The Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester looks forward to another full season in 2013–14. Highlights include the Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI) Festival 2013 in the fall; participation in the Rochester Fringe Festival; and guest star performances from tenor Nicholas Phan, pianist Leon Fleisher, and more, in the Kilbourn Concert Series and Eastman–Ranlet Series. The school’s distinguished faculty is showcased in the Eastman School of Music Faculty Artist Series and—in the case of Kristian Bezuidenhout—at New York’s Carnegie Hall (Feb 27). Eastman Opera Theatre returns with productions of Handel, Poulenc, and Jerry Bock, and the school’s celebrated ensembles—the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, Eastman Philharmonia, Eastman Wind Ensemble and Eastman–Rochester Chorus—offer performances throughout the season.
From September 26 to 29, Eastman presents the Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI)’s Festival 2013: “Spectrum of Sound: Aspects of Organ Music since 1940.” For the first time in EROI’s eleven-year history, the entire 2013 festival will be devoted to the organ music of the past century, with talks, workshops, master classes, and performances by world–renowned artists and scholars. To mark the 75th birthday of William Bolcom, whose honors include Musical America’s Composer of the Year, a Pulitzer, and multiple Grammy Awards, the venerable American composer’s music will be heard in recital, and he himself will offer master classes and a presentation on his organ music. The final round of the Westfield International Organ Competition will be held in Rochester on the penultimate day of the festival.
Eastman is also a leading participant in September’s First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. With more than 120 productions in and around downtown Rochester, the city’s first Fringe Festival in 2012 attracted over 32,000 attendees and drew rave reviews. Now the Fringe returns with twelve shows at the Eastman School of Music, including performances by the Eastman Jazz Band; faculty members David Temperley, Tony Caramia, and Michael Burritt; and Eastman alumnus Peter Ferry. Also as part of the Fringe Festival, Eastman hosts Saakumu Dance Troupe, one of the foremost exponents of traditional and contemporary Ghanaian music and dance, on September 24 (also part of the Barbara B. Smith World Music Series).
Eastman’s Kilbourn Hall, famed for its world-class acoustics, is the venue for Tuesday chamber evenings in the Kilbourn Concert Series. Spearheading this year’s series is the Tetzlaff Quartet—renowned for its “resonant, golden sound and near-perfect intonation” (Arts Desk, UK)—in works by Haydn, Bartók, and Beethoven on October 22. Other series highlights include Britten’s Serenade featuring tenor Nicholas Phan, “a major new Britten interpreter” (New York Times), on March 18, and chamber performances from the Schumann Trio (March 4), Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings (Oct 15), and Chicago Symphony Brass Quintet (Feb 11).
String quartet recitals have been a feature of life at Eastman since the Kilbourn Quartet’s first performances in 1922. Held on Sunday afternoons, the Eastman–Ranlet Series keeps the tradition alive with upcoming performances from the St. Lawrence String Quartet (Oct 6), Pacifica Quartet (March 2), and the school’s resident Ying Quartet, which will join legendary pianist Leon Fleisher for a rendition of Brahms’s Piano Quintet on February 23. According to American Public Media, “Fleisher has redefined the meaning of perfection,” and, as the Chicago Tribune observes, “At 83, he’s still got the musical chops.” A 2007 Kennedy Center honoree, the pianist will also give a pair of public master classes.
Eastman’s faculty boasts Guggenheim Fellows and Grammy and ASCAP Award winners among its members, and the Eastman School of Music Faculty Artist Series, sponsored by Patricia Ward-Baker, offers regular opportunities to hear them in performance. September 4 brings a recital of vocal music from two Eastman composers—David Liptak, winner of the George Enescu International Composition Competition, and Mexican-born Pulitzer Prize finalist Ricardo Zohn–Muldoon—by soprano and Eastman alumna Jamie Jordan, a contemporary specialist praised for her “alluring clarity” (New York Times). Also of special note, tenor and Eastman Professor of Voice Robert Swensen, first prize–winner in the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, presents music by composers of World War I on September 10. On October 13, Eastman will hold a memorial concert as a tribute to the late Distinguished Professor of Violin Zvi Zeitlin, internationally renowned for his interpretations of the works of contemporary composers.
Many Eastman faculty artists also perform on tour. In New York City, concertgoers will have the opportunity to hear Instructor of Historical Keyboards and nominee for 2013 Gramophone Artist of the Year Kristian Bezuidenhout, an Eastman graduate and “one of the foremost, and arguably the most brilliant of today’s fortepiano players” (The Times, UK), who returns to Carnegie Hall for a recital featuring works by Mozart and CPE Bach (Feb 27). Eastman’s Brad Lubman will lead his Ensemble Signal on three different occasions at Columbia’s Miller Theatre as part of its Composer Portraits series, starting on October 10 with a performance of music by Georg Friedrich Haas.
As in previous seasons, Eastman Opera Theatre will present a trio of new productions, with casts drawn from the school’s Voice and Opera program. In addition to Handel’s Serse (Jan 23–26) and Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites (April 3-6), the coming season will see a staging of She Loves Me, a musical by three–time Tony Award–winner Jerry Bock (Nov 7–10).
Rounding out the lineup for 2013–14 are a host of performances by the school’s renowned resident ensembles. The Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and Eastman Philharmonia launch the season with Janáček’s Sinfonietta (Sep 25); the Eastman Philharmonia undertakes Strauss’s Alpine Symphony (Nov 11); the Eastman-Rochester Chorus and Eastman School Symphony Orchestra join forces for Rouse’s Karolju (Dec 6); and the Eastman Wind Orchestra gives the world premiere performance on December 13 of a new work by Jennifer Bellor, who won a DownBeat Student Award just this past May. On September 21, Eastman begins a series of six concerts, three each semester, of Bach’s cantatas, performed by Eastman students with one musician to a part, as Bach performed them.
Full details of Eastman’s upcoming season are provided below, and more information is available at www.esm.rochester.edu.
* * * * *