The Eastman School of Music to Receive $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

January 11, 2022

Media Only: Katey Padden, Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator, (585)451-8492, kpadden@esm.rochester.edu

The Eastman School of Music has been approved for a $15,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support a commission project as part of the School’s Centennial year. This project will feature a new work by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Anthony Davis, with a libretto curated by Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. The Eastman School’s project is among 1,248 projects across America totaling $28,840,000 that were selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from the Eastman School of Music that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “The Eastman School in Rochester, New York is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”

“The Eastman School of Music is immensely grateful to the NEA for its support in the creation of such a unique work,” says Eastman Centennial co-chair Sylvie Beaudette. “We feel that this piece will fast become a part of the standard orchestral repertoire, similar to Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.”

“We are thrilled to play a role in diversifying the repertoire of orchestral music, not just for our own student’s experience, but for all orchestras,” says Dean Jamal Rossi.  “The NEA’s support of this project to bring together Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis and Poet Laureate Joy Harjo is deeply appreciated.  We are confident that this work will resonate far beyond the walls of the Eastman Theatre.”

The commissioned work will be written for symphony orchestra and narrator, highlighting Haudenosaunee texts. It is meant to honor the Haudenosaunee Confederacy on which land the Eastman School of Music stands. The work’s premiere has been scheduled for Monday, December 5, 2022, in Kodak Hall, featuring Timothy Long conducting the Eastman Philharmonia and Joy Harjo as narrator.

Please note, there may be a delay in the distribution of some grant awards as the NEA and all of the federal government are operating under a continuing budget resolution which currently expires on February 18, 2022.

For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

The three-semester-long Eastman Centennial celebration began 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.