Come Together: Fifty Years of Abbey Road

September 10, 2019

More Information:
For Media Only: Jessica A. Kaufman (585-274-1057,

The Institute for Popular Music and Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester will be hosting the Abbey Road Symposium September 27 through September 29. The interdisciplinary symposium will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the worldwide release of the Beatles’ Abbey Road, with scholarly presentations, keynote addresses, poster sessions and other special events open to the public.

The Symposium will feature scholarship and commentary from the world’s foremost experts on the Beatles, including Eastman students and alumni. University affiliated speakers include Joan Saab, Susan B. Anthony Professor and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Robert Fink ‘88E (MA), and Bruce Pilato, Instructor in the College Music Department. Featured Eastman and UR affiliated students and alumni include Ivan Tan (current Ph.D. student), and Donald Traut ’02E (PhD).

Other featured speakers will include Ken Townsend MBE (engineer and General Manager at Abbey Road Studios), Andy Babiuk (author, Beatles Gear), Walter Everett (author, The Beatles as Musicians), Kenneth Womack (author, Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin), Nicole Biamonte, Mark Spicer, Katie Kapurch, Andrew Flory, and Victor Coelho.

“We’re delighted to be able to host some of the world’s foremost Beatles experts and scholars here at Eastman.” Says John Covach, Director of IPM, Music Professor at the University of Rochester, and Theory Professor at Eastman. “There’s no question that the Beatles’ music played an important role in popular music during the second half of the twentieth century, so it is critical that music scholars understand the band’s music and the cultural context in which it was made.”

“Hosting the Abbey Road Symposium is the latest in a long line of collaborative projects between the Eastman School of Music and the Institute for Popular Music.” Says Jamal Rossi, Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music. “The opportunity to delve deeply into some of the most universally-recognized music of the twentieth century is closely aligned with Eastman’s mission of melding artistry and scholarship.”

The conference will begin with registration and breakfast on Friday, September 27 at 8:00 a.m., with the conference welcome beginning at 8:50 a.m. The last session will conclude on Sunday, September 29 at 3:00 p.m. For a detailed program schedule, visit the Institute for Popular Music website

Regular and student registration includes admission to all conference sessions, keynotes, and After Hours, along with breakfast (continental) and lunch on all three days of the conference. A separate ticket for Saturday night’s special dinner at the Inn on Broadway must be purchased in addition to regular registration. A discounted rate is provided for students, as well as an early registration discount valid through September 9.  A special reduced-price registration will be available starting on September 15 for those participants who would like to attend only the Friday and Saturday evening keynotes and After-Hours sessions.

If you are interested in registering or want more information visit:


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About the University of Rochester

The University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading private research universities, one of only 62-member institutions in the Association of American Universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives undergraduates exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery. 

About Eastman School of Music:

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014.

More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy Award Winners, Guggenheim Fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community.

About the University of Rochester’s Institute for Popular Music

The Institute for Popular Music (IPM), launched in 2012, is dedicated to promoting the scholarly study of popular music, among both students and professional scholars, and at the University of Rochester and around the world. The UR IPM brings together an advisory board of the top experts in the academic study of popular music to help develop effective means of encouraging and facilitating the highest caliber of research work and teaching in a wide range of popular music repertories. The University of Rochester IPM strives to enrich the study of popular music at the University of Rochester while also working to support the best research work and teaching in the many fields that popular music touches, most especially musicology, music theory, music education, ethnomusicology, and performance.