Prior to her appointment as dean of the USC Roski School of Art and Design, Erica Muhl served as interim dean of the Roski School and associate dean of the USC Thornton School of Music. In May of 2013, she was also appointed as the founding executive director of the USC Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, which welcomed its first freshman class in fall, 2014. Muhl joined USC in 1991 as Assistant Professor of Composition in the Thornton School, receiving tenure in 1997 and promotion to full professor in 2004. She now holds a dual appointment as Professor of Fine Arts and Composition.
As a composer, Muhl’s works have been commissioned, performed and broadcast by leading organizations such as Minnesota Opera, New World Symphony, Italy's Orchestra della Radio-Televisione Italiana, Venezuela’s Orquesta Filarmónica Nacional, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Arditti Quartet, National Public Radio, Radio-Televisione Italiana and Central German Radio. Her music has been featured at national and international festivals and competitions, including the Aspen Festival, the International Festival of New Music in Caracas, the International Forum of New Music in Mexico City, the Festivale Nuovi Spazi in Rome and the International Percussion Competition in Luxembourg. She has received grants and awards from such organizations as the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts and Opera America. She has been awarded residencies and fellowships from—among others—Italy’s Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Charles Ives Center for American Music, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the American Academy in Rome, the Cultural Ministry of Venezuela, the Richard-Wagner-Stätten in Dresden and the State of Saxony, Germany.
A noted speaker on classical and contemporary classical music, Muhl has been regularly invited to present talks for such organizations as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera and the New York Philharmonic, as well as colleges, universities and concert series throughout the U.S. She is also currently featured as an on-camera expert for A&E Network’s online version of their celebrated Biography series, Biography.com.
Muhl earned her Doctor of Musical Arts at USC’s Thornton School, graduate certificates from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, and a Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from California State University, Northridge. Prior to beginning formal degree studies, she was also one of the last students of legendary composition teacher Nadia Boulanger at the Conservatoire Americain in Paris and Fontainebleau.