Matt Means was appointed inaugural and founding Dean of the newly created University of Nevada-Reno Honors College on July 1, 2020. He was previously director of the honors program at the University of Nevada, Reno, after first serving as the inaugural and founding director of the Fort Hays State University Honors College. During his tenure at FHSU, the Honors College outperformed metric goals each year in the areas of student recruitment (more than 10 percent yearly increases), retention (more than 90 percent) and yield (more than 90 percent). He has presented at National Collegiate Honors Council conferences multiple times, served as a consultant at the NCHC consultant’s corner, has served on national honors committees, and serves as a reviewer of proposals submitted to NCHC for selection at its yearly national conference.
As a musician, Means has maintained an active international performing schedule as a professional violinist in solo, orchestral and chamber roles. He gave his European recital debut at the Paganini Conservatory in Genoa, Italy (the birthplace of that great violinist). In Asia, he performed as a member of the Pacific Music Festival (Japan), founded by the composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein. He has appeared in concert in orchestras across the United States under the batons of conductors such as Marin Alsop, David Zinman, Andrew Litton, Christian Macelaru, Charles Dutoit, and Gerard Schwarz, among others. He has been featured in the violin concertos of Tchaikovsky, Beethoven (Violin Concerto and Triple Concerto), Glazunov, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, and Barber, as soloist. As a chamber musician, he has performed with Sarah Chang, Angel Romero, and members of many of the leading orchestras in the United States, such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and Cincinnati Symphony.
Means has been recognized as an active and dynamic music educator. He was awarded a certificate of merit by the Kansas American String Teachers Association, has served as a guest clinician over 300 times with student orchestras across the U.S., and has written many articles about string pedagogy and practice. He has both founded and adjudicated many competitions and was founding director of a regional youth orchestra/music instruction system which eventually grew to include 6 different ensembles and multiple classes in music theory and history. Students he has taught and coached have subsequently been granted admission to the most prestigious and selective music schools and conservatories.
A supporter of new music, Means performed regularly for many years as a tenured member of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the United States’ premier summer festival devoted to the music of the most eminent living composers. In this capacity, he has collaborated with, and performed the works of, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Rouse, Philip Glass, John Adams, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Jennifer Higdon, Kevin Puts, Anna Clyne, among many others.
Means received his B.M., summa cum laude, from the University of Northern Colorado, received his M.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University, and his P.S. (professional studies diploma) from the Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University. His primary teachers and musical influences include Linda Cerone, Stephen Majeske, William Preucil and Donald Weilerstein.
- B.M., summa cum laude, University of Northern Colorado
- M.M., Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University
- P.S., Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University