Emelyn Bashour will graduate from the Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from the studio of Renée Jolles. She has held concertmaster and principal positions in the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, and Philharmonia. Emelyn performs frequently with multiple chamber ensembles; most recently, she gave the student premiere of Laszlo Varga’s sextet arrangement of Strauss’ Don Quixote.
During the summer, Emelyn has attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Meadowmount School of Music, Aspen Music Festival and School, and National Orchestral Institute and Festival, where she was concertmaster of the conductorless ensemble. Last summer she served as assistant concertmaster of the Opera in the Ozarks Orchestra, and this summer she will be attending Spoleto Festival USA and the Vermont Mozart Festival as well as performing with the Des Moines Metro Opera. During high school she attended the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, where she was assistant concertmaster of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and received the Eugene Lehner Award for excellence in chamber music upon graduation. Emelyn has previously studied with Lynn Chang, Naoko Tanaka, Jan Mark Sloman, and Linda Laderach, and has worked with artists such as William Preucil, Edward Dusinberre, Lina Yu, and Olga Kaler.
Emelyn will also graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Rochester. She was accepted into the Honors English program, for which her senior thesis was titled, The Theatre of the Mind: Theatrical Influences and Forms in Vladimir Nabokov’s “Invitation to a Beheading.” She is also an inductee to the honor society Phi Beta Kappa.
Emelyn is currently a substitute violinist with the New World Symphony. In the fall, she will begin pursuing her Master of Music in violin performance at University of Michigan in the studio of Aaron Berofsky.
Mario Bastea-Forte will graduate with a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance along with an Area Studies Concentration in German Studies. Originally from New Mexico, Mario began his undergraduate studies at the University of New Mexico with David Schepps and Joel Becktell before transferring to Eastman to study with Alan Harris. Mario began playing cello at age 11 and quickly developed a passion for the instrument. In 2012, Mario won first prize in the string division of the Jackie McGehee Young Artists’ Competition, and performed the first movement of the Lalo Cello Concerto in D Minor with the New Mexico Philharmonic.
While at Eastman, Mario has enjoyed learning and performing chamber music with his quartet. He has played in masterclasses and worked with many of today’s preeminent quartets, such as the Ying Quartet, Jupiter Quartet, Danish Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet, and the Shanghai Quartet. His quartet has participated in the Intensive Chamber Music class playing Prokofiev’s String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, and was featured in the Honors Chamber Music concert in the fall of 2017 playing Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major. This summer Mario will continue studying chamber music at Madeline Island as a member of the Fellowship Quartet Program.
In addition to the classics, Mario is also interested in performing new music. While at Eastman, he performed in composers’ concerts featuring student composers, as well as concerts with OSSIA, Eastman’s student-run new music organization. Some notable performances with OSSIA include Morton Feldman’s String Quartet and Orchestra (1970) with the JACK Quartet, Unsuk Chin’s Gougalon, and Jo Kondo’s Surface, Depth, and Colour (2009) with guidance from the composer.
After graduation, Mario hopes to play in an orchestra professionally. Mario has attended orchestra festivals in previous summers to gain experience as an orchestral cellist. He has served as principal cello of the Brevard Concert Orchestra and Brevard Sinfonia, as well as the Texas Festival Orchestra at the Round Top
Lydia Becker is an innovative violinist who is passionate about bridging the gap between modern violin and historical performance in order to build a vibrant audience relationship. Lydia strives to remain true to the historical context in all of her performances. As a result, she enjoys learning how to play in all styles on period instruments.
As a modern violinist, she performs in numerous festivals and concerts. In 2017, she worked alongside celebrated French composer François Rossé to premiere his work, Abends Ton at the Rencontres Musicales Internationales des Graves festival in Bordeaux, France. She has performed with both the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonia. In 2016, Lydia was selected to join the Philharmonia with guests Renée Fleming and Kevin Puts for a special performance at New York’s Lincoln Center. As an Eastman School of Music student, Lydia studies violin with Oleh Krysa and was honored with the undergraduate Presser Scholar award in Spring 2017.
