David Stull, President of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
President David Stull has successfully refocused the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and it is flourishing. Stull’s innovative curriculum is working better than expected and drawing in new students from all over.
Stull has also helped the conservatory raise an incredible $40 million in scholarship, professorships, equipment donations and building projects. That experience proved invaluable when he took on the $20 million construction of Kohl Building at Oberlin Conservatory in 2010.
Early Life and Education
Research has demonstrated that children’s early experiences are critical in setting the stage for learning and behavior later in life. Studies have revealed that research indicates the quality of stimulation, support and nurturing during this critical period can have a major influence on their growth and development.
UNESCO has designated the first eight years of life as “a window of opportunity” because these formative years are crucial for cognitive, social and emotional development in children.
Promoting children’s development is one of today’s most pressing public health concerns. Studies show that when enrolled in an evidence-based early childhood education program, children tend to achieve better academic and life outcomes; they will have greater career options, improved health conditions and lower levels of crime and dependency as adults.
Stull has been actively engaged in a number of initiatives, such as founding Oberlin Music – an independent label designed to make classical music more approachable for everyone. But his greatest accomplishment was leading the inaugural major orchestral tour of Oberlin College & Conservatory that drew an incredible 1,800 students from across America and abroad.
In his free time, Stull is an instrument-rated pilot and has flown across America, the Bahamas and Grand Canyon. He has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences and featured in publications like From the Top and Performance Today. As one of his former colleagues said about him: Stull is an “idea man who loves to make things happen”.
Achievements and Honors
Stull is an accomplished musician, having earned awards and recognition for his work. As a tuba player, he has performed with the American Brass Quintet, Live at Lincoln Center, and other ensembles. Furthermore, Stull served as tuba instructor at Oberlin College and Juilliard School.
As President of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stull has created an innovative curriculum to prepare students for successful careers in today’s economy. Additionally, he has formed educational alliances with organizations such as San Francisco Symphony and Opera, Skywalker Studios, SONY, and numerous companies from Silicon Valley.
Professor Stull has earned the admiration of faculty through his tireless commitment to furthering the conservatory’s mission. He spearheaded the $24 million construction of Bertram and Judith Kohl Building, an architecturally stunning facility that unites key conservatory pillars at its center.
David Stull prioritized his family above all else. He has a wife and two children, making him an incredibly proud dad.
His professional career has included dean and teaching positions at Lawrence University, Aspen Music Festival, and Juilliard School. Additionally, he has toured America and Europe extensively, performed on commercial radio, and been profiled in countless media outlets.
Aside from his professional accomplishments, Stull was an active member in his community and an avid Bible reader. He enjoyed sharing tales about his travels with friends and family, attending Forrest Burdette Memorial UMC in Cross Lanes, WV. On November 28, 2020 he passed away after accepting the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama on behalf of Oberlin Conservatory.