Here are some select clippings from the past week showing the variety of hits/mentions identifying musicians and scholars as Eastman School of Music alumni, faculty or students. Note: Some links may have expired.)
Rogue Valley Symphony showcases Christopher Theofanidis
(Ashland Daily Tidings 1/14/16)
Theofanidis, born in 1967 in Texas, is a professor of composition at Yale University’s School of Music. He holds a bachelor’s in music from University of Houston, a master’s from Eastman School of Music and a doctorate from Yale. His music is performed by orchestras and philharmonics that number in the dozens.
(Broadway World 1/12/16)
ANNIE has a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards for their work. Choreography is by Liza Gennaro, who incorporates selections from her father Peter Gennaro’s 1977 Tony Award-winning choreography.
CHARLES STROUSE (Music) A graduate of New York’s P.S. 87, Townsend Harris H.S., and the Eastman School of Music, Charles has studied composition with Aaron Copland, Arthur Berger, and David Diamond in the US and Nadia Boulanger in Paris.
(KU Today 1/13/16)
University Distinguished Professor of Voice Joyce Castle will direct and sing in the one-act opera “Strawberry Fields” for her distinguished professor inaugural “lecture” at 6 p.m. Jan. 21 in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre of Murphy Hall. –
Castle, who joined the KU School of Music in 2001, is a KU graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree as well as a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, where she earned a master’s of music degree. She was named a university distinguished professor at KU in 2014.
Eastman School of Music to present ‘Underground Railroad’
(Penfield Post 1/15/16)
The Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St., will present “Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey” at 8 p.m. Jan. 30 at Kodak Hall.
The program features five-time Grammy Award-winning soprano Kathleen Battle and her longtime collaborator, jazz pianist Joel Martin. The concert, which is part of the Eastman Presents concert series and a kickoff to Black History Month, will feature traditional slave spirituals, with narration based on selected writings of abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass interspersed between songs.
(Holland Sentinel 1/13/16)
A trumpeter, Byron Stripling is the artistic director of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, a leader of his own quartet and frequently performs with pops orchestras around the world. Stripling grew up listening to the music of Louis Armstrong, and today his vocals and words are reminiscent of the jazz icon, with his own flair. A graduate from the Eastman School of Music, he was featured as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra following his studies, and later toured and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and many more
This week in Kansas City: Russian National Ballet Theatre’s ‘Cinderella,’ Mid-America RV Show, Jay McShann’s Centennial Birthday Bash, ‘Pontypool’ at the Living Room
(Kansas City Star 1/13/16)
Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Folly Theater
Before the Ying Quartet became an internationally renowned ensemble, the classical string quartet spent two years in Jesup, Iowa. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., the four siblings accepted a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to relocate to the tiny town in central Iowa. The Ying Quartet has since toured the world and recorded several albums, one of which won a Grammy Award. Timothy Ying left the group in 2009. Violinist Robin Scott, a recent addition to the ensemble, will perform an eclectic program with his new colleagues on Saturday. Erwin Schulhoff’s Five Pieces for String Quartet and Leoš Janáček’s “Kreutzer Sonata” were composed in 1923. A reading of Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 7 will follow an intermission.
Trumpeter James Thompson joins Erie Chamber Orchestra on Saturday
(Erie Times News © 01/14/2016)
Everybody knows the names of the immortal instrumental virtuosi of the 19th century, pianist Franz Liszt and the demonic violinist Niccolò Paganini among them. But who today remembers Bohumir Kryl? James Thompson does. Thompson, a professor of trumpet at the Eastman School of Music and the longtime principal trumpet in Robert Shaw’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, will be the soloist as the Erie Chamber Orchestra begins the 2016 portion of its season Saturday evening. Thompson will play Kryl’s “Josephine Waltz,” once a calling card for the millionaire composer, bandleader, financier and art collector who was once called “the Caruso of the cornet” for his ability to hold high notes for an impossibly long time. (Related story reported by Erie Times News)
The performers for the concerts are Weiser, on piano; Katie Otwell, violin; and Franklin Keel, cello. Otwell lives in Atlanta and has been concert master with the Georgia Philharmonic. She has also played with the Atlanta Ballet Symphony and Atlanta Pops and is the principal second violinist of the Asheville Symphony.