In her work to establish herself as a baroque violinist, Lydia currently holds the position of first violinist of the Eastman Collegium Musicum where she works closely with Early Music Program faculty members Christel Thielmann and Paul O’Dette. A Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program fellow, Lydia received a grant in June 2017 to intern with Robert Mealy at the Boston Early Music Festival. She is also a member of Ensemble Perihipsous, a period orchestra based in Rochester, NY.
Having grown up in France with a strong bi-cultural upbringing, Lydia delights in meeting new people. In her free time, she enjoys swing dancing, eating chocolate, and playing card games with her family.
Max Berlin is an anticipated graduate (2019) of the Eastman School Music under the studio and mentorship of Bill Dobbins (composition) and Gary Versace (jazz piano). In addition to his Jazz and Contemporary Media degree, Max was awarded a fifth year of study by the University of Rochester’s E5 Program. This serves as a tuition-free fifth year in which selected students can focus on the development of an entrepreneurial idea or project. In his case, Max will be continuing to work with the Empire Film Music Ensemble (EFME) — a nonprofit organization dedicated to the live performance and production of film music. Formally serving as artistic director (2016-2018), Max will be transitioning to the position of head composer, where he will partner directly with independent filmmakers, produce original scores, and lead a team of composers.
As artistic director for EFME, Max has had the privilege to oversee large-scale concert operations and foster strong professional relationships with prominent film composers such as Jeff Beal and Mark Watters. He has regularly performed piano, synthesizer, and theremin with the ensemble, and has worked as staff composer/arranger since 2015. Most notably, Max arranged and conducted several suites of music from the Twilight Zone in a highly successful concert collaboration with Eastman: The Music Of Bernard Herrmann. In the fall of 2018, Max will contribute his score to the award-winning student film Stuck (directed by Whitney Walters) in an inaugural film music showcase with the Rochester Institute of Technology.
As a pianist and composer, Max has led three piano trios and regularly performs with professional ensembles spanning from jazz to world music. He has written for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Eastman Jazz Ensemble, and has scored several award-winning films from the Rochester Institute of Technology. This notably includes his score for the IndieFEST-winning short film Into the Microscope (directed by Colin Shepherd), which Max later arranged for symphony orchestra and conducted live-to-picture. Most recently, Max received an IMDb credit in 2017 for his work as contractor and guest composer on the award-winning web series Star Trek Continues. In his senior year at Eastman, Max has also delved into the commercial music industry, serving as a freelance arranger for large advertisement campaigns such as T-Mobile. Max is thrilled to be traveling to Los Angeles in summer of 2018 as an intern for Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions where he will be assisting and laying groundwork for a career in the film music industry.
Christian Birkness will graduate from Eastman this May with a Bachelor of Music in Music Theory, and will return to Eastman next fall to pursue a PhD in Music Theory. He is currently completing his senior thesis on the music of Percy Grainger.
Christian is a tubist in the studio of Don Harry, and a frequent collaborator with Tuba Mirum, Eastmanʼs euphonium and tuba ensemble. Tuba Mirum has performed one or more of his compositions and/or arrangements on each of their concerts for the past three years, and he looks forward to continuing to write for the ensemble.
Christian is also an avid student of the humanities, especially the German language and German poetry. He is a recipient of the 2018 Anne T. Cummins Prize for distinguished work in the humanities during his time at Eastman.
Anna Catherine Pardoe Dunlap
Anna Dunlap, student of Kathleen Bride, will graduate with a Bachelor of Music in Applied Music (harp) and a Performer’s Certificate. While at Eastman, she served as President of the Sigma Theta chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota and made her Kodak Theatre solo debut in 2015 performing Kevin Kaska’s Concerto for Harp and Orchestra with Eastman’s Graduate Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Peter Folliard.
Selected as the winner of the 2016 Grandjany Memorial Competition, Anna Dunlap performed at the American Harp Society National Conference in Atlanta, GA. She was selected as the winner of the 2015 Eastman School of Music Harp Concerto Competition and received the Robert Wayne Barlow Excellence in Harp Performance Award.
She performed with the Dave Rivello Ensemble in September 2017 for the premiere of “Worlds Collide,” a piece composed by Dave Rivello and Shawn Drogan featuring a multimedia production.
