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Bernard J. Dobroski

Instrumentalist Editors | April May 2023

In Memoriam (1946-2023)

Bernard J. Dobroski, who served as Dean of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University from 1990-2003, passed away on February 19 at age 76. His many professional titles included tubist, administrator, educator, and editor. In his early career, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music performance from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s in music performance and music history from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. From 1968-1972 he was a tubist and keyboardist with the U.S. Navy Concert Band. He had a number of performing and conducting roles during his time in the Navy.

Dobroski earned a a PhD from Northwestern in 1981 and held several faculty and administrative positions at the the school between 1974-1985 before joining the University of Oregon School of Music as Dean in 1986. He remained in the post at Oregon until becoming the sixth Dean of the Northwestern School of Music in 1990. His time leading the School of Music has been praised for work on student and faculty recruitment, expanded courses for non-majors, and increased community engagement. After completing his tenure as Dean in 2003, he remained part of the Northwestern faculty until retirement in 2020.

He also served as the founding editor, along with colleague Cliff Colnot, of Accent magazine. The publication, aimed at high school musicians, was a lively and less-serious younger sibling to The Instrumentalist, and was published from 1976-1982.