Nurturing the Love of Music, the third volume of Vincent Lenti’s history of the Eastman School of Music, of the University of Rochester, has now been published by University of Rochester Press. This most recent addition to the written history of the school focuses on the period when Robert Freeman served as the school’s fourth director.
Freeman was recruited to lead the Eastman School in the fall of 1972 and officially assumed responsibilities as director on July 1, 1973. He served as director until his resignation in 1996. His directorship was the second longest tenure in the school’s history, only surpassed by that of Howard Hanson. That tenure allowed him to exercise great influence over faculty recruitment, program development, and fundraising, as well as presiding over the most significant expansion of the school’s physical presence in downtown Rochester since the original construction of 1921 and 1922.
In addition to giving a narrative history of the school, the book is rich with photographs and includes appendices of important and noted faculty members, honorary degrees conferred and much more.
“This volume has been an especially rewarding one for me to write, in that I was a personal witness to the events that took place during this of time within the school’s history,” shares Vince Lenti. “Having lived through the events, it was a special pleasure to provide a written account of all that happened during Robert Freeman’s years of leadership at Eastman.”
The publication of Nurturing the Love of Music coincides with the celebration of the Eastman School’s one-hundredth anniversary. Because of that anniversary celebration, the book includes as its final chapter a brief summary of the post-Freeman years, a story that will no doubt be told in greater detail sometime in the future.
Nurturing the Love of Music is published by the University of Rochester Press. The book is available in both hard and soft cover editions, priced at $39.95 and $24.95, respectively. The book is available for purchase at the Eastman School of Music Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 25 Gibbs St., Miller Center, Rochester, NY 14604, or can be ordered by visiting https://eastman.bncollege.com/shop/eastman/home
The first two volumes, For the Enrichment of Community Life: George Eastman and the Founding of the Eastman School of Music (2004) and Serving a Great and Noble Art: Howard Hanson and the Eastman School of Music (2009) are also both available for purchase, with bundling options for purchasing all three at a discounted rate with the bookstore.
Lenti will do a book launch, including talk and signing October 2, 2021, at the Eastman School of Music. Further details about the event will be forthcoming.
Vincent A. Lenti earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Eastman, where he was a student of the noted Italian pianist and pedagogue Orazio Frugoni. He was a member of the piano faculty beginning in 1963 and directed Eastman’s Community Education Division, now known as the Eastman Community Music School, for 26 years. In 2002 he was the recipient of Eastman’s Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching. Lenti is now professor emeritus of piano and continues to serve as the school’s historian.
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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.