In the summer of 2016, Anna was a student at the Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) where she studied with and received chamber music coachings with Anneleen Lenaerts and Nancy Allen. While at AMFS, Anna performed with the Aspen Festival Orchestra under the direction of Hugh Wolff, Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra directed by Robert Spano, and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble under the direction of Donald Crockett. This summer she will be participating in the inaugural season of the Mostly Modern Festival directed by Victoria and Robert Paterson as well as studying with Caroline Lizotte at the Orford Music Academy.
In the fall, Anna will be pursuing a Master of Music in Harp Performance at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music as a student of Dr. Gillian Benet Sella.
Willa Finck is a violinist in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the fiddle teacher at the Eastman Community Music School. In the summer of 2018 she will be participating in the Fellowship String Quartet Program at Madeline Island Chamber Music. She is also a founding member of the folk band Copper Hill, and has made appearances with several other folk groups in Rochester, NY. Willa will graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in May 2018. While at Eastman she studied with Mikhail Kopelman, the long-time first violinist of the Borodin Quartet. Along with her performance degree, Willa pursued a Musical Arts Major with a focus on American vernacular music, specifically the Old-Time genre.
During her time at Eastman Willa was invited to perform with faculty members Steven Doane, Rosemary Elliot, Masumi Per Rostad, visiting faculty member Olga Kaler, and her own teacher, Mikhail Kopelman. These performances included the Glazunov Cello Quintet in January of 2016 and the Brahms Viola Quintet Op. 111 in March of 2018. Willa served as concertmaster in both the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonia, starting both positions in her sophomore year. In 2016 she won the Eastman School Violin Concerto Competition, which led to her performance as soloist with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Willa has also performed as a soloist with the North Carolina Symphony and the Asheville Symphony, as well as the Empire Film Music Ensemble. On several occasions her string quartet was selected to perform in the Honors Chamber Recital.
Soprano Galen Otten, from Boulder, CO, will graduate from the Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the studio of Kathryn Cowdrick. In the winter of 2017 she played Krysia in Eastman Opera Theater’s intimate production of Jake Heggie’s new work Out of Darkness, an opera telling the stories of two Holocaust survivors. The cast was very lucky to be able to work personally with the composer, Jake Heggie, and the librettist, Gene Scheer, when they were in residence at Eastman for a week in January, 2017. Galen was then seen the following fall with the Eastman Opera Theater as Drusilla in L’incoronazione di Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi. Again, the cast was very fortunate to work with another renowned musician Paul O’Dette as music director.
Galen has spent the past two summers studying language and music abroad in Italy and Germany. In the summer of 2016 she spent six weeks in the small town of Urbania, Italy, in the program “Si parla, si canta,” directed by Maestro Benton Hess. Here she studied the Italian language and Italian opera scenes and songs with renowned artists such as Håkan Hagegård, Mira Zakai, Nicole Cabell, Chris Merritt, Federico Sacchi, and Enza Ferrari, among others. The following summer she spent two weeks in Berlin and two in Freiburg, Germany, studying German with the Swiss language program Alpadia.
At the end of May, Galen will compete in the Classical Singer Competition that will be held in Boston. In the fall she plans to apply to graduate programs for Vocal and Opera Performance, and will continue her language studies in French, German, and Italian at the Boston Language Institute.
Music educator and euphoniumist Cynsy Plant has always had a deep passion for music and music education. Cynsy recently completed student teaching in West Irondequoit, NY, where she assisted with the Dake Junior High School seventh grade band and jazz band, the Irondequoit High School Wind Ensemble, and offered small-group lessons for all three ensembles. In her spare time, she currently teaches private lessons on euphonium and trombone, as well as Early Childhood music classes through the Eastman Community Music School. Her goal in teaching is to inspire young musicians to express themselves on their instruments and to understand music in a comprehensive way, not only through performance, but also through composition and improvisation.
Cynsy is graduating from Eastman with majors in Euphonium Performance and Music Education. At Eastman, she regularly performed with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Tuba Mirum, Trombone Choir, and Upstate Brass Band, and, in recognition of her performance abilities, Cynsy is being awarded a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman faculty. Cynsy is also receiving an Arts Leadership Certificate for her work in the Institute for Music Leadership. This semester, she completed internships with both the University Health Service and the ROCmusic Collaborative, a local non-profit arts organization. To complement her musical studies, Cynsy has pursued a dual degree in the College of the University of Rochester, and will also graduate this year with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with a Chinese minor. Because of her achievement in her Chinese studies, Cynsy spent the summer of 2017 studying abroad in Taiwan on a scholarship from the Taiwanese government.
