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Eastman School of Music

Eastman School of Music
University of Rochester
Eastman at night
Established 1921
Type Private
Location Rochester, New York, USA
Campus Urban
Nickname Template:If empty

The Eastman School of Music is a music conservatory located in Rochester, New York. The Eastman School is a professional school within the University of Rochester. It was established in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company.[1][2][3]

It is often ranked among the finest music schools in the world.

Today, there are more than 900 students enrolled in the collegiate division of the Eastman School (approximately 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students). Students come from almost every state of the United States, and approximately 25% of students are from foreign countries.

Each year about 260 new students enroll (approximately 135 freshmen and 125 graduate students), selected from more than 2,000 applicants. Only about 13 percent of applicants are admitted.

About 1,000 students (ranging in age from 18 years to over 80 years of age) are enrolled in the Eastman School’s Community Music School.


Alfred Klingenberg, a Norwegian pianist, was the school's first director. He was succeeded by composer Howard Hanson in 1924, who had an enormous impact on the development of the school, holding his post for four decades and continuing his involvement at Eastman after his retirement.


Eastman was named the "Hottest School for Music" in the US by the Kaplan/Newsweek "How to get into college" guide for 2008.[4] It has been ranked first among U.S. music schools by U.S. News & World Report for five consecutive years.[5]


Since the founding of the Eastman School of Music in 1921, the school has been directed by six men. Alfred Klingenberg served as the school’s first director from 1921 to 1923. After a one-year interim under Acting Director Raymond Wilson, the young American composer and conductor Howard Hanson was appointed director of the school in 1924. Dr. Hanson is credited for transforming the Eastman School into one of the most prestigious music conservatories in the world. Upon his retirement in 1964, after serving as director of the school for 40 years, Hanson was then succeeded by conductor Walter Hendl. Hendl served as director from 1964 to 1972, and was then succeeded by pianist and musicologist Robert Freeman who served from 1972 to 1996. Associate Director Daniel Patrylak served as the acting director from the time of Mr. Hendl’s resignation (May 1972) until Robert Freeman assumed the position in July 1973. Following the resignation of Robert Freeman in 1996, James Undercofler was then appointed Director and Dean of the Eastman School, and held that position until he resigned in 2006 to accept the position of C.E.O. and President of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jamal Rossi, an Eastman alumnus, was appointed Interim Dean of the Eastman School in April 2006. On May 21, 2007, composer/conductor Douglas Lowry, formerly the dean of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, was appointed Dean of the Eastman School, to begin serving on August 1, 2007 [1].

  • Alfred Klingenberg (Director, 1921–1923)
  • Raymond Wilson (Acting Director, 1923–1924)
  • Howard Hanson (Director, 1924–1964)
  • Walter Hendl (Director, 1964–1972)
  • Daniel Patrylak (Acting Director, 1972–1973)
  • Robert Freeman (Director, 1973–1996)
  • James Undercofler (Acting Director, 1996–1997; Director, 1997–2006)
  • Jamal Rossi (Acting Director, 2006–2007; Acting Dean, 2013)
  • Douglas Lowry (Dean, 2007–2013)
  • Jamal Rossi (Dean, 2013-)

Campus and facilities

The Eastman School occupies parts of five buildings in downtown Rochester, New York. The main hall includes the recently renovated 3,094-seat Eastman Theater, the 455-seat Kilbourn Hall, and offices for faculty.

The Eastman Theatre opened on September 2, 1922 as a center for music, dance, and silent film with orchestral and organ accompaniment. Today, the 3,094-seat theatre is the primary concert hall for the Eastman School's larger ensembles, including its orchestras, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, and chorale. Also, the Eastman Opera Theatre presents fully staged operatic productions in the theatre each spring. It also is the principal performance venue for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. A $5 million renovation of the theatre was completed in October 2004. The Theatre is located at 60 Gibbs Street, on the corner of Main and Gibbs Streets. Due to a $10 million donation by Eastman Kodak Inc. in April 2008, the Eastman Theatre was officially renamed "Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre" upon the renovation's completion in 2010.

The Sibley Music Library—the largest academic music library in North America[6]—is located across the street from the main hall. Hiram Watson Sibley founded the library in 1904 using the fortune he made as first president of Western Union. It moved to its current location in 1989, and occupies 45,000 square feet (4,000 m²) on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the Miller Center, formerly known as Eastman Place. The Sibley Music Library currently holds almost 750,000 items, ranging from 11th century codices to the latest compositions and recordings. Considered among its jewels are the original drafts of Debussy's impressionistic masterpiece, "La Mer".

