In Memoriam: Akin Euba, 1935-2020

We are deeply saddened by the recent news that Akin Euba, Andrew W. Mellon Professor Emeritus in the Department of Music, has passed away. Professor Euba was the Andrew Mellon Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh between 1993 and 2011. He was the founder and director of the Centre for Intercultural Music Arts, London (founded in 1989), and director emeritus of the Centre for Intercultural Musicology at Churchill College, University of Cambridge.

Professor Euba taught several courses including Music in Africa, Introduction to Ethnomusicology, Field and Lab Methods, World Music, Creative Ethnomusicology, and Intercultural Musicology.  He was well known for his pioneering theory of African Pianism as well as his work in Intercultural Musicology and Creative Ethnomusicology. He was a leading composer of African Art Music and composed for a variety of mediums from solo piano to opera.

I miss Akin’s warm smile and hearty handshake. Akin’s positive energy was palpable whenever he walked into the music building. I was honored when he asked me to co-teach his Creative Ethnomusicology seminar in 1994. His work in intercultural musicology was a great inspiration to me and I am forever grateful for the wonderful music and important scholarship that he has left for us.

Mathew Rosenblum
Chair of the Department of Music