Next year, Cynsy will be pursuing her dream to spread her love of music by becoming a public school band director. She is applying for jobs both in the local upstate New York area and in mainland China.
Ivan Suminski is a graduating dual-degree student at the Eastman School of Music and the College of the University of Rochester, majoring in Applied Music (Violin) and Mechanical Engineering. A student of Federico Agostini, Ivan’s former teachers include Laura Speck-Camacho, Annie Chalex-Boyle, and Susan Raguse. At Eastman, Ivan has performed with both the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra, sitting concertmaster for performances of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and Strauss’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme. An avid chamber musician, Ivan has participated in chamber music for all but one semester of his undergraduate career, and his current quartet was awarded a place on the honors chamber music recital in the fall of 2017 where they played Ravel’s String Quartet in F. Ivan will graduate with a Performer’s Certificate and will continue his studies with Aaron Berofsky at the University of Michigan in the fall.
At the University of Rochester’s Hajim School of Engineering, Ivan’s academic performance and involvement with Eastman made him an eligible recipient of the Robert L. Wells Prize in the fall of 2017. He was recently inducted into the Tau Beta Pi engineering honors society, and will be inducted into both the Order of the Engineer and Phi Beta Kappa during commencement weekend. Beyond academics, Ivan was involved with the Catholic Newman organization and the University of Rochester Bowling Club. Ivan thanks his family for getting him started with music, particularly his mother Elizabeth and brother Nicholas, with whom he plays piano trios when at home, as well as his grandfather John for inspiring him to study engineering. When he isn’t studying or practicing, Ivan enjoys outdoor activities such as swimming, small boat sailing, bicycling, and cross country skiing.
A native of San Francisco, California, Daniel Chang is an organ Master’s degree candidate in the studio of David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music. He began his music studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory Department where he studied composition with Michael Kaulkin and piano with June Choi Oh. He continued his education at the San Francisco Conservatory for a B.M.A. in composition with David Conte and studied piano with Alla Gladysheva.
At Eastman, Daniel was recently awarded the Gerald Barnes Organ Prize for Excellence in Pipe Organ. He was one of 9 semi-finalists in the 2018 National Young Artist Competition in Organ Performance of the American Guild of Organists. Daniel works in the community as an organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Canandaigua, NY.
A native of Traverse City, MI, David Keep is a PhD candidate in music theory at Eastman. He holds a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, as well as a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. He also attended the Interlochen Arts Academy prior to his undergraduate studies.
As a theorist, David’s research interests center around Brahms and musical meaning. His dissertation was recently awarded the Raymond N. Ball Dissertation Fellowship by the University of Rochester. David has presented papers at the Music Theory Society of New York State (2017, 2018) and the Texas Society for Music Theory (2018), where he won the Colvin Award for the best paper by a graduate student. Recently David contributed a chapter on Brahms and virtuosity to a collection of essays entitled Liszt and Virtuosity, forthcoming from University of Rochester Press.
As a pianist, David has won prizes in the Miroslav Pansky Memorial Concerto Competition, Wisconsin Public Radio’s Neale-Silva Young Artists Competition, the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition, and the Music Teachers National Association Young Artists Competition. He is currently engaged in a performance cycle of the complete works of Brahms written for solo piano.
As a pedagogue, David has taught music theory in Eastman’s undergraduate curriculum for four years, and has learned a lot from his students. David would like to thank all of his professors at Eastman, especially Jonathan Dunsby and Vincent Lenti, for their unwavering support and encouragement.
Eric Michael Laprade
A dedicated and passionate conductor, educator, and arts leader, Eric Laprade is the Visiting Director of Wind Ensembles at the University of Utah. In August 2018, he will assume the position of Director of Band and Assistant Professor at The College of New Jersey. Additionally, he serves as the Music Director of South Shore Conservatory’s Summer Music Festival in Hingham, MA.