Keel is a favorite in the Asheville area, having grown up here and returned after his time at Eastman School of Music to become associate principal cellist of the Asheville Symphony and co-founder of the Opal String Quartet. Weiser has performed in 15 countries including Egypt, Thailand, France, and Syria. He has a doctorate in piano from the Peabody Conservatory.
(Faribault County Register 1/12/16)
Howard Olsen, BE’s Music Man, celebrates his 100th birthday. In 1934 he started attending Dakota Wesleyan University, but by his junior year, his professor insisted that with his musical talent, Olsen needed to finish college at the famous Eastman School of Music in New York.
David Bowie: Master of reinvention (CNN © 01/11/2016)
By John Covach Editor’s Note: John Covach is director of the University of Rochester’s Institute for Popular Music and professor of music at both Rochester and the Eastman School of Music. He is the author of “What’s That Sound? An Introduction to Rock and Its History” and maintains an active career as a performing and recording musician. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. Music historians will remember David Bowie as among the first rockers to introduce theatricality to rock performance. He was not alone in doing this in the early 1970s; Alice Cooper and Peter Gabriel were also donning makeup and costumes as a part of the live act, and Jim Morrison and even Screaming Lord Sutch had adopted stage personas in the 1960s, not to mention Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Bowie devised the distinctive character of Ziggy Stardust from a combination of “A Clockwork Orange” and Kabuki theater. Bowie’s 1972 album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust,” presented the character, which the singer then portrayed live and often maintained the persona even in interviews. The important difference in Bowie’s approach was that most new albums often brought with them a fresh persona — and also a change of musical style as well. The key to Bowie’s ultimately long-lived career success were these changes. (Also reported by KBZK Bozeman News)
(Hartford Courant 1/12/16)
Finzer’s most recent album, “The Chase,” collected pieces composed after he’d moved to New York City from Rochester, N.Y., where he attended the Eastman School of Music and had completed studies at Juilliard. His first record, “Exposition,” came out in 2013.
(Mountain Xpress (blog) 1/12/16)
The performers for this concert are Katie Otwell, violin; Franklin Keel, cello; and Daniel Weiser, piano and Artistic Director. Katie Otwell, violin, lives in Atlanta and has been concert master with the Georgia Philharmonic. She has also played with the Atlanta Ballet Symphony, Atlanta Pops, and is the principal second violinist of the Asheville Symphony. Franklin Keel, cello, is a favorite in the Asheville area, having grown up here and returned after his time at Eastman School of Music to become Associate Principal Cellist of the Asheville Symphony and co-founder of the Opal String Quartet. Daniel Weiser, piano, is the founder and Artistic Director of AmiciMusic. He has performed in fifteen countries around the world, including Egypt, Thailand, France, and Syria. He has a Doctorate in Piano from the Peabody Conservatory.
(The Desert Sun 1/11/16)
Mark Austin has been named the new music director of the Sandblaster Chorus barbershop choral group in the Coachella Valley. Austin is the current director of the 16 voice ensemble Vocal Harmonics, and conducting associate for Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. Austin holds a bachelor of music degree in music education from the University of Maine, a master of music in choral conducting from the New England Conservatory in Boston and a doctoral level study in voice and choral conducting at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.
Hochstein School of Music and Dance to hold concert, wine tasting
(Fairport-E.Rochester Post 1/11/16)
This concert features one-time-only collaborations of Eastman School faculty and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra members including Juliana Athayde and Thomas Rodgers, violin; Phillip Ying and Marc Anderson, viola; Steven Doane, cello; and Chiao-Wen Cheng, piano.
New East End Arts Band Brings Together Beginning Musicians Over 50
(East End Beacon 1/11/16)
New Horizons Band program was founded 25 years ago by Professor Roy Ernst, the Music Education Department Chair at Eastman School of Music. There are now more than 215 New Horizons bands on three continents, dedicated to helping adults learn new skills and play concert band music in an ensemble of life-long learners.
(The Columbia Star 1/15/16)
John Jenrette Law school and work in the Senate were not the only … Sally Jordan, the classical pianist from Greensboro who had begun dating Jenrette after he got out of the Army, had made a fateful decision in 1959. That autumn, instead of following her head and her parents’ wishes and enrolling on graduate scholarship at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Sally followed her heart and moved to Columbia. She took a job teaching music at Columbia College, while sharing a two-bedroom garage apartment with a roommate. The apartment was located next door to the house where Jenrette rented quarters from Tuck Rion.