Dr. Linda Holzer, a professor of music at UA Little Rock since 1995, has been promoted to university professor, an honorific title for outstanding professors.
Holzer is only the second UA Little Rock professor who has received the title of university professor. She joins Dr. David Briscoe, university professor of sociology, who was the first UA Little Rock faculty member to earn this honorific promotion in 2021.
This is a special honor conferred only upon active faculty in recognition of an extended period of exemplary service in a spirit of collegiality to UA Little Rock as well as a combination of service in their profession and to the public through their professional activities.
“As I’m celebrating the end of my 28th year on faculty at UA Little Rock, I’m very moved to receive this honor,” Holzer said. “I feel fortunate to have a job where my focus is on musical meaning and creativity.”
In order to achieve the distinction, faculty members must have been a full professor for 10 years and have gained wide recognition at the national or international level for their sustained excellence in service, teaching, research, or creative activity relevant to their respective disciplines and academic roles.
Holzer has become well known for her advocacy on behalf of Arkansas composers Florence Price and William Grant Still. Price was the subject of Holzer’s dissertation at Florida State University. In 2018, Holzer’s work helped Price to be honored with the Music Teachers National Association Foundation Fellow Award.
This year Holzer honored Price’s memory in a celebration at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center on April 9, which was declared Florence Price Day. She has also been a featured speaker on the Clinton School of Public Service Speaker Series in November 2019, lecturing about Price and Still in advance of historic concerts by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
On stage, highlights from her concert performances include an October 2021 concert at the Clinton Presidential Library, performing Price’s Piano Quintet in A Minor with members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra on the prestigious River Rhapsodies Series, and performing as a soloist abroad in Austria and Slovenia under the auspices of the State Department in May 2018, giving recitals of music by American women composers.
While she specializes in piano performance, Holzer is grateful to have had the opportunity to teach a broad variety of classes over the years. One of her more unique classes is Exercises in Creative Thinking, an interdisciplinary learning experience for students from all majors.
“We explore creative thinking skills and techniques that anyone can acquire to add more creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness to their life and work,” Holzer said. “I enjoy that course especially because many students may not self-identify as creative. This class is designed to awaken creative skills in anyone. By the end of the semester, it’s not unusual for students to have pleasantly surprised themselves by what they can do.”
She has served the university in a variety of roles, including as team leader for Teaching with Technology in the former College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS), and most recently as secretary for the college assembly for the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education.
Holzer’s next performance will be a Sept. 23 recital at UA Little Rock. This will include selections by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov and Syrian American composer Kareem Roustom as well as the Arkansas premiere of Gwyneth Walker’s piece “Riddle Variation.”