Dear Members of the Yale Community,
I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor José García-León as the Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Dean of the Yale School of Music, effective September 1, 2023. Professor García-León, currently dean of academic affairs and assessment at The Juilliard School, will return to our home city, where he served as an associate dean and professor of music at the University of New Haven earlier in his career.
Professor García-León brings to Yale extensive leadership and teaching experience in musical education. At Juilliard, he has established and expanded a wide range of institutional initiatives, including the development of new degree programs, certificates, and curricula; introduction of innovative instructional technologies; the opening of a new branch campus in China; and enhancement of opportunities for musical and academic exchange with partner schools.
A pianist of international renown, Professor García-León is the recipient of several prestigious honors and awards, including first prize at the Artist International Competition of New York. He has performed extensively as a solo recitalist across the United States and around the globe, notably at the Big Hall at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and the St. Petersburg International Music Festival. As a noted scholar, he similarly has traveled the world to present his research on the roots of and multiculturalism in flamenco music, the similarities and differences between Argentinian tango and the tango flamenco, and the composition of jazz and classical music.
Professor García-León’s career is distinguished by a concerted focus on increasing access to education. His passion for this priority is rooted in lived experience. Born in Seville, Spain, he came to the United States as an international college student and relied substantially on financial aid to complete his education. This support catalyzed his steadfast commitment to advancing the promise of higher education for others. He has been at the fore of Juilliard’s initiatives to foster greater equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging for its students, faculty, and staff. More particularly, he has helped to overhaul faculty and staff hiring processes to attract a more diverse candidate pool and make significant strides in increasing the school’s outreach to previously underrepresented communities.
Prior to joining Juilliard, he served as associate dean of the University of New Haven’s College of Arts and Sciences. He began his teaching and academic leadership career at Oakland Community College, where he established and subsequently expanded the institution’s music program.
Professor García-León also has harnessed his experiences as a conductor and in chamber music to assemble high-performance teams and nurture a spirit of collaboration in the academy. He believes firmly in the value of meaningful inter-collegial connections. His leadership at Juilliard, for example, broadened the scope of interaction and learning among students and faculty from across different divisions. Students now benefit from updated or expanded offerings in entrepreneurship, performing arts technology, public speaking, music pedagogy, and marketing.
Professor García-León graduated with highest honors from the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Sevilla before earning his B.A. in music from the State University of New York at Binghamton and his D.M.A. in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music. He lends expertise to others in his field as a member of the College Music Society – Northeast Regional Chapter, of which he was previously a board member for performance, and as a member of the Music Teachers National Association – Connecticut Music Teachers Association.
He and his wife, Coralie Gallet, have three children. A voracious reader of many topics from scholarly works on music to Swedish crime fiction in French, he looks forward to discussing books with students and colleagues in the Yale community. He also enjoys endurance sports and is eager to again savor the natural charms surrounding the Elm City.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dean Robert Blocker for his outstanding service to Yale over nearly three decades. Professor García-León’s clarity of purpose, strength of character, and absolute commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and practice make him a worthy successor to Dean Blocker, under whose leadership the school has grown considerably in resources and stature. I extend also my heartfelt gratitude to the search advisory committee, chaired by Vice Provost Emily Bakemeier, for its thoughtful efforts and careful deliberation, as well as to Yale School of Music faculty members, staff, students, and alumni who shared with the committee and me valuable input that culminated in today’s appointment.
I am confident that Professor García-León will contribute in extraordinary ways to the school’s world-class intellectual and creative environment, consistent with the values and work that have defined his career. He is deeply devoted to the school’s mission of educating and inspiring students with exceptional artistic and academic talent for service to the profession and to society.
Please join me in welcoming Professor García-León and his family to Yale and back to New Haven!
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology