August 4, 2009


SUBJECT:    Appointment of Roger Reynolds, University Professor

We are proud to announce that Roger Reynolds, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and professor of music at UC San Diego, has been appointed University Professor by the University of California Board of Regents. Reynolds is only the 36th UC faculty member since 1960 to be honored with the title – and the first artist.

The designation, the highest honor that can be bestowed on UC faculty, is reserved for scholars of international distinction who are recognized and respected as teachers of exceptional ability. The purpose of the University Professorship is to recognize throughout the UC system the special talents of outstanding scholars and teachers.

Reynolds joined the UCSD Department of Music in 1969. He became founding director of the Center for Music Experiment (now called the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, or CRCA), UC’s oldest Organized Research Unit in the arts, in 1972. Reynolds was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1989 for “Whispers Out of Time.” He is credited with being the second experimentalist, after Charles Ives in 1947, to win the prestigious prize. Reynolds is a prolific composer – with an orchestral catalog numbering some 100 compositions. His music incorporates elements of theater, literary texts, digital signal processing, dance, video and real-time computer spatialization, which moves counterpoints of sound around the listener, as well as the perspectives of experimental psychology. His work with spatialization of sounds began in 1961-2 with his renowned music-theater piece “The Emperor of Ice Cream,” on a text by Wallace Stevens.

Among the first American composers to make significant use of science and new technology, Reynolds continues to work at the cutting edge: In 1998, Mode Records released Reynolds’ “Watershed,” the first DVD in Dolby Digital 5.1 to feature music composed expressly for five independent channels of audio. He is currently serving as the first composer-in-residence at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), where he is concentrating on “Sanctuary,” for percussion and real-time computer sound, scheduled for DVD release on Mode records this winter.

In 1998, the Library of Congress recognized his unique contributions to culture by establishing the Roger Reynolds Special Collection.

Writing in The New Yorker, Andrew Porter has called him "at once an explorer and a visionary composer, whose works can lead listeners to follow him into new regions of emotion and meaning."

Please join us in congratulating University Professor Reynolds on his latest distinction.

Marye Anne Fox

Paul W. Drake
Senior Vice Chancellor -
Academic Affairs