Toni-Marie Montgomery has served as Dean and Professor of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University since July 2003. Under her leadership the school has established two major international awards, the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance and the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition; increased guest-artist residencies by internationally renowned performers; established the Institute for New Music; provided all doctor of musical arts candidates with full-tuition scholarships; heightened the school’s visibility through annually recurring high-profile initiatives, including a spring concert in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park; opened a new state-of-the-art music facility; appointed the acclaimed Dover Quartet as the school’s first quartet-in-residence; and secured funding for a tour to Asia in 2018 by the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra.
René E. Machado
Associate Dean for Administration, Finance and Planning
René Machado formerly served at Indiana University as assistant dean for administration at the Jacobs School of Music and assistant dean for development at the Research and University Graduate School. He was earlier affiliated with New York University, first as associate director of sponsored research in the School of Education, where he worked with faculty to develop research across a broad range of disciplines, and then in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions as administrative director and associate director of vocal studies. He is also a countertenor, specializing in vocal repertoire from the baroque to early 19th century Italian opera. Machado has performed as a soloist and member of New York City-based music ensembles, including Musica Sacra, Musica Aeterna, Camerata Singers, Bach Aria Group, New York Choral Artists, Sine Nomine Singers, Pomerium Ensemble, and Bel Canto Opera. He received his master of music degree from Florida State University.
Linda A. Jacobs
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Linda Jacobs previously served as director of student affairs and lecturer in music theory at the Bienen School of Music. She is former adjunct faculty at Trinity International University (IL) and the University of Nebraska Division of Continuing Studies. She co-authored a series of continuing education texts on piano performance and music theory, the second volume of which received the 1995 Distinguished Course Award from the National University Continuing Education Association. She has given presentations in music theory at the College Music Society regional and national conferences and the South Central Society for Music Theory annual conference. Her dissertation was titled Tonality and the Music of Steve Reich. Linda received her PhD from Northwestern University.
Assistant Dean for Admission, Financial Aid and Graduate Services
Patrick Zylka began his career in admissions in 2007, first in the Office of Undergraduate Admission of Northwestern University and then serving as Coordinator of Music Admission and Financial Aid in the Bienen School from 2008 to 2012. He was appointed to the position of Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Services in the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University in July 2012, serving in this role until his appointment as Assistant Dean for Admission, Financial Aid and Graduate Services in the Bienen School in August 2017. He has given presentations on best practices in his field at national conferences, including conferences for the National Association of Schools of Music and the Music Admissions Roundtable. He has spoken on panels in front of future college students throughout the United States, as well as in Jakarta, Shanghai, and Singapore. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in bassoon performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Music degree in bassoon performance from the University of Michigan.
Director of Concert Management
Jerry Tietz previously served as general manager for Chicago Opera Theater. He began his career in arts administration in 2005 at Glimmerglass Opera Festival in upstate New York. After two seasons at Glimmerglass, he moved to Manhattan where he spent four years as an artist manager at the arts management firm Barrett Vantage Artists. After returning to his hometown of Chicago in 2010 to work as director of artistic operations for Chicago Opera Theater, Mr. Tietz was appointed general manager of Chicago Opera Theater in 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Director of Development
Sarah joined Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music in 2018 as the Director of Development. Before entering the world of higher education, Sarah spent 20 years working in performing arts organizations throughout Chicago including Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Ravinia Festival. At Lyric Opera of Chicago, she held a variety of positions, working with both the development and artistic teams. With the development team, Sarah worked on numerous events including Opening Night and Opera Ball and five wine Auctions. As Director of Classical and Crossover Programming, she produced Chicago Voices, artistic directed by Renée Fleming and featuring musicians including John Prine, Lupe Fiasco, Matthew Polenzani, Shemekia Copeland and Michelle Williams. Chicago Voices won three regional Emmy awards and was broadcast nationally on PBS as part of Great Performances. She also collaborated with The Second City to produce The Second City Guide to the Opera and Longer! Louder! Wagner! Sarah graduated cum laude with dual degrees in English and vocal music from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Music Advisory Board
Members of the Music Advisory Board serve as advisors to the Dean and as advocates for the Bienen School of Music.
Margee Filstrup, chair
Holly McClintock Bowling
Michelle Miller Burns
Richard and Jane Dean
Allan R. Drebin
Dolores Kohl Kaplan
Ling Zhao Markovitz
Alexander and Liz Rorke
William C. Steinmetz
Robert and Maya Tichio
Betty Van Gorkom
Bozhong Peter Xue