An outstanding vocalist and conductor, Royce Saltzman was a popular teacher and choral director at several colleges before coming to the University of Oregon in 1964, where he has been professor emeritus since 1994. Saltzman was born in Abilene, Kansas, on Nov 18, 1928. He was graduated from Goshen College in 1950, did graduate work at Northwestern University and received a doctor of musical arts at the University of Southern California in 1964.
While teaching in Germany one summer, Saltzman met conductor Helmuth Rilling, and the two co-founded the Oregon Bach Festival in 1970. Saltzman served as its executive director from 1970 to 2007 (he was executive director emeritus from 1994 to 1997).
Beginning with two workshops and two concerts, Saltzman expanded the festival to more than 45 concerts, recitals, and lectures, plus master classes, and increased the budget from $2,500 in 1970 to $1.9 million in 2007.
At the same time, Saltzman held leadership roles in numerous national and international musical organizations, including president of both the International Federation for Choral Music (1985-1993) and the American Choral Directors Association (1979-1981).
A consummate administrator, Saltzman generously gave his time and expertise to local, national and international music causes as advisor, clinician, conductor, consultant, juror, lecturer or official guest. One of Oregon's most decorated arts officials, he served as acting dean of the University of Oregon Music School, board member of Chorus America (USA), and adviser to the Toronto Bach Festival (Canada), International Bachakademie (Germany), China International Choir Festival, Academia Bach de Venezuela. Zimriya, and World Assembly of Choirs (Israel).