Of the more than 800 performances presented each year by the Eastman School, many are by Eastman’s student ensembles. Membership in large ensembles is critical to professional development and is a required part of the undergraduate curriculum.
Undergraduate instrumentalists progress from the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and Wind Orchestra to the Philharmonia, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, and Musica Nova. Voice students begin their training with the Repertory Singers (approximately 60-70 members) and Eastman-Rochester Chorus (175 members), and then proceed into the Eastman Chorale (35-40 members) and Eastman Opera Theatre programs.
The members of Eastman’s conducting faculty have worldwide reputations and are in frequent demand for appearances all over the United States and the world: in tours with Eastman ensembles, as guest conductors, in master classes and residencies. Themselves the students of great teachers, our conducting faculty enthusiastically pass on to their own students a wealth of musical scholarship and practical performing experience. All conducting students are given frequent opportunities to conduct Eastman and community ensembles.
The opportunity to rehearse and perform with important guest conductors and composers is one of the advantages of an Eastman education. Recent guests have included Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, John Williams, H. Robert Reynolds, Steve Reich, John Adams, Augusta Read Thomas, Kryzstof Penderecki, Craig Hella Johnson, Rosephanye Powell, George Lewis, Hilda Paredes, Louis Andriessen, Chaya Czernowin, André Previn, Donald Hunsberger, Jerry Junkin, and Karel Husa.
Many acclaimed soloists have performed with Eastman ensembles including: Renee Fleming, Itzhak Perlman, Wynton Marsalis, Jim Pugh, Alan Vizzutti, Bela Fleck, Anthony Dean Griffey, Malcolm J. Merriweather, Kate Soper, Irvine Arditti, Tony Arnold, Peter Serkin, Stephen Williamson Katherine Lewek, Canadian Brass, and others.