Here are some select recent clippings 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.)
(Democrat & Chronicle 02/27/2016)
It’s not every day that a composer uses the words “bawdy,” “raw” and “unrefined” to describe her work.
But Stephanie Berg doesn’t seem like an everyday composer. And we’ll get to hear for ourselves: Her seven-minute work for full orchestra, Ravish and Mayhem, begins the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra program on March 3 and 5. Audiences will also hear Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) by Richard Strauss and pianist Vadym Kholodenko – gold medal winner of the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition – performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3.
Rochesterians should know Alarm Will Sound, the 20-piece chamber orchestra that germinated in the cultural petri dish of the Eastman School of Music in the late 1990s when a handful of students realized the dearth of options for performing new music for large ensembles. Now based in New York City, the group continues to champion music written from the latter half of the 20th century through today.
Name the greatest bass players in the history of jazz, and your list is likely to include the name of Ferndale native Ron Carter. This legend of jazz has been selected as the artist-in-residence at the 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival, which takes place at Hart Plaza and Campus Martius in downtown Detroit on Labor Day Weekend.
A graduate of Cass Tech High school in Detroit, Carter went on to get his bachelor’s degree at Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree in bass performance at Manhattan School of Music. (Also reported by Black Star News, The Macomb Daily)
A musician with more than 40 years professional performing experience will head the music department at Oklahoma State University beginning July 1.
The Board of Regents for OSU and the A&M Colleges on Friday approved the appointment of professor Howard Potter to head the music department. Potter currently is associate dean of the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music.
(The Michigan Daily 03/06/2016)
“We met at Eastman School of Music [at the University of Rochester],” JACK’s violinist Ari Steisfeld said in an interview with the Michigan Daily.
“Eastman, at the time we were there — and I don’t think it’s changed too much — had a really vibrant community of student performers performing contemporary music, and we were part of that community.”
Founding the ensemble in 2007, the initiators of the JACK Quartet — John Pickford Richards, Ari Streisfeld, Christopher Otto and Kevin McFarland (the quartet’s name is derived from the first letter of each of their names) — were brought together by a mutual enthusiasm for new music.
“There were just tons and tons of contemporary music concerts happening [at Eastman] … and it was just really exciting.” Streisfeld said. “Those concerts were actually probably the most well attended concerts at Eastman, by the students but even by people outside the school. There was just this incredible excitement about contemporary music.”
However, it wasn’t until the future quartet members graduated from college that they decided to form an ensemble together.
(Times Union (blog) 03/06/20/16)
There was a banjo-free palette cleanser in the middle of the first set when Washburn sang a soaring, solo a cappella version of “Bright Morning Stars” (after abandoning “Come All You Coal Miners” mid-song when she forgot the lyrics). And during the second half of the evening, young Eastman School of Music student Colleen Bernstein stepped out to play marimba, delving into the classical songbag for a masterful duet with Fleck on a bit of Bach. Who knew that the banjo and the marimba could make such beautiful music together?
(The Wall Street Journal © 03/03/2016)
Ben Wendel and Alfred Darlington began playing music together while at Santa Monica High School in the early 1990s, jamming as a jazz sax-and-bass duo in its auditorium or on the nearby Third Street Promenade in a combo that included Terrace Martin, a linchpin in today’s rich music scene here.
The two went on to study on opposite sides of the country—Mr. Wendel at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Mr. Darlington at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music—and traveled further apart when Mr. Wendel became a founding member of Kneebody, a jazz quintet with an edge, while Mr. Darlington morphed into Daedelus, an extraordinary experimenter in electronic music.
(Something Else! Reviews 03/03/2016)
Growing up in Rochester, I always had the Eastman School of Music not too far away and, in the trombone world, Eastman is one of the most legendary schools with a very famous trombone choir — a group of all trombonists, at least 16 members but usually more like 25 or 30. When I heard the sound of that group of trombonists, I was hooked. What an amazing instrument. The more of them you get together, the better it sounds!
NICK FINZER: I started my formal training sometime in sixth grade, taking trombone lessons with an area band director, which lead me to a few other Rochester area trombone teachers and ultimately to study with one of the trombone professors at Eastman (Mark Kellogg). As I mentioned, some of my first contact with Eastman was hearing the trombone choir as a middle school student. I then joined a community big band through Eastman’s pre-college division, which was focused on the music of Duke Ellington as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Essentially Ellington” festival. This changed my direction for good. I was hooked on Ellington, and that led me towards the direction my life has taken so far. I decided to attend Eastman for my undergraduate study based on a couple of factors: scholarship, my ability to work and develop on the scene there, and just not being ready to go to New York quite yet. Being at Eastman really prepared me to be able to work in a variety of musical settings, and set the standard of musicianship and expectations very high.
