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Erica Muhl - Participant

In May of 2013, Erica Muhl was appointed as founding director of the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, which welcomed its first freshman class in fall 2014. Simultaneously, she served as dean of the USC Roski School of Art and Design, a position she held from September 2012 through June 2018. Prior to joining the Roski School, Muhl served as associate dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, where she has been Professor of Composition since 1991. She currently holds a dual appointment as Professor of Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation and Professor of Composition at the University of Southern California.

In July 2018, Muhl was appointed as the inaugural dean of the USC Iovine and Young Academy as it became the university’s twentieth professional school. Under Muhl’s guidance, the Academy has emerged at the forefront of the drive to expand the reach of higher education beyond traditional disciplinary silos, and toward new pathways for learning and discovery. The school’s unique educational model and its strong student outcomes have been highlighted in The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The London Times, Forbes, Billboard, Variety, WIRED, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc., Business Insider, Tech Crunch and MIT Technology Review. In fall of 2017, the Academy launched its first graduate degree program, a Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology, which aims to set new standards for online cross-disciplinary instruction.

Throughout her career as a creative artist, scholar, teacher and administrator, Muhl has remained committed to maintaining rigorous standards of academic excellence while seeking to forge new paradigms and models for higher education. She has worked steadily to catalyze the field toward change, in particular as a staunch public advocate for multi-disciplinary and integrative programs that nurture innovative thought through team- and project-based learning, and individually customized pathways to the degree. She has presented talks and served as a panelist at national and international conferences, symposia and seminars focused on the future of education, including South by (; Adobe MAX; the Arts, Media and Entertainment Leadership Institute; the Education Writers Association Higher Education Seminar; the National Federation for Municipal Analysts Annual Conference; and the Microsoft Summit, Learning in the Digital Age. She has also been a featured speaker for Apple’s elite internal institute, Apple University. In addition to her work in higher education, Muhl has served as a speaker and consultant for K-12 education, including most recently as part of an Academy team that designed the capstone event for the 2018 Apple Learning Series, a 2-day seminar for K-12 teachers and administrators that took place at the Iovine and Young Academy’s “Garage” incubator in October of 2018.

Prior to her move into higher education administration, Muhl maintained an international practice as a composer of contemporary classical music. Her works have been commissioned, performed and broadcast by leading organizations such as Minnesota Opera, The New World Symphony, Italy’s Orchestra della RAI, Venezuela’s National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York, the Arditti Quartet, National Public Radio, Mexican National Television and Radio-Televisione Italiana, and featured at national and international festivals and competitions including the Aspen Festival, the International Festival of New Music in Caracas, the International Forum of New Music in Mexico City, the Festivale Nuovi Spazi in Rome and the International Percussion Competition in Luxembourg.

Muhl received her early training in composition from legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger, who counted Virgil Thompson, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein as former students. Muhl later completed advanced study with Franco Donatoni at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy,
followed by a doctorate from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. As a conductor, Muhl was a pupil of Fritz Zweig, principal conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin.



University of Southern California


Dean, USC Iovine and Young Academy