To Southwestern alumni and students, Ellsworth Peterson is known as a master teacher, a talented musician, and a scholar. Retired, as of Spring 2002, he was holder of the Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts. A Georgetown native who traces roots in the community back to his grandparents who immigrated from Sweden, Peterson accepted the Brown Chair in 1965 and for the past 37 years, has taken students around the globe literally and figuratively.

As a Brown Chair holder, he brought internationally recognized scholars and performers to campus through four Brown Symposia. Gustav Mahler & His Vienna (1982) featured a Viennese ball in Bishops Memorial Union. Benjamin Britten & the Ceremony of Innocence (1985) included SU’s production of Curlew River that was broadcast nationwide on PBS. A group from Thailand presented performances of their country’s national epic in Gods, Giants & Monkeys: The Ramakien in the Arts & Culture of Thailand (1988). The Quartets of Shostakovich: Odyssey of a Man and of a Nation (1995) offered the rare complete performance of Shostakovich”s quartets by the Manhatten String Quartet.