Eastman School of Music Centennial Celebration Boasts More than 40 Commissions and 14 Fanfares

July 8, 2021

Media only:  Jessica Kaufman, Director of Communications,

(585)278-4743,  jkaufman@esm.rochester.edu

Katey Padden, Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator,

(585)451-8492,  kpadden@esm.rochester.edu


The Eastman School of Music, of the University of Rochester, officially begins its Centennial Celebration July 1, 2021. Their 100 years of history and 18-month-long celebration will include more than 50 new compositions, world premieres, and centennial fanfares written specifically for Eastman’s ensembles, Eastman’s illustrious faculty, and more.

A “Who’s Who” of Outstanding Composers

The incredible “Who’s Who” list of composers who have received centennial commissions includes some of the most prominent names in contemporary American music, and two Pulitzer Prize winners:

Anthony Barfield*, Derek Bermel*, Billy Childs*, Katrina DiCrasto*, Nadine Dyskant-Miller*, Cynthia Folio* (MA79 PHD85), Bill Holman, Tonia Ko* (BM10), Hannah Lash* (BM04), Jon Lin Chua* (BM17), Matthew Lucia*, John Mackey*, Wynton Marsalis, Lawrence Neeck* (MM90), Carter Pann* (BM94), Rob Paterson* (BM95), Kevin Puts (BM94 DMA99), Baljinder Sekhon* (MA08 PHD13), Jung Sun Kang* (MM08 DMA13), Michael Titlebaum+ (BM91 MM92), Ivan Trevino+* (BM06 MM10), Jeff Tyzik+* (BM73 MM77), Allen Vizzutti+* (BM74 MM76), and  Zoe Yucong Wang* (BM17 MM19). 

Several of these composers are current Eastman faculty members: Bill Dobbins, David Liptak* (MM75 DMA76), Brad Lubman*, Robert Morris* (BM65), Dave Rivello (MM89), Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez*, Philip Silvey*, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon*. In addition, former composition faculty members Samuel Adler+*(two pieces, one of which was commissioned), Joseph Schwantner*, and August Read Thomas*, all received commissions.

+Denotes a gift from the composer

*Denotes a world premiere

These premieres and commissions include over 40 performances that will be premiered by many Eastman ensembles including the Wind Ensemble, Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra, Musica Nova, Trombone Choir, Chorale, Saxophone Project, Jazz Ensemble, New Jazz Ensemble, Double-Reed Choir, Percussion Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Treble Chorus, Wind Orchestra, New Horizon Band, numerous ensembles in the Eastman Community Music School, and more.

“The Centennial is an opportunity to honor and celebrate the people and achievements of the school’s first century, but to also launch the new initiatives that will help shape the school’s second century of musical excellence and leadership,” says Dean Jamal Rossi.  “The commissioned compositions by so many distinguished composers will provide lasting contributions to the repertoires of the ensembles listed above.  It will be wonderful to observe the many performances these works will receive by ensembles around the world, knowing that these compositions were inspired by Eastman.” 

Centennial Fanfares

In addition, the following Eastman alumni composers created 14 fanfares especially for Eastman Centennial and various ensembles:

Joel Balzun (MM15), Steve Danyew (MM10), J. Todd Frazier (BM92), Stanley Friedman, (MM75 DMA76), David Heinick (BM76 MM77), Sydney Hodkinson (BM57 MM58), Michael Isaacson (PHD79), T. Kloth (MM78), Michael Lee (BM08), Andre Myers (BM96), Diana Rosenblum (21PHD, December expected), Walter Saul (MM79 DMA80), Max Stern (BM69), Christopher M. Wicks (BM95).

“One of the most rewarding projects for the Centennial Celebration has been our fanfare project,” shares Professor Mark Scatterday, co-chair of the centennial committee and director of Eastman Wind Ensemble. “In 2019, we put a call out to alumni to write short fanfares that would be performed throughout the celebration. Ultimately the fanfares chosen represent Eastman alumni composers at their best.”

“As one fanfare by former faculty member Syd Hodkinson, who recently passed away, is entitled, Meliora — these fanfares all strive to depict the “ever better” motto of our school and university.”

Centennial Celebration Performances:

In addition to Eastman’s student ensembles, several commissions are for faculty members performing in our Faculty Artist Series performances throughout the year. These commissions and performances, along with many acclaimed guest artists and residencies will be formally announced at a future date.

The three-semester-long Eastman Centennial celebration will begin in Fall 2021 and continues throughout 2022. Highlights include acclaimed guest artists performing alongside Eastman’s ensembles; national academic and music conferences; alumni events throughout the country; a documentary being produced in partnership with WXXI, and more. Pillar events include: “Opening of the Doors,” a community-driven celebration scheduled for March 3-6, 2022; “100 concerts to celebrate 100 years”; and a Meliora Weekend celebration in Fall 2022.

For up-to-date information on the Eastman Centennial, including feature stories, future events, videos, testimonials, ways to engage, and more, please visit our Centennial website at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/100.

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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.

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 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. Additionally, more than 1,700 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School.

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.