Eastman’s string faculty helps students to prepare for modern, multifaceted professional careers as performers and/or teachers of chamber ensemble, orchestral, and solo repertory. The faculty comprises some of the string world’s most versatile musicians, respected as teachers and active as recitalists, soloists, and chamber musicians.
Undergraduate string students receive a thorough grounding in instrumental technique and repertory, and broad and continuous experience in performance. Teachers are continuously involved in the instruction, coaching, and performance of solo and orchestral repertory and chamber music, and students have numerous opportunities for intensive and directed exploration of the literature.
Orchestral string players spend four years in a full symphony orchestra–freshmen and sophomores in the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, upperclassmen and graduate students in the Eastman Philharmonia–where they rehearse and perform symphonic, choral, and operatic repertory.
Undergraduates also have two to four semesters of chamber music coaching and performance. String students also may perform in the Eastman Studio Orchestra, and in a variety of student-initiated performances.
Above all, Eastman string students are stimulated by hearing hundreds of concerts each year, performed by students, faculty, and visiting artists.
The string faculty schedules master classes in a variety of formats. Master classes at Eastman have been presented by Shmuel Ashkenazi, John Blake, Anner Bylsma, Dorothy DeLay, the Emerson Quartet, Mark Kaplan, Kim Kashkashian, Ani Kavafian, the Kronos Quartet, Laurence Lesser, Yo-Yo Ma, Yfrah Neaman, Itzhak Perlman, Stanley Ritchie, Arnold Steinhardt, Isaac Stern, Joseph Swensen, Karen Tuttle, and Pinchas Zukerman.
In addition to their work with a specific studio teacher, graduate string students may elect special courses in instrumental pedagogy, and orchestral repertory classes that emphasize the preparation of professional orchestral auditions.
Harp students follow the same string curriculum outlined here, and also take courses in harp technique, harp pedagogy, and harp chamber music.
Guitar students take extensive courses in guitar history and literature, fingerboard harmony, guitar pedagogy, and guitar chamber music, and participate in weekly studio classes. Recent guest guitarists include Manuel Barrueco, Raphaella Smits, Bruce Holzman, and Ricardo Cobo, among others.