The Student Living Center, which is located at 100 Gibbs Street, is the dormitory building of the Eastman School of Music. In 1991, the new building was opened at the corner of Main and Gibbs Streets, replacing the University Avenue dormitories built nearly 70 years earlier. It is a four-story quadrangle and 14-story tower surrounding a landscaped inner courtyard. The majority of students enrolled in the undergraduate program live on campus in this building.

Degrees offered

The school offers Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degrees, Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees, Master of Music (M.M.) degrees, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees, and Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degrees in many musical fields. The school also awards a "Performer's Certificate" or "Artist's Diploma" to students who demonstrate exceptionally outstanding performance ability. The Institute for Music Leadership, which was formed in 2001, offers a variety of diploma programs designed to educate and give students the skills and experience necessary to meet the demands of performance and education in today’s changing musical world.

Institute for Music Leadership

The Institute for Music Leadership (IML) is an integral part of the Eastman School of Music. Its role is to ensure that Eastman students, alumni and professional musicians obtain the broad education, specialized skills and diversified experiences they will need — along with their exceptional musicianship – to become the new generation of musical and cultural leaders. Recognizing the fundamental power of music and its importance in people's lives, the Institute for Music Leadership was created to actively engage musicians in new ways and challenge them to think more broadly about music, its role, and their role in society. It serves as a center for the creation and implementation of new ideas related to music leadership, for Eastman students, alumni, and practicing musicians at all stages of their careers. The goals of the IML reflect the expansion of Eastman's role as an innovator and a standard bearer in professional development. The IML consists of four distinct areas: Careers and Professional Development, Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program (ALP), Center for Music Innovation and Engagement (CMIE), The Orchestra Musician Forum (OMF) and its website Like an orchestra, these areas often work together simultaneously, but they also have projects and goals they work on individually.

The IML offers many online courses and speed lessons:

  • eTheory LIVE: Interactive Music Theory Classroom: From the basics of pitch, scales, rhythm and harmony to analysis of large symphonic works, eTheory LIVE is an online course designed to help students understand and master the basics of music theory. Taught by Dr. Steven Laitz, one of the world’s foremost music theorists, and assisted by teaching assistants at Eastman School of Music, this interactive course provides live feedback, help sessions, tutorials, and more. This course is completely online, and has manageable deadlines that allow students to work on assignments over the course of a week as their schedules allow.
  • eTheory: Graduate Music Theory Review: For a student entering graduate school, this music theory review course is the perfect tool to prepare for entrance exams. Graduate Music Theory Review serves as an aid to review undergraduate theory in preparation for graduate level placement exams and classes. This course allows a student to work at his own pace, with most finishing sometime between three and six weeks. Skills, exercises, and drills appear in order of relevance in the Western musical canon, and course materials range from basic music theory fundamentals and species counterpoint to 20th century topics. Eastman’s course is fully integrated, and includes: conceptual presentations and demonstrations, written and analytical exercises drawn from the literature, and skill development through singing, listening, and playing.
  • eTheory: Music Theory Fundamentals in 4 weeks: This innovative online music theory course prepares first-year music majors for music theory placement exams. In addition to the presentation of basic music theory concepts and terminology, eTheory includes over 200 sets of writing, playing, listening, singing, and conducting exercises. These lessons provide a smooth transition between high school and college-level academics. The course can be completed in four to six weeks. Students will gain the most from eTheory if they work on the program at least one hour daily.
  • Speed Lessons: These video lessons cover the standard orchestral repertoire for the instrument, and are taught by Eastman School of Music faculty members with demonstrations from their own students. Each teacher has years of orchestral experience; their in-depth insights into the music go far beyond the notes. They also give tips on what audition committees listen for, and what to watch out for. Whether a student's dream is to play in a professional orchestra, or if he simply wants to become more familiar with this music, Speed Lessons will help get the Eastman Advantage on the competition.

Notable teachers

Faculty and alumni

Eastman alumni include singer Renée Fleming, drummer Steve Gadd, author and journalist Michael Walsh, trumpeter Allen Vizzutti, principal bassoonist of the New York Philharmonic Judith Leclair, Canadian Brass co-founder Charles Daellenbach, scholar Horace Clarence Boyer, and composers Maria Schneider and Cardon V. Burnham.

Current faculty include musicians and pedagogues like the Ying Quartet, Katherine Ciesinski and Paul O'Dette.

See also


External links

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