President Emeritus, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The University of Chicago
Don Randel is a musicologist who attended Princeton University, where he received a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in music. His scholarly specialty is the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Spain and France. As a music historian, he is widely published, particularly on medieval liturgical chant, and he has also written on such varied topics as Arabic music theory, Latin American popular music, and 15th century French music and poetry, and the songs of Robert Schumann and Cole Porter.
In 1968, Mr. Randel joined the Cornell University faculty in the department of music. He served for 32 years as a member of Cornell’s faculty, where he was also department chair, vice-provost, associate dean, and then dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He became provost of Cornell University in 1995.
From July 2006 until March 2013, Mr. Randel was president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. From July 2000 until July 2006, he held the position of president of the University of Chicago. There, he led efforts to strengthen the humanities and the arts on campus, as well as a broad range of interactions with the City of Chicago, and achieved a further strengthening of the University’s programs in the physical and biomedical sciences and its relationship with the Argonne National Laboratory. He also led the university’s campaign for $2 billion, the largest in its history.
Mr. Randel served as the editor of the Journal of the American Musicological Society. He is also editor of The Harvard Dictionary of Music, 4th ed., published in 2003; The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music, published in 1996; and The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music and Musicians, published in 1999. Randel currently serves as chair of the board of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.