The Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music provides students with instruction and experiences that prepare them for the increasingly evolving opportunities to write, produce, and perform music for film and contemporary media. Founded in 2016 by Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal (BM85) and vocalist Joan Beal (BM84), and under the direction of Mark Watters, Emmy Award winning composer and conductor, the program builds on the film legacy of the School’s founder, George Eastman.

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Educating the next generation of film composers at Eastman

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Mark Watters

Director, Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media
Associate Professor of Contemporary Media & Film Composition

Emmy Award-winning composer and conductor Mark Watters’ vast resume includes music for motion pictures, television, DVD, video games, and special events such as the Olympics. In addition to serving as director of the Beal Institute, Watters oversees Eastman’s newly established Master of Music degree in Contemporary Media/Film Composition and teaches graduate courses.

Go to Mark’s full Bio

Jeff Beal 2022


Jeff Beal

Founder, Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media
Distinguished Visiting Artist

Jeff Beal is a composer with a genre-defying musical fluidity. His film scores have received critical acclaim, while he remains a respected composer in the concert, theater, and dance worlds. Beal’s evocative score and theme for the Netflix drama House of Cards received four Emmy Award nominations, with wins for outstanding score, bringing Beal’s Emmy tally to nineteen nominations and five statues.

Beal’s other lauded series include HBO’s Carnivale and Rome. Film scores feature the documentaries Blackfish and Athlete A and dramas Pollock, Appaloosa, and the upcoming Raymond and Ray for Apple TV+. Beal’s orchestral works have been performed by the New World, Rochester, Pacific, Munich, New West, Minnesota, Detroit, and National symphony orchestras.

Jeff and Joan Beal donated $2 million to the creation of The Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media.

Go to Full Announcement of Eastman School of Music Appoints Jeff Beal (‘85E) as Distinguished Visiting Artist