James Gandre

Manhattan School of Music

Dr. James Gandre assumed the presidency of Manhattan School of Music in 2013, having served the School previously for 15 years (1985–2000).  In 2000, he Gandre became Dean of Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and later Provost/EVP.

President Gandre has led the School in reimagining the campus that has seen more than $35 million in improvements, the most sweeping the $16.5-million renovation of Neidorff-Karpati Hall, the School’s primary performance hall, and grand new campus entrance.  Other campus improvements have included the 30-percent expansion of practice rooms; two dance studios; and a new Student Union.  Additionally, he led the creation of three new degree and diploma programs, and the Global Conservatoire, a virtual learning environment comprising MSM, Royal College of Music (London), Royal Danish Academy of Music, and University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.

Dr. Gandre has broad knowledge of the American conservatory, the subject of his doctoral dissertation.  In addition, he has also written about administration as a contributor in two books by The Johns Hopkins University: The Provost’s Handbook (2015) and LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education (2022).

He has appeared as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, London Classical Players, Philharmonia Baroque, and members of the San Francisco Symphony.  His professional choral engagements include more than 175 performances with the New York Philharmonic, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw, Israel Philharmonic, Warsaw Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony. He appears on more than 20 commercial recordings and has made appearances on NBC, PBS, ABC, and CBS.

BMus, Lawrence University; MMus, San Francisco Conservatory of Music; EdD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.