Young alumni tap their musical talents in fundraiser for next generation of music students

February 26, 2003

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

New York, NY — The far-reaching impact of an Eastman School of Music education and the relationships forged while at that school will play out musically on Saturday, March 22, at 2 p.m., when nearly a dozen Eastman alumni from the greater New York area bring their talents to Weill Recital Hall for a fundraising concert to benefit student scholarships at their alma mater.

Billed as “Eastman in New York” and organized by pianist Robert H. Smith, Jr. (MM ’98), this concert presents premieres by two alumni composers as well as performers in strings, piano, and voice, showcased in an impressive and varied selection of repertoire. Since receiving their degrees from Eastman within the past 10 years, these artists already are well-established performers with active careers literally spanning the globe and representing all areas of music performance. Appearing as recording artists, soloists, chamber musicians, and opera singers in major venues, many also are top prize-winners in the Cleveland, Kapell, Gina Bachauer, and Johann Sebastian Bach International Competitions.

The concert will feature the world premiere of Sonata-Fantasie No. 2 for Violin and Piano by Matthew Fuerst (BM ’99), and the New York premiere of three movements of Six Strokes for piano by Carter Pann (BM ’94). Fuerst’s works recently were performed at Alice Tully Hall, and in Scotland, Montreal and at the Sonoklect Contemporary Music Festival in Virginia. Pann was the recipient of five ASCAP awards and first prize in the Zoltan Kodaly and Francois d’Albert Concours International de Composition. He is already a frequently programmed composer by the London, Vancouver, Syracuse, Stockholm Radio, Polish Radio, and City of Birmingham Symphony, and the National Repertory Orchestra, among others. Pann’s Piano Concerto was recently released by Naxos, and his Clarinet Concerto — commissioned for Richard Stoltzman — will be recorded by the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz.

Additional repertoire on the “Eastman in New York” concert includes Bach’s French Overture in B minor, BWV 831, Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 52, Sofia Gudaibulina’s Chaconne, and one of the major pieces in the chamber music repertoire, Franck’s Piano Quintet in f minor.

“I am immensely proud of these talented alumni for using all of their Eastman skills — both in and out of the practice room — to mount such a first-rate concert,” said Eastman Director and Dean James Undercofler. “It is particularly gratifying to see these young people already interested in giving something back in order for future students to share in the rich Eastman experience.”

“This is really a celebration of pride in our common Eastman roots,” adds Smith. “It is with great affection for the faculty who played a part in our artistic formation, appreciation of the value of our Eastman years, and in gratitude for all who support the mission of the School, that these musicians are delighted to showcase Eastman in New York.” This is the second such concert of Eastman New York alumni. For more information on the Eastman School of Music, visit

Weill Recital Hall is located at 154 West 57th Street. General admission tickets for this event are $25; $20 for students with valid I.D. Tickets can be purchased at the Carnegie Hall box office, by calling CarnegieCharge, (212) 247-7800, or by visiting


N.B. Interviews and photos are available upon request.