Richard Masters, an instructor in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech, has been appointed diversity Fellow for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

In his new position, Masters will chair the college’s diversity committee for two years and represent the college in promoting diversity and inclusion across campus. He will work to further diversity in all areas by leveraging the college's collective strengths, in particular focusing on interdisciplinary connections to diverse cultures. 

He will work closely with Ryan Rideau, director of undergraduate diversity, and Tom Ewing, associate dean for graduate studies and research.

“I am delighted that Rick will be serving our college in this capacity,” Ewing said. “It is essential that we have a visible spokesperson to represent us on diversity issues. Our college historically has been a leader on campus in this area. I look forward to working with him, particularly at this time when Virginia Tech is raising its public profile in music, theatre, and cinema with the opening of the Center for the Arts.”

Masters, a pianist and conductor as well as soloist and opera coach, joined the faculty in the Department of Music this fall, teaching applied lessons and classes in piano. He is also a collaborative pianist, accompanying faculty, guest artists, and students. 

Masters has performed numerous works representative of diverse cultures and traditions including several programs of African American spirituals with former Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Barbara Conrad. With a special interest in Spanish and South American music, he has performed with noted South American musicians, including Colombian clarinetist Javier Vinasco and mezzo-soprano Marta Senn. Masters' solo recitals regularly feature the piano music of British composer John Ireland, as well as works of Appalachian composer Kenneth Frazelle. 

Masters holds a doctorate degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he conducted the world staged premiere of American Jake Heggie’s opera “For a Look or a Touch,” dealing with the experience of German gays in the Holocaust; a master’s degree from the Juilliard School; and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.