Sirota, who is currently director of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, will assume his new post in October. He succeeds Marta Casals Istomin, who steps down this month after 13 years as president.
"Mr. Sirota is a proven leader who has achieved impressive physical and academic growth in the oldest American conservatory, the Peabody Conservatory, and we are delighted that he will bring to our school his energy, his insights, and his commitment to institutional advancement at every level," said David A Rahm, MSM's chairman. "Along with his strong leadership and administrative skills, Robert Sirota brings the musical gifts of an accomplished composer and conductor. Given the mission of the Manhattan School, his artistic sensibility will add a significant dimension to his stewardship."
Born in New York City in 1949, Sirota studed at Juilliard, Oberlin, and Harvard. His works include chamber music, solo works, and concertos for viola, cello, organ, and saxophone. He was director of the school of music at Boston University and chair of the music department at New York University before coming to Peabody in 1995.
Founded in 1918, the Manhattan School of Music trains undergraduates and graduate students in orchestral instruments, voice, piano, composition, and conducting, as well as jazz. More than 800 students are currently enrolled.