- D.M.A., Piano Performance and Literature, University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music
- M.M. Piano Performance, University of Colorado
- B.M., Piano Performance, University of Colorado
Director of the Conservatory
Professor of Music
Dr. George Boespflug is the Director of Biola's Conservatory of Music. A seasoned performer, Dr. Boespflug has a deep-seated desire to see the Conservatory be true to its mission of integrating musical studies with academic learning and spiritual growth to prepare students to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Towards this end, he is committed to partnering with faculty in the Conservatory's diverse degree programs to enhance their curriculum and to provide enriching learning opportunities for their students. Dr. Li-shan Hung, the Area Coordinator for the Piano department, notes the ways in which he has actively supported the growth of the department:
"To me, Dr. Boespflug has been a visionary leader, a supportive advisor, and a caring friend. He is committed to the growth of the piano department. Among all the great things he has done, the highlight was his fundraising campaigns to purchase a brand new Steinway concert grand and two other brand new Steinway pianos in my studio, which has tremendously benefited both students and faculty. Dr. Boespflug has been extraordinarily supportive to the growth of fellow colleagues. In my case, he supported me to give performances in important venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, MasterWorks Festival in Indiana, Sejong Hall in Seoul, South Korea, and Cremona International Music Academy in Italy. Such exposures helped in promoting Biola both in the U.S. and internationally, as well as being an inspiration to our students. Over the years, Dr. Boespflug has strongly supported and sponsored world-renowned artists, such as Menahem Pressler, Ann Schein, Robert McDonald, Boris Berman, and Dr. Nelita True, to perform at Biola and give master classes to our students. This has made our master class program one of the best in Southern California."
Education & Influences
Dr. Boespflug was a Fiske scholar (an award given to the outstanding undergraduate performance major) for three of his four undergraduate years at the University of Colorado. There, he studied with Keith Wallingford, a pupil of Rosina Levine, and Julliard graduate.
Dr. Boespflug notes that two of the most influential teachers in his life—David Burge at Eastman and Keith Wallingford at Colorado—presented him with two different approaches that gave him a broad spectrum of insight into music making. "Keith had a great passion for music and an ability to find the poetry in a composition. David, on the other hand, was more objective in his approach. 'The measure of a performer is ultimately in the sounds he produces,' he would say." Keith Wallingford's teaching approach played a unique role in influencing Dr. Boespflug's teaching style. "Keith was always able to excite me about the expressive possibilities in music, and I in turn am excited when I see a student have an epiphanic experience and realize what expressive possibilities lie beneath the surface of a composition. I love those moments when a student experiences music in a deeply felt manner that goes far beyond the printed page." Throughout his musical studies, Dr. Boespflug felt God's hand gently lead him, and he has continued to see God's provision, meeting his needs and those of his family. Dr. Boespflug lives with his wife in Brea, a fifteen minutes drive from Biola University. He has three children and two grandchildren.
Dr. Boespflug has appeared as a soloist with numerous ensembles, including:
He has also collaborated with members of various major orchestras, including:
Dr. Boespflug has had the opportunity to travel the world. His international activities include teaching and lecturing in Oslo, Norway; presenting a paper and performing at the annual Crescendo International meeting in Berlin, Germany; and presenting solo recitals in Madrid, Spain and Prague, Czech Republic.
Recently, Dr. Boespflug traveled alongside faculty members Marlin Owen and Robert Feller to China to present master classes and performances in Beijing, Xian, Changsha, and Zhengzhou. While there, he performed "Rhapsody in Blue" with Hunan Province Symphony Orchestra.
As a writer, Dr. Boespflug contributed a chapter to the book Bridging the Gap: Popular Music and Music Education (edited by Carlos Xavier Rodriguez). The book features the views of top university music educators from around the country on the use of popular music in music education. He also contributed an article on popular music in educational settings for the MENC (National Association for Music Education) journal.
Currently, he is very involved with NASM (National Association of Schools of Music), serving as an accreditation visit team leader and consultant. As an accreditation visitor, he is tasked with assessing university music departments around the country. As a consultant, he lends advice to university music program administrators with regard to accreditation, program expansion, and a variety of related topics.
Faith in Action
Looking back on his pursuit of a music education, he recognizes that God worked in both clear and subtle ways to direct his path. "Going to Eastman was completely God-directed; I had a clear sense from the Lord as to where I should apply for graduate studies and the doors opened. In Rochester, we found a great church to attend. I served as the church organist for three years, which helped pay the bills, and the church family turned out to be a wonderful support for our family. That—combined with being a recipient of a very generous fellowship from Eastman –made it clear that we were where God wanted us to be." Following his doctoral studies Dr. Boespflug took a job at Houghton College, a Christian college in upstate New York. "While in graduate school, I would pray daily for God's will in regard to a teaching position. Though I had the possibility of other opportunities elsewhere, when the opportunity at Houghton College arose it seemed that God had been calling me into Christian higher education all along."
Dr. Boespflug has been the director of the Conservatory since 2001. Before coming to Biola, he was the director of the School of Music at Houghton College where he served on the faculty for 15 years. Dr. Boespflug takes deep satisfaction from being able to enjoy relationships with students, faculty, staff, donors, and the broader Conservatory constituency. He is especially appreciative of his relationships with the faculty members. "I enjoy my conversations with faculty, considering the direction of their programs, the content of their instruction, their professional development, their thoughts about integration, and their dreams for the future. We talk about our students and programs, but we also talk about their lives and their personal hopes and dreams. I am thankful that I can participate in some small way in the multi-faceted lives of our faculty."
Partnering with the faculty, Dr. Boespflug has a vision for the Conservatory that includes a deeper sense of community as the body of Christ, the pursuit of a higher level of artistic achievement by both faculty and students, and a commitment to the cultivation of an atmosphere of integration in performance and the classroom. "I've always been pleased with our mission statement, and hope we can continue to pursue the goals therein."