A Celebration for Professor Akin Euba

Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music Akin Euba will retire at the end of the 2011 spring semester, so on March 15 colleagues, students, alumni, and family gathered together to celebrate and share good wishes as he enters the next phase in his career.

Akin Euba’s retirement celebration reflected all the elements of his storied career as a scholar, composer, and performer. During his 18 years with the Department of Music, he has fostered the field of creative musicology, led the Centre for Intercultural Musicology at Churchill College (Cambridge University) and mentored ethnomusicology students who have gone on to lead the field in their own rights. 

Department Chair Mathew Rosenblum talks about the many highpoints of Dr. Euba's career.

Attendees gathered at 4 p.m. in Frick Fine Arts Auditorium where they were treated to lectures by two of Euba’s long-time associates as well as comments by Tim Cribb, a member of the advisory board for the Centre for Intercultural Music at Churchill College. John Robison spoke on Euba’s opera Chaka, and Cynthia Tse Kimberlin, presented a paper titled “The Fiddle, Lyre and the Tortoise: Music and other connections between Ethiopia and Eritrea with Kenya, Somalia and the Sudan.” Cribb, highlighted Euba’s efforts with the Centre, and in particular, the process of producing Euba’s Chaka.

After the scholarly session, attendees moved to the Frick Fine Arts Cloister for food and presentations by Department of Music Chair Mathew Rosenblum and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, N. John Cooper.

Dean N. John Cooper announces Euba's appointment as Professor Emeritus

True to Euba’s vision of the dynamic relationship between scholarship and music, the meal was followed by a recital of his chamber music. Performers included soprano Dawn Padmore, flutist Laura Falzon, pianists Robert Frankenberry and Pauline Rovkah, and violinist/violist Roger Zahab.

Soprano Dawn Padmore sings Noliwe's aria from Chaka

The evening came to triumphal conclusion with members of Afrika Yetu performing traditional African Music and eliciting enthusiastic participation from the audience. It was a fitting way to round out an evening in celebration of a man who has led the way throughout his career in connecting the music of Africa and the music of Europe.

Members of Afrika Yetu perform while alumini Oyebade Dosunmu and Sr. Marie Agatha Ozah
celebrate with dances of their own.

While Akin Euba’s contributions to the Department of Music will be sorely missed, there is no doubt his work will continue to shape the Department’s direction and philosophy, as well as inspire a new generation of scholars, composers and performers.