On March 4, 1922, the Eastman School of Music officially opened its doors to the community. On that date, all the main building’s floors had been completed, including the Main Hall (now Lowry Hall), the Cominsky Promenade, and the stunning Kilbourn Hall. A chamber music concert was given that evening to dedicate the concert space that has now heard thousands of performances ever since.
Fast forward 100 years … From March 2 through 6, 2022, Eastman will offer a wide variety of performances as we celebrate our centennial.
“In March 1921, upon the opening of the newly completed Eastman School of Music, the school opened its doors to the community,” remarks Jamal J. Rossi, Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of Eastman. “One-hundred years later, we are thrilled to invite the Rochester community to join us as we celebrate a century of commitment to the ‘enrichment of community life,’ as etched on the façade of the Eastman Theatre.”
“Eastman Opens the Doors is a way to say, ‘Thank you!’ to the Rochester community for 100 years of support of and participation in the art form that George Eastman held so dear,” shares Centennial Co-Chairs Sylvie Beaudette ‘93E (DMA) and Mark Scatterday ‘89E (DMA).
This 5-day long “festival” will include:
Wednesday, March 2
- Opening Concert: Eastman Wind Ensemble and Musica Nova,Kodak Hall, 7:30 PM
This opening concert program includes premieres of works by Brad Lubman, Augusta Read Thomas, André Myers ‘96E, and Jeff Tyzik ‘73E, ‘75E (MM).
Thursday, March 3
- Pop-up Concerts
Eastman students and ensembles perform throughout the day in public concerts and venues around the Rochester area, including:
- Trombone Choir and Eastman Chorale concert at Wadsworth Auditorium, SUNY Geneseo
- Eastman Percussion Studio concert at Wilmot Hall, Nazareth College
- Schools, soup kitchens, senior residences, museums, stores, public spaces, and more.
Friday, March 4
- Perform-a-thon at Eastman
Students, faculty, staff, studios, and ensembles will perform all around the Eastman of School Music campus, with the public invited to walk around and hear music in various settings. Performances will include out-of-the-box repertoire and venues, as well as unusual collaborations between musicians, culminating in a special alumni evening event and a concert by the Eastman Studio Orchestra. Other events will include:
- Book signing and presentation by Eastman’s historian, Professor Vincent Lenti, (Ciminelli Formal Lounge), 3:00 PM
Lenti ‘60E, ‘63E (MAS) recently published the third volume of his history of Eastman, Nurturing the Love of Music: Robert Freeman and the Eastman School of Music. This volume focuses on the years 1973 to 1996, when Robert Freeman directed Eastman and changed the school profoundly.
- Eastman Studio Orchestra special concert, Kodak Hall, Eastman School of Music, 7:30 PM
The program consists of arrangements by Eastman masters and doctoral students, and also includes the premiere of a new composition by DMA/JCM trombonist Andrew Watkins. In addition, selections by the Eastman Studio Orchestra from the late 1970s, with Rayburn Wright conducting, will be screened.
Saturday, March 5
- A Sense of Community: Bach’s Moveable Feast; Artisan Works, 565 Blossom Rd # L, Rochester, NY 14610; Two Shows: Children and Families 3-4 PM / General Admission 5-6:30 PM
J.S. Bach’s 280-year-old musical tour de force is the basis of a modern-day “moveable feast” at Artisan Works, the grand art space on Blossom Road. Musicians from Eastman and the Freiburg Musikhochschule (Music Conservatory), in small ensembles of varied instruments, will perform excerpts from Bach’s Art of Fugue throughout the Artisan Works galleries.
- Audiences are invited to wander among the 50 musicians and 500,000 art works, determining which ensembles to hear, whether to linger over art works, and when to find a quiet space for rest. Each set will last one hour, with a brief musical welcome, and a grand finale.
- This “visual art meets music” performance is made possible through a collaboration between the Eastman School of Music and the Freiburg Music Conservatory in Germany.
- Registration can be made directly through Eventbrite
Sunday, March 6
- Community Indoor Festival: Wind Ensembles, Orchestras and Choirs; Kilbourn and Kodak Halls, 10:00 AM — 9:00 PM
The weekend’s festivities will conclude with an “Indoor Festival.” Musicians from the Eastman Community Music School (ECMS) will be joined by several local orchestras, wind ensembles, and choirs to perform on Eastman’s stages: Kodak Hall and Kilbourn Hall.
- The day will feature three premieres by Nadine Dyskant-Miller, Katrina DiCrastro, Matthew Lucia, and Kyle Peters commissioned by ECMS, as well as the premiere of Professor of Composition David Liptak’s Pierrot in America, written especially for Cordancia and Biodance.
Full listings of these and other events, along with feature stories, ways to engage and more, can be found on our Centennial website at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/100.
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 over 50 commissioned premieres.
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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.