Contact: Ellen Sterner or Robert Bobo

April 20, 2006

SMU Announces New Dean
of Meadows School of the Arts

DALLAS (SMU) – Acclaimed jazz musician, scholar, composer, and educator Josť Antonio Bowen has been named dean of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. Bowen is currently dean of the School of Fine Arts and professor of music at Miami University in Ohio. He will assume his responsibilities at SMU beginning July 1.

Josť Antonio Bowen Named Dean of SMU's Meadows School of the Arts
Josť Antonio Bowen
(click image for hi-res version)

"The excellence of the Meadows School of the Arts is central to our academic mission as a university," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. "Dr. Bowen is a distinguished musician and educator in the arts and who also has a broad background in the humanities. He has the right talents to continue advancing the Meadows School as a cultural and academic resource for SMU and the broader community."

Bowen will oversee the Meadows School’s academic programs in art; art history; arts administration; advertising, through the Temerlin Advertising Institute; corporate communications and public affairs; journalism; cinema-television; dance; music; and theatre. Students are trained as artists and professionals through their chosen majors and developed as individuals through the liberal arts foundation required of all SMU students. The Meadows School also includes the world-renowned Meadows Museum.

“I am thrilled to be coming to SMU and the Meadows School. I am very impressed with the students and faculty at Meadows and am honored to be joining them,” Bowen said.

While at Miami University, Bowen led a school of more than 1,000 students and 100 full-time tenured faculty, 11 professional and liberal arts undergraduate degrees, and seven graduate degree programs in fields ranging from architecture and interior design to music.

“Josť Bowen has a bold vision for the arts that is reflected in his artistic, academic, and administrative accomplishments,” said Robert Blocker, SMU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “His leadership, in concert with the outstanding Meadows School faculty, staff, and students, will undoubtedly extend the growing influence of Meadows both nationally and internationally.”

Bowen began his teaching career at Stanford University in 1982, first as the director of Jazz Ensembles and then for the Humanities Special Programs and the Afro-American Studies Program. In 1994, he became the founding director of the Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music at the University of Southampton, England. He returned to the United States in 1999 as the first Caestecker Chair of Music in the new Program in Performing Arts at Georgetown University. In 2004, Miami University named him dean and professor of music.

Bowen holds four degrees from Stanford: a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, a Master of Arts in music composition, a Master of Arts in humanities and a joint Ph.D. in musicology and humanities.

Bowen’s interest in the relationship between the musical work and its performance has produced more than 100 articles and reviews in a variety of publications. He is also editor of the Cambridge Companion to Conducting (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and is an editor for Beethoven Forum. He received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship to work on his next book, The Conductor and the Score: A History of the Relationship between Interpreter and Text from Beethoven to Wagner.

In over 25 years as a jazz performer, he has appeared in Europe, Israel and the United States with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, Dave Brubeck, Hubert Laws, Liberace, and many others.  His compositions and playing are featured on numerous recordings.  Bowen has written a symphony  (which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1985), a film score, and music for Jerry Garcia and many others. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in England, and on the National Preservations Recording Board for the Library of Congress.

Bowen’s appointment ends a nationwide search led by R. Hal Williams, SMU dean of Research and Graduate Studies, and a committee of faculty, staff, students, and trustees.

“The Search committee found Josť Bowen to be captivating and challenging,” said Linda Custard, SMU trustee and member of the Meadows School search committee. “He is the quintessential artist-scholar-performer, who honors the past, but sees exciting possibilities for contemporary and technological innovation in the arts.  He believes that ‘teamwork and multi-disciplinary approaches’ are critical to the academic landscape.”

Bowen succeeds Carole Brandt, who has served as dean of the Meadows School of the Arts since 1994. In 2001 Brandt oversaw the opening of the new Meadows Museum, funded by the Meadows Foundation, and in March 2006 a new gift of $33 million from the Foundation for museum, faculty and student resources. It was the largest gift ever made by the Meadows Foundation and the largest to SMU from an individual source.

The Meadows School of the Arts enrolls more than 1,200 students and has a tradition of graduating students who have become distinguished performers and communicators. Alumni include Academy Award winner Kathy Bates, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley and Emmy winning artist/filmmaker William Joyce.


Southern Methodist University is a private university in Dallas with more than 11,000 students and offers degree programs through seven schools. More information about SMU is available at