AUSTIN, Texas—Austin Police have charged a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin in the death last Thursday, April 29 of Danielle J. Martin, a professor of piano in the School of Music at the university.
Professor Danielle Martin
Jackson Fan Chun Ngai, 22, a graduate student in applied music at the university,was arrested at Martin’s home in the Hyde Park section near the campus.
Martin, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after Austin police arrived at her home at 3303 Liberty St., in response to a 9-1-1 call. Police filed charges against Ngai on Friday, April 30.
“I grieve over the loss of Professor Martin, and on behalf of our whole community, I express both profound sadness over her death and sympathy for those closest to her,” said Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “A teacher is a gift to life; thus we are all diminished in this moment of tragedy.”
Martin joined the faculty in 1972. She was the head of the Keyboard Division in the School of Music, and was critically acclaimed for her artistry and versatility as a solo recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist.
Originally from New York, she attended the Dalcroze School of Music and was graduated with honors from the Oberlin Conservatory in 1969 and the Peabody Conservatory in 1971.
Recipient of distinguished teaching and arts leadership awards, she appeared at prestigious music schools and music teachers’ conferences. She was one of 10 teachers selected nationwide to serve as Mobil Ambassador to the 9th Van Cliburn Competition. Martin performed and taught throughout the United States, in Canada, Mexico, Korea and Jamaica, and was heard in radio broadcasts throughout Europe.
“The College of Fine Arts and especially the faculty, staff and students of the School of Music are shocked and bereaved by the news of Professor Danielle Martin’s tragic death,” said Robert Freeman, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “Danielle Martin, ‘Dani,’ was a devoted and inspiring teacher who attracted talented students from around the world to study in her piano studio. She was, for over 30 years, a valued member of the Music School faculty and a treasured member of a close-knit community. She will be—she is already—deeply, grievously missed.
“Our efforts now are concentrated on attending to the emotional and educational needs of our students, faculty members and staff. In good time, wewill pause, as a community, to celebrate and honor Dani Martin, her life andwork.”
“Professor Danielle Martin was one of our most dedicated faculty members who spent her entire career of more than 30 years right here in the UT School of Music,” said B. Glenn Chandler, director of the School of Music. “She held the highest standards for her students and gave them the technical and musical background to achieve those standards. In addition to her teaching she was a strong leader as coordinator of the Keyboard Division. She will be sorely missed by her students and her colleagues alike.
“The UT Student Counseling Office has provided several professional counselors for students and the Office of Human Resources has provided counselorsfor faculty and staff,” Chandler added. “We held meetings today (April30) with faculty and staff and with music students to make sure everyone in theSchool of Music was aware of the help that is available. This help willbe available throughout the weekend and into next week. We appreciate the supportof everyone in the university at this time of tragedy.”
The family of Professor Martin has planned a graveside ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 4 at Welwood Cemetery in Farmingdale, Long Island, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Danielle Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund in the School of Music.
The School of Music is also making arrangements for a memorial ceremony, which will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, May 10 in Bates Recital Hall. A faculty committee in the School of Music is working on the details of the program. The ceremony will be open to the public.
As word spreads about the death of Dani Martin, friends and alumni are calling the School of Music from all over the country offering to perform on a memorial program. We cannot possibly accommodate numerous performances on this upcoming memorial ceremony; however, a memorial concert is being planned in the fall semester at which time the School of Music will be able to accommodate everyone.
For more information about the upcoming memorial ceremony in the School of Music, the fall semester memorial concert or the Danielle Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund, contact Dr. Glenn Chandler, director of the School of Music, at 512-471-3157.