Striving for world peace, one note at a time

Thomas Loewenheim Conducting 1 copy
Dr. Thomas Loewenheim says music can help us achieve world peace.

What does he want? “World peace.”

How do we get there? “Music.”

“People ask me why I work so hard all the time, why I dedicate so much time and energy into teaching and conducting, my answer has always been world peace,” said Dr. Thomas Loewenheim, professor of music ( at Fresno State. “When my students hear me say that for the first time, they all laugh. But by now, after many years in which they’ve witnessed the power that music has to bring people together, they became more convinced that I’m quite serious about it.”

That is transformative.

Dr. Loewenheim, winner of this year’s Provost’s Award  for Excellence in Teaching, will discuss that transformative power of music in his lecture at 3:30 on Thursday, Sept. 1, in the Henry Madden Library.

 “Dr. Loewenheim is a unifying tour-de-force who is enriching our community with the transformative power of music,” said Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities (  “With his dedication and magnetic personality, Dr. Loewenheim inspires his students to reach unprecedented levels of excellence.  Our University and Valley are fortunate to have such an approachable, talented, and consummate professional among us.” 

img_5389The Provost’s Awards ( Lecture Series honors and showcases the recipients of the Provost’s Awards (2015-2016) and provides them an opportunity to present, share and discuss their work with the campus.

“Dr. Lowewenheim is a teacher, mentor and innovator who inspires and challenges his students to exciting levels of achievement,” Provost Lynnette Zelezny said when she bestowed the award on him. “He has brought important national and international recognition to Fresno State, creating unparalleled educational opportunities for students. Described as a modern Renaissance man, he is a unique musician who has toured internationally and whose work is broadcast worldwide. … He truly represents the best of the faculty and what we as an engaged university offer.”

The lecture series aims to raise the level of academic and intellectual discourse among colleagues, and to enrich connections with others across the campus.

“It is a huge honor to be recognized for the hard work one does and for the vision that makes one great,” Loewenheim said.  “On some level it has still not sunken in… That said, I am extremely happy about this award, as it is a symbol for the excellence that is being practiced daily throughout the university, the College of Arts and Humanities and the Department of Music.

“None of the work I am able to do here at Fresno State would not be possible without the support from the president and the provost, as well as the continuous encouragement of our dean and associate dean.  My colleagues at the Department of Music, who gave me the unique opportunity to come to Fresno and build and conduct the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra, have been a continuous inspiration.” 

Lectures, which take place on the second floor of the Henry Madden Library ( in Room 2206 (south wing), last about 45 minutes with 15 minutes for questions from the audience. The Provost’s Awards Lecture Series is open to the public.

This lecture comes with the bonus of a musical performance. After Dr. Loewenheim’s talk, members of his cello studio will join him in performing a number of short pieces for cello ensemble.

“Many believe music is the highest form of expression – an international language that has the ability to break many barriers, and thus has the ability to bring people together” Loewenheim said. “I witness this on a daily basis, and making music has become something I cannot live without.”

~ By Lisa Maria Boyles

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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