(The Lawrentian (subscription) 03/04/2016)
Truax joined the Lawrence Saxophone faculty this academic year.
Truax invited Associate Professor of Violin Samantha George, Instructor of Jazz Saxophone José Encarnacíon, Professor of Music Steven Jordheim, Associate Professor of Music Michael Mizrahi, junior Shasta Tresan and super senior Joe Connor in the performance of five different works. …
The first and last pieces, “Carolina Shout” and “Black Bottom Stomp,” were arranged by former Kimberly-Clark Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies and Improvisational Music Professor Fred Sturm, who passed in 2014. Sturm devoted 37 years of teaching to Lawrence University and Eastman School of Music, and left behind—in addition to his legacy—arrangements such as these.
Gerodias received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Vocal Literature from the famed Eastman School of Music, in New York; she holds a Professional Diploma in Operatic studies from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
(The Post Journal 02/27/2016)
Some of the most thrilling and emotionally evocative music in all of western culture is coming to Western New York in the very near future.
On March 9 at 7 p.m. in the King Concert Hall on the Fredonia campus, and again on March 11 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, at 1080 Main St. in Buffalo, the Buffalo Philharmonic, a small army of operatic soloists, the combined choirs of SUNY Fredonia and the Holy Trinity Church, and any number of musical specialists will join together to offer performances of the Johann Sebastian Bach ”St. Matthew Passion.”
Many local audiences may know Gray best as a tenor soloist, as he has often performed in that capacity in Fredonia State performances and in the Bach and Beyond Festival at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House. He has soloed with conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Christopher Hogwood, Martin Pearlman and many more.
He is, however, greatly experienced as a conductor as well, having studied with Donald Neuen at the Eastman School of Music, and toured France with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers and recorded with numerous record labels.
Gigantosaurus Rex to perform at Funk ‘n Waffles Downtown this Saturday.
(Syracuse New Times 03/04/2016)
The most interesting music is often the most difficult to define. Gigantosaurus Rex eludes genre labels and classifications, creating their own brand of groove-slash-electronic-slash-dub-slash-other. Hailing from Rochester, “G-Rex” has been together for nearly a year. …
Jefferson, 34, also contributes vocal samples and electronic grooves to their music. Outside of the band, he’s the director of the Rochester Contemporary School of Music, where he met keyboardist Andrew Links, a teacher at the school. Links, 22, is a senior at the Eastman School of Music studying jazz piano. Electric bassist Tyrone Allen, 20, is also a jazz student at Eastman, leaving no doubt about the talent of the group.
Halloran says he first got interested in the trombone in grade school. … After graduating from Webster in 2006, he furthered his studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, then relocated to New Orleans.
(Lansing State Journal 03/04/2016)
He held a doctorate from the Eastman School of music, had conducted the San Francisco Symphony, was the assistant conductor at the Austin …
(The Daily Times 03/01/2016)
Former Maryville resident Conner Covington recently led the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in a performance at Carnegie Hall.
Now a student/performer with the Curtis Institute of Music’s Curtis … before getting his master’s at Eastman School of Music at the University of …
(Quad-Cities Online 03/03/2016)
Bookended by two other well-known “theme and variations,” the new work by Augustana College faculty member Jacob Bancks is a bassoon concerto for Davenport native Mark Timmerman.
A Minnesota native who graduated from the Eastman School of Music, Dr. Bancks is assistant professor of music theory and composition at Augustana …
Hyperion String Quartet at MWPAI
(Utica Observer Dispatch 03/03/2016)
Considered one of our Albany-Capital Region’s cultural assets, the Hyperion Quartet – Amanda Brin and Jamecyn Morey, violins, William Hakim, viola, and Jonathan Brin, cello – was launched in 1999 when the founding members were undergraduates at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester.
(The Star Online 03/03/2016)
Methodist Pilley Institute (MPI) is organising a concert featuring renowned musicians in conjunction with its jubilee celebration. They include guitarist Prof Philip Hii and clarinetist Prof William Lipman, both from the United States.
Prof Lipman received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music and his Master of Music and doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music.
While at Eastman, Lipman was principal clarinet of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and the Eastman Musica Nova.
He has served as principal clarinet with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and co-principal clarinet with the Cape Town (South Africa) Symphony. Prof Lipman has also been a soloist with these orchestras as well as the Boston Pops Orchestra.
As a clarinetist and saxophonist, he has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic,
(Portland Press Herald 03/02/2016)
Katherine Lehman will begin her new job in Brunswick in mid-April.
She met with David and Philip Ying, who took over artistic direction of the festival from founder Lewis Kaplan last year, at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in New York, where they teach and where Lehman studied. The three established an easy rapport, and Lehman said she was impressed with the Yings’ approach to music and music education.
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