BATON ROUGE, La. (BRProud) — LSU professor Dr. Willis Delony was named the university’s honoree for the 2020 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award. Delony is one of the nation’s leading classical and jazz crossover artists, with a performance career spanning more than four decades.
Delony has appeared as piano soloist, guest pianist, arranger or conductor with orchestras throughout the United States as well as orchestras in Canada, the former Soviet Union and China. As a solo and collaborative recitalist, he has performed classical and jazz concerts throughout the U.S. – including a solo recital at Carnegie Hall in October 2014. In January 2017, he premiered Greg Yasinitsky’s Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Timothy Muffitt. In part due to the strength of this performance, the work was awarded The American Prize in composition.
Delony earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from LSU in piano performance in 1985. After a career away from LSU, he returned in 2000 as professor of piano and jazz studies and, for a short time, served as interim director of the LSU School of Music. In May 2019, the LSU Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to award Delony a Boyd Professorship, the university’s highest and most prestigious academic rank, in recognition of his outstanding research, teaching and creative achievements.
The SEC Faculty Achievement Award, now in its eighth year, was established by the presidents and chancellors of the SEC universities to recognize outstanding faculty at each of the 14 SEC institutions. Consideration requires that an individual be a full professor and demonstrate remarkable scholarship and research that is recognized at national and international levels.
The individuals selected for the Faculty Achievement Award represent the best academics throughout the SEC. SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. The award recipients are selected by the SEC provosts, and they are two foundational programs designed by the SEC to support and promote the academic endeavors and achievements of its students, faculty and administrators.