Ronald Crutcher was born in Cincinnati and began studying the cello at the age of 14 with Elizabeth Potteiger, a faculty member at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. At the age of 17 he won the Cincinnati Symphony Young Artist Competition. As a Woodrow Wilson and Ford Foundation Fellow, he studied at Yale University with the renowned cellist Aldo Parisot and became the first cellist to receive the doctor of musical arts degree from Yale. The recipient of a coveted Fulbright Fellowship, Crutcher continued his studies in Germany with Siegfried Palm and Gerhard Mantel. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in March 1985.
A former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, he has performed numerous recitals in the United States, Europe and South America and has recorded for Austrian and German radio. He currently performs in the USA and Europe as a member of the Klemperer Trio with Erika Klemperer, violin, and Gordon Back, piano.
Ronald Crutcher has written several articles on music for professional journals and reference books and has served internationally as a consultant for numerous music and fine arts programs. He has served on the boards of the Boston, Cleveland and Austin symphony orchestras, and currently is a member of the Board of the Richmond Symphony. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the Sphinx Organization and has twice served as an adjudicator for the Sphinx Competition.
Currently serving as the 10th President of the University of Richmond, he is President Emeritus of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. Dr. Crutcher formerly served in leadership positions at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. He also was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Miami University of Ohio and Professor of Music. An active member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities(AAC&U) for many years, he is a former chair of that organization’s board; and he is currently Chair of the Leadership Council for AAC&U’s Liberal Arts and America’s Promise (LEAP). Dr. Crutcher is also a past president of Chamber Music America.