By the family
Aug. 26, 2019: Bob Judd 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, ME; to Manhattan. Most recently, they moved to Bronxville 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 2:00 pm. 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.