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Judd, Robert August 24, 2019

Robert Floyd (“Bob”) Judd, 63, died on August 24, 2019 in Bronxville NY.

Bob grew up in Ohio, where his deep love of music was fostered as a boy in the choir of Christ Episcopal Church, Shaker Heights.  Through his participation in the Royal School of Church Music Summer Schools, he sang in various British chapels and cathedrals, including singing a solo in Westminster Abbey (supposedly the first American treble to have done so); as a treble, he also sang a solo with the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Robert Shaw.  In addition to singing, Bob’s musical pursuits included keyboard instruments (organ, harpsichord, and piano) and trumpet. Bob received an undergraduate degree in organ performance from Kent State University, summa cum laude; a master’s degree in musicology from Rice University; and a doctorate in musicology from the University of Oxford.  A scholar of Renaissance keyboard music, he was awarded tenure as a faculty member at California State University-Fresno.  In 1996 he accepted the position of Executive Director of the American Musicological Society, now located at New York University, which he held for 23 years. Bob also continued his service as a church musician as the organist and choirmaster for many of his parish churches.

Bob met his wife Cristle while they were students at Rice University.  They were married in 1983 at Christ Church Oxford and together their academic careers took them around the world from Oxford to Melbourne, Australia; to Exeter, England; to Fresno, CA; to Philadelphia, PA; to Brunswick, Maine; to Manhattan. Most recently they moved to Bronxville, New York when Cristle became President of Sarah Lawrence College.  Wherever he was, Bob approached his work and life with a desire to serve others, with deep faith, humility, and generosity.

Bob loved sports, especially biking and squash; playing chess; and solving word games and logic puzzles of all sorts.  He always had a pun at the ready, and a seemingly endless repository of bad jokes and “dad jokes,” delivered with a winning laugh and disarming smile. Bob’s frugality in service of a greater good was legendary.  He was a connoisseur of hot sauce, a talented baker of bread, and a renowned canner of pickles.   But above all was his profound love of his family, and his pride in his daughters, manifest in ways small and large.

Bob is survived by his wife Cristle; daughters Sarah, Hannah, and Katie, and son-in-law Rafael; mother Polly; sister Betsey; brother Don; brothers- and sisters-in-law Rich, Craig, Lori, Corey, Clay, and Jana; and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A funeral liturgy will be celebrated at Christ Church Bronxville on Thursday, August 29 at 2 p.m. Arrangements are being handled by the Fred H. McGrath & Son Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions to the American Musicological Society, 20 Cooper Square, Floor 2, New York, New York 10003 (“Robert Judd Fund”) or the charity of your choice.

Funeral Service: 2 pm, Thursday, August 29, 2019 at Christ Church Bronxville

In Lieu of Flowers: The family requests contributions to the American Musicological Society, 20 Cooper Square, Floor 2, New York, New York 10003 (“Robert Judd Fund”) or the charity of your choice.


  1. REPLY
    Jeanice Brooks says

    My thoughts are with you, Cristle, and family. Bob was a warm, kind and generous soul and a true musician and scholar. He will be very much missed. Much love and deepest sympathy.

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      Sarah Davies says

      Bob Judd was a scholar and a gentleman. He wrote a wonderful dissertation that was a great help to me, and we had a chance to talk about it some years ago when we were both at Yale. His is a devastating loss. Heartfelt condolences to Christle and his entire family.

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    Andrew Dell'Antonio says

    Cristle – my thoughts and blessings are with you and yours. I can’t imagine your grief – I wish you comfort, strength, and healing. Please let me know if there’s any way I can help.

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    The Rev. Carolyn H. Eklund says

    The staff of St. Paul’s, Brunswick, Maine loved our work with Bob Judd. His jokes were a delight at staff meetings. His deep faith, love of Scripture, trumpet playing in the Palm Sunday procession, generous and skilled choir direction and organ playing glorified God and built lasting friendships among us. We loved him, and it was my personal joy to have worked with him in ministry. I give thanks to God that our paths crossed. I grieve with you Cristle, Katie and Rafael, Hannah and Sarah.

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    Elizabeth Butler says

    I’ve tried elsewhere to express my feelings, but it’s not really possible to express how big the loss is. Of course, it has to come for us all, but losing my twin really brings it home. And my heart breaks for you, Cristle, and Sarah, Hannah, and Katie & Rafa for this unimaginable loss. You scored on an amazing husband and father. All my love, Bets
    ps….this is a great picture of Bob, but it’s even better in its complete form with Cristle next to him. That’s what made his smile so big!

