Norman Lloyd was the Rockefeller Foundation's (RF) Director of Arts from 1965 to 1969, and Director for Arts and Humanities from 1970 to 1972. A self-described “artistic gadfly," Lloyd had a prestigious and varied career as a pianist, composer, conductor, teacher, and author.
Norman Lloyd was born on November 8, 1909 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in music education with a specialization in teaching music theory from New York University.
Lloyd taught at the New York University School of Education and Sarah Lawrence College from 1936 to 1946. He served as Director of Education at the Juilliard School of Music from 1946 to 1949, and then continued on as faculty at the school. In 1963, Lloyd left Juilliard to serve as Dean of the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College. The same year, his influential method for teaching music theory was recognized with a Doctorate of Music from the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. His acclaimed curriculum, “Literature and Materials of Music," was celebrated for its engaging, discussion-based approach that brought composers into the classroom to meet with students.
The Cold War climate of the 1950s and 1960s prompted the Rockefeller Foundation to devote increasing resources to supporting and promoting American cultural programs. In September 1964 the RF established a new Arts Division separate from the Humanities, and Norman Lloyd was appointed to serve as the Division's Director in 1965. Lloyd was primarily responsible for cultural development in the United States; under his direction the Division supported playwrights, composers (including a separate grant for African American composers), symphony orchestras, music conservatories, and college theaters. When the RF merged the two programs again in 1970, Lloyd became Director for Arts and Humanities. He held this position until his retirement in December 1972.
In addition to teaching and working for the RF, Lloyd composed and conducted dance scores and music for more than thirty documentary and experimental films. He also wrote articles about music and music education for publications including the Juilliard Review, Dance Observer, and Film Music, and authored and edited a number of works including The Fireside Book of Favorite American Songs, The Fireside book of Folk Songs, The Golden Encyclopedia of Music, and Fundamentals of Sight Singing and Ear Training (co-authored with Arnold Fish).
Norman Lloyd died of leukemia in 1980 at the age of 70. His officer's diaries can be accessed at the Rockefeller Archive Center.