Times Staff Writer

Larry James Livingston, dean of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, will become dean of the school of music at the University of Southern California on Monday.

In making the announcement Friday, USC Provost Cornelius J. Pings said Livingston is “among the two or three best music administrators in the country, and his presence here will initiate what I believe will be an era of unparalleled excellence and development for the school and the university.”

Livingston, 42, will remain at Rice through the 1985-86 academic year but will function at USC as dean-designate.

In a phone interview Friday from Freeport, Ill., where he is en route to summer conducting engagements in Michigan and Connecticut, Livingston said he will be commuting from Houston to L.A. in the coming academic year.


“Fortunately, it’s an easy commute, despite the three hours in the air,” Livingston said. “I will fly to Los Angeles and other places on USC business, usually on a weekend basis. For this year, I remain primarily the dean at the Shepherd School.”

Before assuming his post at Rice in 1982, Livingston served for five years as vice president at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was also a conductor and chamber music coach. He has taught at other institutions, among them Northern Illinois University, UC San Diego and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

He has held several conducting posts, leading such groups as the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, which he founded, and the New England Conservatory Symphony and Contemporary Ensemble.