Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337,


WINSTON-SALEM –John Mauceri announced today that he will step down as Chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), effective June 30, 2013. Mauceri said he notified UNC President Tom Ross yesterday of his plans to resign at the end of the academic year in order to give a search committee adequate time to complete its work and ensure a smooth transition in leadership. President Ross will be working closely with the UNCSA Board of Trustees to quickly launch a search for a successor.

“Next June I will have completed seven years at the helm of this superb institution, and I’ve concluded it will be time to return to my roots and focus fully on conducting and writing again,” Mauceri said. “While it has been a privilege and an honor to serve as UNCSA’s chancellor, I have begun to miss the joy of making music on a regular basis.”

Early in his career, Mauceri spent 15 years on the music faculty of Yale University, building the Yale Symphony Orchestra to international recognition. He is a world-renowned conductor, writer, and arranger, having conducted the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra for 16 seasons.  Over the past three decades, he has conducted more than 50 symphony orchestras and more than 25 opera companies world-wide.  Among his many awards, he is the recipient of a Tony, a Grammy, an Olivier, and two Emmys.

“Chancellor Mauceri has taken the UNC School of the Arts to a whole new level, and I’ve accepted his decision with a mixture of sadness and gratitude,” said UNC President Tom Ross. “Throughout his tenure, he has used his phenomenal artistic talents, his unbridled passion for the performing arts, and his vast professional contacts around the world to help raise the visibility of the school and expand learning and career opportunities for its students.”

Mauceri said he realized how much he missed being on the podium during a recent radio interview. The conversation ranged from his 18 years as a protégé of Leonard Bernstein to his current efforts to champion the great orchestral music banned by Nazi leaders during World War II. Mauceri's current book project, “The Hollywood Sound,” chronicles how exiled European composers introduced many of these works as early American cinema music.

Mauceri will leave the School well positioned for the future.  During his tenure as Chancellor, he:

  • Lobbied and secured to have “University” added to the school’s name to distinguish it from the growing number of arts magnet high schools, and to affirm the school’s relationship with the UNC system.  This relationship had existed since 1972 but was generally unrecognized by the public. The name change was supported by the Board of Trustees, the UNC Board of Governors, and state Legislature. Also, secured UNCSA’s unique Internet URL as UNCSA.edu.
  • Shepherded, along with the provost and faculty, UNCSA from a trimester institution to a two-semester school congruent with the other UNC campuses and most American colleges and universities.
  • Along with full support of the Kenan Institute for the Arts and the UNCSA provost, conceived and implemented the school’s first full summer school, consisting of summer intensives, professional development courses, and academic offerings, made possible by the two-semester calendar.
  • Significantly increased alumni giving and awareness through appointment of eight alumni to UNCSA’s Board of Trustees to represent each of the arts disciplines, academics, and the high school, and created and actively engaged with alumni hubs in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Appointed an alumnus (dance/music) as Director of Alumni Affairs, and his newest staff appointment is drama alumnus Mark Hough, Chief Advancement Officer – the first alumnus to serve in an executive leadership position at the school.
  • Transformed income-negative and income-neutral events into major revenue streams for scholarships – including West Side Story (which had been planned in 2005 but had no budgetary support), and Oklahoma!. The annual production of The Nutcracker, which, for more than 40 years, was a co-production with the Winston-Salem Symphony, was assumed by UNCSA in response to the economic downturn, and now, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Executive Producer Katharine Laidlaw, brings in an additional $300,000 a year for scholarships. Her office has increased attendance to UNCSA productions by 25 percent since last year alone.
  • Connected UNCSA to creative artists who are at the top of their professions, including David Rambo (producer and writer, CSI and Revolution), Julie Kent (prima ballerina, ABT), Danny Elfman and Alan Menken (composers), Drama alumnus J.T. Rogers (playwright), and Kristin Chenoweth (Tony Award winner) – all awarded UNCSA honorary doctorates – as well as Dick Cook (Chairman of Disney Studios), Don Hahn (film producer), Adam Guettel (opera composer) and Barlett Sher (opera/stage director).
  • In articles, speeches, radio, and television appearances, heightened awareness of UNCSA to audiences throughout the world; these include Harvard University, Yale University, the Smithsonian Institution, the NEA, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Gramophone Magazine, NPR, BBC, PBS, The New York Times, and the Huffington Post.
  • Achieved a positive outcome, with support from UNCSA’s faculty and provost, to implement faculty rank for the first time in the institution’s history.
  • UNCSA achieved a student retention rate second only to UNC-Chapel Hill in the UNC system.
  • UNCSA maintained the best record for clean audits in the UNC system under UNCSA COO George Burnette, appointed by Mauceri.
  • Lobbied and secured $46 million in capital funds for four new buildings, including a new library “for the 21st century” and a new film production design building, all currently under construction.
  • Increased the UNCSA endowment by $14 million (which is a 60 percent increase) that includes five new $1 million-dollar endowed professorships, in five disciplines.
  • Secured the largest one-time private gift in the history of the UNC School of the Arts -- $6 million from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust to endow The William R. Kenan, Jr. Excellence Scholarship Awards.
  • Raised private funds for a Steinway grand piano for the School of Filmmaking scoring stage, secured a half-million dollars to complete this crucial facility, and made funds available for purchase of essential new instruments for the School of Music.
  • Appointed new deans who are renowned in their disciplines, including prima ballerina Susan Jaffe, now Dean of the School of Dance, and New York Director/Producer Carl Forsman, now Dean of the School of Drama, as well as former Dance Dean Ethan Stiefel, and former Film Dean Jordan Kerner. Kerner led the movement to refresh North Carolina’s film industry that has brought in $300 million to the state this year and is estimated at $500 million for next year.
  • In 2006, 70 percent of executive staff positions were vacant or interim appointments and were filled.
  • UNCSA was listed for the first time in Kiplinger’s 100 Best Values in Public Education, and subsequently rose from 61st to 41st, based on academic achievement.
  • UNCSA was listed for the first time among The Hollywood Reporter’s top 25 schools in film and drama.
  • Secured a five-year commitment of $750,000 to televise UNCSA productions on UNC-TV to bring the school’s talented students to statewide audiences and beyond.
  • Led the campaign to complete the $5 million needed to match the A.J. Fletcher Foundation grant to create a $10-million endowment to establish the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the School of the Arts. That match is almost complete.
  • Partnered with American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in an exclusive cooperative agreement as the official affiliate school of the UNCSA School of Dance. 
  • Conceived and implemented the Music Academy of the American South with the provost and the dean of Music, under the artistic direction of Music alumnus Justin Poindexter, with the support of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts and Flow Automotive. The sold-out inaugural weekend was this past June on the UNCSA campus and in Old Salem.
  • Mauceri was music director of UNCSA’s 50th Anniversary production of West Side Story; a restoration of the original 1943 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!; the world concert premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Hamlet, performed with alumni and faculty with the North Carolina Symphony as well as the Aspen Festival; the American premiere of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s complete score to Much Ado About Nothing (fully staged), and led performances of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra on campus, as well as at the Grove Park Inn (Asheville) and for the opening of the new wing of the North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh). UNCSA students also performed at the Governor’s Mansion, in the state Legislature, and at the inauguration of UNC President Tom Ross.
  • Secured funds to invite UNCSA students to shadow him and experience and learn from his professional engagements at: the Hollywood Bowl (ballet), the Vienna Konzerthaus (string quartet who were orchestra guests, two drama students who sang at the American Embassy, and two film students), the Grammys in Los Angeles (two students who were guests in the orchestra), the Ravinia Festival (West Side Story, full production), the Aspen Festival (drama alums and faculty), Walt Disney Concert Hall (three composers), the Kennedy Center (composer and film composer), the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, Germany (one composer and three alumni), and the opera house in Bilbao, Spain (one composer and one alumnus).

Students expressed gratitude for Chancellor Mauceri’s devotion to UNCSA. School of Drama senior Rebecca Moyes said: "Working with him on Oklahoma! during my second year was such a privilege and period of learning and growth. To work with someone who understands and interprets music in such a masterful way was wonderful and exciting. It changed my perspective and added a great deal of depth to my understanding of who Laurey is. To have the chance to go into the recording studio with him on the other side of the glass coaching and teaching me was unbelievable! I feel so blessed to have gotten to know him in a personal and professional manner over the past few years and have been truly changed as an artist by this experience."

Student Government Association President Nick Correa said: “John Mauceri has been a great advocate for the students of UNC School of the Arts. We appreciate his dedication and service and wish him luck with future endeavors.”

In sharing his decision with the campus community, Mauceri said, “I will always love this very special place and will miss it – especially the students, whose work continues to astound me.”

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972.  For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.