- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 20, 2001

The White House has nominated the dean of Rice University's School of Music in Houston as the next chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Michael P. Hammond, a specialist in medieval and Renaissance music as well as Indian music and culture, also teaches neuroscience at Rice. A professor there since 1986, he will succeed NEA Chairman William Ivey, who retires at the end of this month.
Mr. Hammond was a dark horse for the nomination. His name was not on any of the lists of possible successors to Mr. Ivey that were circulating in Washington. Mr. Ivey said yesterday he does not know Mr. Hammond.
"I am deeply honored by President Bush's confidence in me," Mr. Hammond said in a statement. "The National Endowment for the Arts is an increasingly important agency. The arts can help heal our country and be a source of pride and comfort."
Mr. Hammond got his first bachelor's degree in 1954 from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and a second one in 1959 from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He got his master's degree from Oxford in 1960.
He was president of the State University of New York, College at Purchase from 1968 to 1977, then became dean of music there. He has also taught music at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee, as well as teaching physiology and anatomy there and at Marquette Medical School.
He was the rector of Prague Mozart Academy from 1992 to 1995, directing music curriculum for students studying in the Czech Republic.
Mr. Rice, whose job at the NEA will involve sizable amounts of administrative work, has had little experience in arts agencies. In 1969, he was a staff consultant to the New York State Council on the Arts.
But he has extensive experience conducting various orchestras, including the Bergen Philharmonic in New Jersey from 1972 to 1974. He served as an associate to famed conductor Leopold Stokowski for the American Symphony Orchestra in New York from 1969 to 1971.

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