Eastman School of Music Alumni Earn Grammy Nominations

UPDATED: January 10, 2014

December 16, 2013

Scott Healy, John Hollenbeck, Bob Ludwig, Maria Schneider, David Slonaker, Martha Cluver, and Eric Dudley—all graduates of the Eastman School of Music—are among the artists who received nominations in the 56th Annual Grammy Awards Competition. In addition, alumnus Ken Knappenberger is one of 10 finalists, chosen from more than 30,000 initial nominations, nominated for the first-ever Music Educators Award presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation.

Knappenberger, who teaches at Westfield Academy and Central School in Westfield, N.Y., received his master’s degree in music education at Eastman in 1989. The Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. This special award will have its inaugural presentation at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical Grammy Award during Grammy Week 2014.

Healy, who was awarded a bachelor’s degree in composition in 1982, was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition for “Koko on the Boulevard,” a track from the Scott Healy Ensemble’s recording Hudson City Suite on Hudson City Records. A composer and pianist, he has performed and recorded with such artists as Tony Bennett, B.B. King, Bruce Springsteen, and Christina Aguilera. Healy has written concert music for symphony orchestra, chamber groups, film scores, and for a wide variety of original jazz and modern music projects.

Hollenbeck was nominated for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists for “The Moon’s A Harsh Mistress” from the recording collection Songs I Like a Lot. At Eastman, Hollenbeck earned a bachelor’s degree in percussion in 1990 and a master’s in jazz composition in 1991. With three previous Grammy nominations, Hollenbeck was named Jazz Composer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association and Rising Star Arranger in DownBeat’s International Critics Poll, and won a 2010 ASCAP Jazz Vanguard Award.

Ludwig is up for four Grammys with five nominations. He was the mastering engineer for Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, up for Album of the Year; Get Lucky by Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams, nominated for Record of the Year; and Charlie Is My Darling – Ireland 1965 for the Rolling Stones in the Best Historical Album category. He is also competing against himself in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category as the mastering engineer for the albums Annie Up and Random Access Memories. The recipient of a Latin Grammy and three other Grammys, Ludwig received his bachelor’s in music education in 1966 and was awarded a master’s degree in trumpet in 2001. He has mastered countless Gold and Platinum records and won numerous TEC (Technical Excellence and Creativity) Awards. Ludwig worked at A&R Recording, Sterling Sound, and Masterdisk Corporation before opening up his own business, Gateway Mastering Studios, Inc., in 1993. He is up for Grammy certificates for 25 Grammy nominations for the firm’s clients.

Schneider, who earned her master’s degree at Eastman in 1985, was nominated for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for  the song cycle “Winter Morning Walks” from the ArtistsShare album Winter Morning Walks. The album, with all tracks composed by Schneider, also garnered a Best Classical Vocal Solo nomination for soprano Dawn Upshaw and a Best Engineered Album, Classical nomination for David Frost, Brian Losch, and Tim Martyn. Schneider previously received two Grammy awards: Best Instrumental Composition in 2007 for “Cerulean Skies,” from the album Sky Blue, and Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording in 2004 her album Concert in the Garden, the first Grammy Award-winning recording sold exclusively on the Internet.

The David Slonaker Big Band is up for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for the group’s recording Intrada on Origin Records. Slonaker is a film and TV orchestrator and composer who received his master’s degree in jazz and contemporary media at Eastman in 1980. His credits include the films Oz the Great and Powerful, Alice in Wonderland, and Spider-Man, and the television series JAG and Murder, She Wrote.  His compositions have been performed by Clark Terry, the Woody Herman and Count Basie Orchestras, and other soloists and bands.

Cluver and Dudley are members of the vocal group Roomful of Teeth, which was nominated for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. The group’s self-titled debut album also received nominations in the categories of Best Engineer for Classical Album and Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Caroline Shaw’s Partita for 8 Voices.  At Eastman, Cluver studied viola and earned her bachelor’s degree in 2003; Dudley received his bachelor’s degree in composition in 2001.

The Grammys will be awarded on Jan. 26, 2014, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.


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