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Violinist Robert McDuffie Receives Honorary Doctorate from Emory University

The founder of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, McDuffie has appeared as concerto soloist on five continents


Violinist Robert McDuffie recently received an honorary doctorate from Emory University, at their commencement ceremony on May 13, 2024. The degree was given for McDuffie's work as an "arts advocate, musical collaborator and violin virtuoso."

A graduate of The Juilliard School, he established the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, in his hometown. The Center offers conservatory-level training, and McDuffie holds a Distinguished University Professor Chair.

McDuffie is the dedicatee of Philip Glass's Violin Concerto No. 2, “The American Four Seasons,” and he performed the world premiere with the Toronto Symphony — as well as championing the work on a 30-city tour with the Venice Baroque Orchestra in which he paired the piece with Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”

The founder of the Rome Chamber Music Festival, McDuffie has been awarded the prestigious Premio Simpatia by the mayor of Rome, Italy, in recognition of his contribution to the city’s cultural life.

"Robert, you create music that tells a powerful story, coaxed to life through hands and heart as if by magic," said Emory President Gregory L. Fenves.

Fenves also praised McDuffie as a "musical ambassador" for his work around the world with "exciting interpretations of diverse repertoire that blur boundaries and break down barriers."

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