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Cecil Lytle

Photo by K.C. Alfred, courtesy of the San Diego Union-Tribune

It was an inspiration and privilege to be Cecil Lytle’s student. A true Renaissance man, his eloquence in the lecture hall and concert hall is indescribable. Professor Lytle is a virtuoso whose repertoire includes all genres of piano, and whose passion for music, for education and for excellence inspires those qualities in others. He is a musician and a mentor and part of San Diego cultural and academic history.

-Blythe Effron

Virtuoso pianist Cecil Lytle is a retired University of California, San Diego music professor and Thurgood Marshall College provost. Lytle has taught courses in classical music and Black music history and is an expert in the performance of 19th and early-20th-century music. Diversity has been a central aspect of his career.

For over a dozen years, Lytle performed an annual benefit for the Rebecca E. Lytle Memorial Scholarship Fund at UCSD’s Thurgood Marshall College, founded in honor of his late wife. The fund provides need-based scholarships to a select group of first-year students enrolled in Thurgood Marshall College.

Cecil Lytle was First Prize winner in the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition in 1970 . In 1996 he received an Emmy nomination for the public television series The Nature of Genius. Lytle has recorded for Nonesuch, Lovely and CRI records and released Beethoven Piano Sonatas (Opus 106 and 111) for Klavier Records.

Cecil Lytle has served UCSD with distinction for more than 34 years in his roles as a Professor of Music, the long-time Provost of Thurgood Marshall College, and as a founding member of the Preuss Charter school at the University of California, San Diego.