Eric is a candidate for the Doctorate of Musical Arts in conducting at the Eastman School of Music, where he is a Frederick Fennell Conducting Fellow and Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Fellow. He has served as assistant conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Eastman Harmonie, and associate conductor of the Eastman Wind Orchestra. He served as assistant conductor on international tours to Europe and Canada, was an assistant producer on multiple recording projects, and served as a research assistant for the Institute for Music Leadership.
From 2008–2013, Eric was a music educator for the Randolph, MA public schools, where he served as the K–12 Music Department Chairperson. During his tenure he was named one of “40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders” by the South Shore Stars organization.
Eric holds a Master of Music degree in wind conducting from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Music degree in tuba performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music, where he was also the recipient of the Performer’s Certificate. He has studied conducting with Mark Davis Scatterday, Michael Haithcock, and Malcolm W. Rowell, Jr.
Ryan McKenna received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Ithaca College, with an emphasis on instrumental music education. His primary instruments were piano and trumpet. He studied in the studio of Phiroze Mehta and also studied piano abroad for one semester in London with Karl Lutchmayer at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
After graduating from Ithaca, Ryan worked as a K-5 General Music teacher at Westside Elementary and as a Middle School Band director at Clewiston Middle in south Florida. As the Band Director for Clewiston Middle School, he helped reinvigorate a struggling band program. The band became more involved in the community through performances at local festivals, parades and sporting events. Under his direction, students participated in the state solo competition for the first time in several years with great success.
Ryan is graduating with a Master of Arts in Music Theory Pedagogy and an Advanced Certificate in the Art of Improvisation. His Master’s thesis focused on incorporating improvisation into the undergraduate music theory curriculum. During his time at Eastman, he has taught Aural Skills and Tonal Analysis to undergraduate students and developed a handbook of improvisatory activities to be used by music theory instructors. Ryan gave a lecture recital on “Variation Techniques in Improvised Styles” in February, 2018 where he analyzed and performed stride piano, jazz, and South African mbira music.
Judith Prenzlow, mezzo-soprano, is a candidate for the Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music. As passionate about education as she is about performance, Judith holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music-Education from Oklahoma State University, where she was recognized as a Presser Scholar and graduated summa cum laude in 2016.
Studying under the guidance of Professor Katherine Ciesinski, Judith has enjoyed many performance opportunities during her time in Rochester. She has appeared as a concert soloist with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, the Voices chamber ensemble, Collegium Musicum, and the Rochester Oratorio Society, performing in works including Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Durufle’s Requiem. In March 2017, she sang in the premiere of Lori Laitman’s work for vocal ensemble, “Are Women People?” She has also performed in several Eastman Opera Theater productions, including Massenet’s Cendrillon and Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea. Most recently, she portrayed the role of Agathe in Philip Glass’s chamber opera Les Enfants Terribles. During her time at Oklahoma State University, Judith had the pleasure of performing the roles of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro and Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto.
In the summer of 2017, Judith fell in love with Chicago while performing in Robert Ward’s opera The Crucible with Chicago Summer Opera. She looks forward to pursuing her career there upon her graduation from the Eastman School.
Having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Princeton University and Master of Music in Composition from University of Oregon, where she was named Outstanding Graduate Scholar, Diana Rosenblum is pursuing a PhD in Composition at Eastman, where she holds a prestigious Sproull Fellowship and is a student of David Liptak, having also studied with Robert Morris and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. At Oregon, she studied with Robert Kyr and David Crumb. Diana has been recognized for academic achievement via Imagination Fund and Samuel Adler Scholarship, and was awarded the Wayne Brewster Barlow Prize in both 2018 (for full-orchestral work, Gordian Knot) and 2017 (for octet Myrioriama, commissioned by OSSIA), as well as the Anthony and Carolyn Donato Prize in 2016. A finalist for the Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2016-17), Diana enjoys her responsibilities as TA, educating both non-majors and Eastman’s freshman class of 2020 composition majors, in collaboration with Professor Sanchez-Gutierrez.