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    Chris Reynolds says

    A quotation from Bob Judd’s 1994 paper, “Synecdoche in Music”: “…the evocation of the past… depends on recollection of the whole for effect. The often-overwhelming juxtaposition of large and small is also tinged with despair: allusion is a (painful) reminder of the absence of the whole. Further, synecdoche conveys an awareness of mortality–that what is past can never be regained and that death looms for all.”

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    Leofranc Holford-Strevens says

    A great man has been lost and is being mourned. Eternal memory!

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    Lona Kozik says

    I took keyboard musicianship with Bob Judd in my first year at Penn, and I remember him and his class fondly! I still use what I learned with him in my teaching now. I was lucky to have the musical and personal guidance from Bob and Cristle at a formative and challenging time at Penn! My memory of Bob Judd is that he was a lovely person and a dedicated musician and teacher. He will be missed!

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    Basil Considine says

    My condolences to the family in this trying time. Bob was well-loved and respected, and will be very much missed this fall.

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    George Lewis says

    I am shocked and deeply saddened by Bob’s untimely passing. I very much enjoyed talking and working with him on American Musicological Society matters, and learning from the incredible breadth of his knowledge, the depth of his wisdom, his seemingly infinite patience and grace, and his utter dedication to the AMS. Bob was a person whose views you could trust, and we will all miss him terribly. I offer my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Cristle and the family.

    George Lewis

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    Nicholas Stevens says

    Though I only knew Bob through his work with the AMS, I came to know him as the kind, professional, generous, and lighthearted man described by others. His commitment to the field and all who take part in it was inspiring, and I truly felt more welcome in the Society thanks to his work and words. My heartfelt condolences to his entire family.

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    Simone Heilgendorff says

    Being a meber of AMs since 1990 I never met Bob in person, but sensed his caring personalyity and enormous competence through e-mails, newsletters, and services. I feel with all those who have been really close to him. Warm regards, Simone (Heilgendorff), a musicologist and violist from Germany

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    Kristi Brown-Montesano says

    I knew Bob mostly through AMS correspondence, yet somehow he always managed to communicate a remarkable level of humanity in every message. Reading his obituary, I understand better how this was possible: he was an exceptional human being in so many ways. My sincere condolences to Bob’s family who must bear this terrible loss.

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    Gwynne Brown says

    I am one of the many whose lives were touched by Bob’s kindness and generosity. It is very hard to let him go from this world. His family and friends are in my prayers.

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      John Kmetz says

      Like his MGA roadster, Bob was a class A guy. Will miss him dearly. Cristle my deepest condolences to you and the family.

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    Steve Krause says

    My thoughts continue to be with you and your girls, Cristle. Bob was a wonderful, engaging and loving man … We will miss him on the squash courts and beyond. With much love and sympathy, Steve

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    Vivian Ramalingam says

    Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
    And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

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    Anne MacNeil says

    Dear Cristle – we are all better for having known Bob. Like others, I joyfully basked in the warm generosity, good humor, and impishness of his company. My heart goes out to you and your family, with deepest sympathy for this hard loss.

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    Eleanor Selfridge-Field says

    Bob was a rare asset to the AMS. Over decades, he worked tirelessly, always trying to understand and respond to the dynamics of evolving situations. The scale of our loss brings to mind one account of the funeral of a doge, at which tears fell “like boulders of the Caucasus.”

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    Jay Malone says

    My deep condolences to Cristle, Sarah, Hannah, and Katie & Rafa. I knew Bob for over 20 years through the American Council of Learned Societies, and though I never heard him play a single note of music, I can well imagine the kindness, intelligence, and sensitivity he brought to every piece — they were a part of him. It is a grievous loss to his colleagues in ACLS, but we are better people for having known him.

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    Owais Rana says

    My deepest & heartfelt condolences for Christle and the family Bob has left behind.

    I got to know Bob at the squash courts at the Bronxville Field Club. We played together with other members on Monday/Wednesday evenings. He was one of the politest and kindest human beings I have ever met! His eagerness to play squash was delightful to see and we really enjoyed having him part of the club.

    For the record, Bob beat me in the last game that we played! Well played Bob. We will miss you.


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    Patricia Shaw says

    my deepest sympathies to Cristle and all the family.
    Bob and Cristle were my tutors in Melbourne in the mid 1980s: both such great teachers and musicians, and genuine, caring people. So many years later, his influence is still with me, both professionally and personally. Bob will be missed so much, and remembered with fondness and admiration.

