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Durand directorship extended through June 2025

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on February 14, 2024 - 5:21pm
Joël-François Durand
Joël-François Durand (Photo: Steve Korn).

University of Washington Professor Joël-François Durand will serve as acting director of the School of Music through June 2025, a final one-year extension of his initial appointments to the position. 

The longtime Composition professor was named interim director of the School of Music in the wake of the unexpected death in February 2022 of former director JoAnn Taricani, whose five-year term would have ended on June 30, 2025.

A member of the School of Music Composition faculty since 1991, Durand composes works for solo instruments and ensembles and has created numerous commissioned works for significant ensembles worldwide.

He also is an inventor of audio equipment. In 2010, he designed and started commercial production of a tonearm for record players called the Talea, followed by development of three further models: the Telos, the Kairos, and the Tosca, all aimed at consumers of high-end audio reproduction systems. For his work at his company Durand Tonearms, LLC, he was made a University of Washington Entrepreneurial Fellow in 2010.

As associate director of the School from 2002 through January 2022, Durand supervised the advising office and helped students resolve issues regarding grading or other academic issues.

As acting director, Durand has successfully instilled a sense of stability among faculty and staff after the loss of an important leader during the long period of remote learning in 2020 and 2021. He has taken a leading role in addressing concerns of School of Music students and in advancing the School's efforts to broaden and diversify its curricula during an expanded period of reassessment of its culture and values.