Recent compositions include: Antiphony for double septet (premiere pending); Bagatelles (Pierrot quintet) for Eastman Broadband Ensemble, premiered July 2017 in Maccagno; Strophes & Hijinx (violin, marimba) for Duologue, with upcoming premiere in Toronto. Diana’s setting of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 60, Like as the Waves, one of 3 winners in Oxingale Music’s 2014 Composition Competition, is published by Oxingale and has been performed throughout the UK and northeastern U.S. by Voice and cellist Matt Haimovitz. Extra-musically, Diana has been recognized for talent in writing by the National Council of Teachers of English and by the Princeton Creative Writing department, which granted her the Sophomore Award for Outstanding Poetry while she studied under Paul Muldoon.
Cora Swenson Lee
Praised by the San Francisco Classical Voice for playing “with maturity and panache,” Cora Swenson Lee is an active cellist and baroque cellist. Her most influential teachers have been Eastman School of Music professor Alan Harris, Chicago Symphony member Richard Hirschl, and long-time cellist of the renowned Vermeer Quartet, Marc Johnson. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance with highest distinction from the Eastman School of Music (2010) and a Master of Music in Cello Performance from Boston University College of Fine Arts (2012). She is nearing completion of her DMA in Cello Performance at Eastman.
A passionate educator, Cora is on the faculty of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, and the Eastman Cello Institute. She is an adjunct lecturer at Nazareth College and was a teaching assistant for Alan Harris at the Eastman School of Music from 2015-2018. While living in the Boston area, Cora served as a performer, teacher, and ambassador for musiConnects — a non-profit organization that brings high quality music and music education to two Boston Public Schools that are underserved in the arts. During her time as cellist of the Boston Public Quartet, she was part of the Celebrity Series of Boston initiative Artists in Community.
Cora’s early music ensemble, Trio Speranza, concertizes around the United States each season, and in 2014 won the Presentation Prize at Early Music America’s Baroque Performance Competition. She has performed as a member of Boston Baroque and as a substitute cellist for the Handel and Haydn Society and the New World Symphony. She also appears frequently with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
Distinguished Professor of Violoncello Alan Harris will retire on June 30, 2018, after 30 years of full-time service to the University of Rochester at the Eastman School of Music. In addition, he was part-time Visiting Professor of Violoncello during 1986-87 and 1994-98.
Professor Harris received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of Music degree with a Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University prior to embarking on a remarkable career blended as teacher, coach, and artist.
Alan served on the faculties of the Inter-American University, Puerto Rico (1960-61) and Ohio Wesleyan University (1961-65) before his initial Eastman School of Music faculty appointment (1965-76). In 1976, he resigned his ESM position to accept his initial Cleveland Institute of Music faculty appointment (1976-84) followed by a brief Northwestern University faculty appointment (1984-87). He was then reappointed at the Cleveland Institute of Music as Kulas Professor of Music, Fynette H. Kulas Professor of Cello, Chair of the String Department, Coordinator of String and Chamber Music, and music director of the Cleveland Chamber Music Seminar (1987-99). His Eastman School of Music retirement follows his most recent appointment as Distinguished Professor of Violoncello (1999-2018), which also included highly productive service as the String Department Chair (2000-03) and Co-chair (2009-13).
Mr. Harris has been one of the foremost teachers of cello in the U.S. since 1959, using a kinesthetically-oriented pedagogy with a refined and sophisticated sense of style and artistry. In addition to his collegiate teaching appointments, Alan was also a member of the Aspen Music Festival and School artist faculty (1974-2013). His students have remained his first priority and many former students occupy prestigious positions throughout the world.
Alan’s career has also included an active life as an artist-performer. He served as principal cellist of the Rochester Chamber Orchestra (1966-72) and the Eastman Chamber Orchestra (1965-68), and as assistant principal cellist of the Rochester Philharmonic (1965-69). As a recitalist and chamber musician with a refined and sophisticated sense of style, artistry, and musicianship, he has played many solo engagements with symphony orchestras and performed and recorded together with internationally renowned chamber groups. In addition, he has conducted numerous solo and chamber music classes and served as a panelist and lecturer.
Professor Harris’ awards and honors include Indiana University’s Eva Janzer Memorial Award for universal contributions to the art and teaching of cello playing (2004) and the Eastman School of Music’s Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching (2006-07).