William Eddins BM 83, MM 86

William Eddins couldn't wait to get started on his career in music. In fact, his graduation at age 18 from the Eastman School makes him one of the youngest students - if not the youngest - ever to graduate from this institution. He received his bachelor's degree in piano performance in 1983, and his master's degree in piano, also from Eastman, in 1986.


It was after a self-described "epiphany" while performing as a founding member of the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida, that Mr. Eddins decided to focus his career on conducting. He had first studied conducting with David Effron while at Eastman, and furthered his studies in conducting with Daniel Lewis at the University if Southern California. Eddins has traveled the world leading orchestras ever since.


On the staff of the Chicago Symphony since 1992, Mr. Eddins' other conducting engagements include the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Detroit, Baltimore, and Milwaukee; and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestra. Internationally, he has conducted in Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Canada, and Germany. In 1999, he was named resident conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, becoming the first conductor to hold this title in the orchestra's 110-year history. Last year, he received the prestigious Seaver/NEA Conducting Award, a triennial grant awarded to "exceptionally gifted young American conductors."


Mr. Eddins also gives to music in other ways. He performs regularly as a concert pianist and chamber musician. He is founder and artistic director of the Prospect Park Players, a chamber music series in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He also hosted the video, On the Day You Were Born, a work for narrator and orchestra based on a children's book. Since its release, it has sold more than 30,000 copies worldwide.


In recognition of his accomplishments and in anticipation of his future contributions to music, the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester is proud to honor William Eddins with this Alumni Achievement Award.


Rochester, New York

March 2, 2001