The 41-year-old Delaware native has been dean of the Cleveland Institute of Music since 2001, where, according to a press release, he increased applications by 25 percent. During his tenure Sharkey also created exchange programs with London's Royal Academy of Music and the Paris Conservatoire.
Before joining CIM, Sharkey was director of music at the Purcell School in London from 1996 to 2001; before that he was head of composition and academic music at England's Wells Cathedral School.
He is a 1986 graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and received a masters in composition from Yale University in 1988. His teachers have included pianists John Browning, Boris Berman, and Peter Frankl and composers Aaron Copland and John Corigliano. He also has a masters degree in philosophy from Cambridge University.
Sharkey was a founding member of the Pirasti Piano Trio, and has performed regularly with members of the Cleveland Orchestra and CIM faculty. His compositions have been performed by the St. Louis Symphony under the direction of Leonard Slatkin.
William R. Brody, president of Johns Hopkins, said, "[Sharkey] will bring extraordinary energy, vision, and experience to an institute that, thanks to its splendid renovation, its steadily growing pool of applicants, and the visibility it achieved under Bob Sirota's outstanding leadership, is truly poised for greatness."
Peabody Institute, founded in 1857, is the oldest music conservatory in the country. It has been a division of Johns Hopkins since 1977.