2013.

In his new role, Zbikowski will work with deans, chairs, faculty and staff to enhance and deepen links among the academic, co-curricular and professional arts institutions across the campus, as well as the University's cultural connections with the surrounding community and the city of Chicago.

He succeeds Larry Norman, Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College, who will return full time to the faculty.

“As the inaugural Deputy Provost for the Arts, Larry Norman defined the position and shaped it in a manner that allowed the arts to flourish as experimentation, multidisciplinary inquiry, teaching, performance and production,” Rosenbaum said. “I am confident that Larry Zbikowski will advance this vital work and forge new civic links, thereby enriching activities across campus and extending the role of the arts in an urban context.”


Norman’s two terms as Deputy Provost for the Arts were marked by the development of major new arts facilities, programs and initiatives. These include the planning, construction, programming and operation of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts; the creation of the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry with its fellowship program for visiting artists and scholars; and, most recently, the launch of the Arts and Public Life initiative and its new Arts Incubator in the Washington Park community.

A music theorist, Zbikowski’s scholarship focuses on applying cognitive science to problems confronted by music scholars, including the nature of musical syntax, relationships between music and movement, the connections between music and the emotions, text-music relations, and the structure of theories of music. In addition to his active research and teaching portfolios, Zbikowski currently serves as Chair of the Department of Music.

His book Conceptualizing Music: Cognition, Theory and Analysis won the 2004 Wallace Berry Award of the Society of Music Theory. That same year, Zbikowski was a fellow at the National Humanities Center, where his project explored cognitive approaches to musical grammar. That work took shape as his current book project, Toward a Cognitive Grammar of Music. Most recently, Zbikowski received a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and was a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at McGill University.

Zbikowski holds a PhD in Music from Yale University. He joined the UChicago faculty in 1993.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to collaborate with faculty, students and staff, as well as arts leaders across the city, and to build on the innovative programs and initiatives already underway at the University,” Zbikowski said.

To facilitate Zbikowski’s transition, Bill Michel will continue to manage and coordinate broader UChicago Arts operations, finances, communications, fundraising and collaborative programming through his central role as the Executive Director of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.