John Celentano

John CelentanoJohn Celentano, distinguished professor emeritus of chamber music, received his bachelor’s degree with Performer’s Certificate from Eastman in 1937, and his master’s degree in 1941. He also studied in Milan and New York City. Born in Montreal in 1912, Mr. Celentano served in the United States Army and Air Force from 1942 to 1944. During the next two years, he studied violin with Raphael Bronstein in New York before joining the violin and chamber music faculty of Eastman in 1946. As a chamber musician, he has performed with Gabor Rejto, Andre de Ribaupierre, Luigi Silva, Francis Tursi, Joseph Mariano, Andor Toth, Arthur Loesser, Max Landow, and George Finckel. Mr. Celentano performed as a participating artist with the Cleveland Quartet during its residency at Eastman. He was founder and first violinist of the Modern Art String Quartet (1948-1953) and founder of the Festivals of Modern American Chamber Music at Woodstock, N.Y. He was second violinist of the Eastman String Quartet, which, during the Eisenhower presidency, became the first teaching ensemble to tour for the U.S. State Department. The quartet gave concerts, workshops, and lectures in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Mr. Celentano participated in the Alaskan June Music Festival as concertmaster, chamber musician, and soloist with conductor Robert Shaw in 1967, 1968 and 1969. He has been director of the chamber music department at Eastman and conductor of the Eastman Baroque Sinfonia. Well-known for his chamber music career, he also is a highly regarded orchestral musician, having served as concertmaster of the Eastman-Rochester Chamber Orchestra, Rochester’s Opera Under the Stars, and as associate concertmaster of the RPO for many years. Mr. Celentano also has been a performer-speaker at national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). His articles have appeared in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, theUniversity of Rochester ReviewASTA MagazineThe School MusicianThe Strad, and Orchestra News. From 1958 until 1964, he served as radio and TV commentator for the Evening at Eastman chamber music broadcast series. During the 1960s, he also narrated and performed in chamber music presentations on Rochester Area Educational Television. After his retirement and until his death in 2009, Mr. Celentano remained active in the Eastman community, coaching chamber groups.

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