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Louis Bergonzi

Professor Emeritus


Louis Bergonzi is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Chicago where he was Head of Music and Director the UIC Orchestra (2016-2022). He has more than 40 years of experience teaching stringed instruments to students in elementary through graduate schools. From 1998-2000, he served as President of the American String Teachers Association. His career as began as Gr. 4-12 string specialist and orchestra conductor for the Lexington (Massachusetts) Public Schools.

Previous positions have included serving as Professor and Daniel J. Perrino Chair in Music Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he specialized in conducting and string education; and on the music education faculty at the Eastman School of Music, where he was Director of the Rochester-Eastman Urban String Project, a multifaceted program for preparing studio and group string teachers for work in urban settings. He was co-director of Establishing Identity: LGBTQ Studies & Music Education I -III (2010/2012/2016)), symposia designed to provide energy to the discussion of how LGBTQ issues operate within music education in terms of research, curriculum, teacher preparation, and the musical lives and careers of LGBTQ music students and teachers. His 2009 article, “Sexual Orientation and Music Education: Continuing a Tradition was identified as one of the four most important articles in the first 100 volumes of the Music Educators Journal.

In addition to his teaching, conducting, and research responsibilities, Dr. Bergonzi is very active as a string clinician, having appeared at the numerous state music conferences, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, as well as on the faculties of the Eastman Summer Seminar in Hamamatsu (Japan), and the International String Workshops. He has served as a guest conductor for all-state and regional honors youth orchestras throughout Asia, Australia, and North America. He has also had conducting appointments with the Michigan All-State Intermediate Orchestra of the National Music Camp (Interlochen), The Michigan Youth Symphony, Boston University Musical Organizations, and the Melbourne (Australia) Summer Youth Music.

Dr. Bergonzi has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Yamaha Music Education Research Project for secondary analysis of large-scale, nationally representative data to determine any predictive effects of arts/music education on arts/music participation later in life. He has written for the American String Teacher, the Music Educators Journal, and the Journal of Research in Music Education. Dr. Bergonzi contributed a chapter on teacher preparation for work in diverse classrooms in the ASTA publication, String Teaching in America: Strategies for a Diverse Society, and a chapter, “Gender and Sexual Diversity Challenges (for Socially Just) Music Education” in The Oxford Handbook of Social Justice in Music Education (2015). He was co-author of Effects of Arts Education on Participation in the Arts and Americans’ Musical Preferences (National Endowment for the Arts, 1996/2002) and of Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (GIA, 2002/2003/2007). His Rounds and Canons for Strings: Shaping Musical Independence and arrangements for younger orchestras are published by Kjos Publishers and Alfred Music Publishing.