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    Amy Ross says

    In remembering Bob, my heart is full of gratitude. The fruit of the spirit poured out of him. He was kind, honest and rich in character. He helped me connect two really important things in my life, a gift for music and a love of God. Playing cello with him accompanying me at Woodland Presbyterian Church was a gift to me. He was pastoring me in that in ways I never told him. There’s so much more. He was kind and nurturing to my young husband. His love of family was obvious and rare. I am praying for you Cristle, Katie, Hannah and Sarah.

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    Philip and Amy Wiser says

    We are deeply saddened for Christle and the family. While our hearts are heavy and we mourn with you, we will also laugh and smile thinking of Bob’s quick wit and humor. Our family was blessed to have Bob brighten our lives. A day that we saw Bob was always better and brighter. His thoughtfulness with music was only matched by his ferocity on the court. I’m incredibly grateful to have had him as a friend.

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    Benjamin C Karp says

    Dear Cristle and Hannah,
    I am so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing to you always.

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    Ray Murphy says

    To Bob’s: family : GOD’s peace.

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    Alexandra Amati says

    Dear Cristle, my thoughts and love are with you and the “girls.” I can’t imagine the huge hole Bob’s passing has left in your hearts, but please do lean on those who surround and love you as they loved him–they are legion. I can’t believe I will never again work with Bob or share a lunch at AMS… He was an amazing human being, a true mensch and he is missed immensely. All my love

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    Lisa Zent says

    I am so saddened by this unexpected news. So grateful that we were able to reconnect professionally over the last year. Bob and I had a site together back in 2002 in DC – it was my first day back to work after having my first child. It was a very stressful day for me – I got lost driving downtown DC, I had to juggle everything that a nursing mother has to juggle without their child, and I got stung by a bee at lunch. Bob took it all in stride, made me feel so comfortable and we laughed about that day many times. It was so nice to spend time with him again in New Orleans this summer. My husband sells green coffee, so it has always been fun to send him green beans for him to roast up in his popcorn popper. We had just sent him a package on Friday – so you may find this odd package to him with no note (I forgot to put it in the package) Such a very nice person and I am richer for having known him. Prayers to his family and I am so sorry for your loss.

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    The Rev. Ann Broomell says

    I am so very sorry to hear this. I enjoyed working with Bob, and especially appreciated his deep faith and many gifts. I remember with fondness how he kept parish and choir together playing the trumpet during the Palm Sunday procession–something never accomplished before or since in the many parishes I served. I also deeply valued the musical gifts of the family that Bob brought to worship at St. Paul’s Brunswick, and knowing all of you. You are all in my prayers.
    Ann Broomell+

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    Mary Dillard says

    Dear Cristle- I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Bob’s passing. I was fortunate to have been seated next to him at one of the many dinners that you held at your home for the series on Democracy and Education. He was an interesting, curious, and kind man. From what I could tell he also had a wonderful sense of humor as well. I wish you, your daughters, and everyone who loved Bob my heartfelt condolences. May he rest in perfect peace.

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    Chick Carroll says

    Bob, I have always admired you- for your faith, your forthrightness, and as a father which I observed with all of your daughters. Even if we disagreed, which we occasionally did , I was always so taken with your expressions of faith, which was so strong. I am so sorry you will not be here with us on your vacations to Maine.
    Cristle, Sarah, Hannah, and Katie, you know what a loving man he was. I extend my deepest sympathies to you.

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    Curtis Michelson says

    Bob was a sounding board and support to many, including me. A couple years ago, at a personal career juncture, he met me for lunch in Manhattan and provided a sympathetic ear and his genuine smile and humor. I will miss him very much, as will the community. Peace to all.

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    Stephen Hinton says

    My heartfelt condolences to Bob’s relatives and closest friends. Although I didn’t know Bob like you did, I had countless interactions with him over the years, mainly through AMS committee work, and always admired enormously and unreservedly his distinctive mix of utter professionalism, humility, and interpersonal warmth. Bob was a great role model!
    –Stephen Hinton

  32. REPLY
    Philip Lindsey says

    Cristle, I am so sad. Speechless, really. Mary and I are thinking of you. I have so many memories involving Bob, and then you and Bob. What a life he led!

