skip to Main Content
Photo: University of Chicago

Musicologist; President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Stephen M. Kellen Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2011

Don Randel is a musicologist who attended Princeton University, where he received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in music. His scholarly specialty is the music of the Spanish and French Middle Ages and Renaissance. As a music historian, Randel is widely published, particularly on medieval liturgical chant, and he has written on such varied topics as Arabic music theory, Latin American popular music, and fifteenth-century French music and poetry.


In 1968 Mr. Randel joined the Cornell University faculty in the department of music, serving 32 years as a member of Cornell’s faculty. He was also department chair, vice provost, and associate dean and then dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He became provost of Cornell University in 1995.


From July 2000 until he joined the Andrew W. Foundation, in July 2006, Randel was 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 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 the university’s history.


Randel has served as editor of the Journal of the American Musicological Society, The Harvard Dictionary of Music, 4th ed. (2003); The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (1996), and The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1999).

Back To Top