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.)
Maria Schneider’s Classical Jazz: No boundaries; a daring composer defies categories
(The Economist 03/08/2014)
Ms Schneider stunned the classical music world in January, when her 2013 recording, “Winter Morning Walks”, won three Grammy Awards, including one for best contemporary classical composition.
After studying music at the University of Minnesota and the Eastman School of Music, she decided that band leading and composing were her calling. She moved to New York and became an assistant to Gil Evans, who had arranged music for some of Miles Davis’s recordings. At the same time, she was seeking ways to create her own voice and vision for an orchestra. “Evanescence” (1994) showcases her skill at writing gorgeous melodies for horns and shifting moody harmonies.
Eastman Opera Theatre embraces the unconventional
(Democrat & Chronicle 03/30/2014)
Following the success of his directorial debut with Eastman Opera Theatre in its fall production of the romantic musical She Loves Me, Stephen Carr returns with a new production of Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. The latest opera tells the tragic tale of 16 Carmelite nuns, who died at the guillotine during the French Revolution because they refused to disperse their order. The nuns were beatified by Pope Pius X, and their martyrdom has inspired several artists, including Poulenc.
Although most dramatic operas are love stories, “the issues that the story raises, the questions that it wants to tackle don’t necessarily require a conventional love story,” says Carr, the acting head of Eastman School of Music’s opera program.
Music Institute of Chicago to Celebrate 100th Anniversary of E.M. Skinner Organ with Nathan J. Laube, 5/17
(Broadway World © 03/26/2014)
A star among young classical musicians, Nathan J. Laube has quickly earned a place among the organ world’s elite performers. His brilliant playing and gracious demeanor have thrilled audiences and presenters across the United States and in Europe, and his creative programming of repertoire spanning five centuries, including his own virtuoso transcriptions of orchestral works, have earned high praise from critics and peers alike. In addition to his busy performing schedule, Laube is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of young organists, and in the fall of 2013, he joined the faculty at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York as assistant professor of organ.
CLASSICAL | ESM Women in Music Festival
(Rochester City Newspaper © 03/26/2014)
Already in its 10th year, the Women in Music Festival at the Eastman School of Music will fill the air with the sounds of female composers and performers through March 29. This year’s composer-in-residence is Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon, and her solo and chamber compositions will be featured in an “All-Higdon Concert” on Friday, March 28.
Concert marks a milestone
(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle © 03/23/2014)
Next Sunday will mark an incredible milestone for the Rochester Chamber Orchestra and music director David Fetler. The group, founded by Fetler, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Members of the orchestra’s board, including Ray Grosswirth, have done quite a bit of research and haven’t found anyone else in the United States who has led an orchestra for that long.
A retired faculty member and leader of multiple ensembles at the Eastman School of Music, Fetler himself learned from two of the most notable conductors of the 20th century.
Mark your calendar for music
(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle © 03/25/2014)
Other concerts this week:
Eastman Virtuosi, made up of Eastman School of Music faculty and top students, performs at 8 p.m. Saturday in Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Eastman School of Music piano professor Barry Snyder will perform works by Granados, Schubert, Hodkinson and Rachmaninoff at 3 p.m. next Sunday as part of the school’s Faculty Concert Series at Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Eastman student groups continue concerts this week as well, all free and in Kilbourn Hall: Wind Orchestra, 8 p.m. Monday; Chamber Percussion Ensemble, 8 p.m. Tuesday; Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m. Wednesday; Horn Choir, 8 p.m. Thursday; Brass Guild, 8 p.m. Friday.
Shawn Dunwoody makes a Rochester version of Happy
(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle © 03/22/2014)
Trapped in his house by Rochester’s March 12 snowstorm, Shawn Dunwoody decided he had no choice but to get happy. He logged onto Facebook and sent out a message. He would spend 72 hours documenting Happy Rochester, set to Pharrell Williams’ upbeat hit “Happy” from Despicable Me 2, and anyone who wanted to meet him downtown and dance for his video camera was welcome.
He tried different street corners. Main and Gibbs Street, and its population of Eastman School of Music students, proved fruitful. A few people who’d heard about the video tracked down Dunwoody at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, he said, shouting ” ‘Hey! You’re the Happy guy!’ “
Tahlequah High School Band sweeps NYC festival awards
(Tahlequah Daily News 03/25/2014)
Adjudicators for the event included Dr. Dariuz Terefenko, of the Eastman School of Music; Carl Stromen, composer, Long Island University; and Robert Mayes, of the University of Houston.
Violinist Reed Smith to Perform Concert
(Huntington Herald-Dispatch 03/28/2014)
The concert will feature violinist, Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith, who is professor of violin, viola and chamber music at Marshall University, according to a news release. She earned degrees in violin performance from the Yale University School of Music and the Eastman School of Music. Smith has appeared as a solo recitalist and chamber musician throughout the eastern United States and serves as concertmaster of the Huntington Symphony Orchestra.