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    Josie Sandler says

    Sandler Search send heartfelt condolences to Cristle and their family.
    Most sincerely,
    Josie Sandler
    CEO & Founder

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    Lee Rothfarb says

    I would like to add my expression of heartfelt sympathy to Cristle and the whole family on Bob Judd’s untimely passing. The news jolted me deeply. In posting this note of condolence, I would like to remind many (most?) of Bob’s vital role in the early days of Music Theory Online. At first anonymously, as a friend, in the earliest days of the pilot issues (1993-94) and then, starting with volume 1.2 through volume 3.5 (1995-97), Bob served actively and creatively as MTO Manager. He was a rich combination of imaginative suggestions, technical know-how, and energy to get the job done. We were each other’s right-hand man, so to speak, in producing the first Web-enabled, hypertext issues of MTO. Here is what I wrote in my Editor’s Message for the last issue for which he was Manager (3.5, September 1997):

    Judd (University of Pennsylvania) has been involved with SMT Networking from the very beginning, particularly in the early days when MTO was initiated as a pilot project. He published commentaries in its first issues (0.2, 0.3), as well as an article (0.8). Among other valuable contributions, he designed the layout of the MTO home page, created the template that gives the HTML version of our articles their uniform look, and wrote our guide for new Web users. Bob was recently appointed Executive Director of the American Musicological Society. His obligations in that capacity, along with increased family commitments, prevent him from continuing as MTO Manager and as (year-long!) “interim” mto-talk Manager. Many thanks to Bob for helping literally to shape and to establish MTO as a respected scholarly journal.

    Bob made impactful, lasting contributions in so many ways. I will miss him terribly. May his spirit be bound up in the bonds of eternal life.

  35. REPLY
    Flaura and Ira Winston says

    May Bob’s memory be a blessing for you and your family. We have so many wonderful memories – Bob playing our shofar (making a beautiful sound like we’d never heard before), sledding in Frost Valley with the Filreis’s, parties in Philly and Narberth. He touched our lives. We were honored to know him.

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    Lois (and David) Kwantz says

    Dear Cristle. Katie & Rafa, Hannah and Sarah, our hearts are breaking with you and for you as you deal with the grief of losing your beloved husband and father. Our prayers and spirit will be with you, both today at 2:00 as you celebrate Bob’s life and in the days and months ahead as you deal with the ache of living without his physical presence. The time that your family spent with all of us at St. Paul’s was very special in so many ways, particularly in our services and celebrations involving music. I learned so much from Bob about singing church music well and with the goal being to honor and worship our God. It was a joy to sing with you, Cristle, in our alto section, and we all were blessed by “the girls’ ” musical gifts and talents. God bless you and comfort you.

  37. REPLY
    Noel O'Regan says

    Dear Cristle and family. I was profoundly saddened to hear of Bob’s untimely death. I have very happy memories going back to the early 1980s when we were graduate students together in Oxford, as well as lots of subsequent meetings and a memorable Thanksgiving with your family in New York in the 1990s. Bob was an exceptional man and we were privileged to have known him. May be rest in peace

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    Grit Fam says

    A message from Grit Ultimate, a women’s Ultimate team Katie helped found in the DC area that has had a profound impact on many women’s lives and friendships: The world has lost an incredible person, and on behalf of the Grit family, we wanted to honor his memory. Katie is the incredible person she is (thoughtful, engaged, inimitably competent, diligent, hard-working, energetic, insightful…) due in large part to the caring, brilliant family she grew up in, and we are happy to donate to the AMS to help perpetuate the musical thread that binds the Judd family so closely together. In addition to impressive skill and obvious passion for music, Bob’s love of activity, his infectious humor, and his investment in others (plus, of course, obsession with pickles) lives on in Katie. We know that the grief is overwhelming in such tragic circumstances, but we also know that memories of Bob and his impact on the world are indelible. Sending as much love, support, and comfort as we can to Katie and the Judd family–may Bob’s memory be a blessing.

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    J. Peter Burkholder says

    My deepest condolences to Cristle, their family, and all who knew Bob. He was a warm and generous spirit, devoted to his family, his friends, and his colleagues. I knew him through the American Musicological Society, which he served as Executive Director for over two decades, and where his dedication, compassion, wisdom, humor, friendliness, and warmth were always abundantly evident. His was a life well lived. He will live on in all of us who knew him.

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    Eric Drott says

    Cristle: Marianne and I were stunned and saddened to learn of Bob’s passing. Though I never got to know him as well as I know you, every time I had occasion to interact with Bob I was struck by his humor, graciousness, and fundamental decency. I know words are inadequate, but suffice it to say that our thoughts are with you and your family. We send our deepest sympathies.

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    Al and Roberta Hipkins says

    We were shocked and saddened to hear of Bob’s sudden passing. Just the day before, I was admiring my serrano pepper plant and the number of peppers it is producing and was going to send Bob a photo. I still have a little of his habenero jam which I occasionally use a few drops in a sauce or rub. I can’t imagine AMS without Bob. All our prayers and sympathies.

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