The Eastman School of Music is excited to announce that Emmy-winning and celebrated composer and alumnus Jeff Beal has been appointed as a Distinguished Visiting Artist. Beal, along with his wife, vocalist Joan Beal (‘84E), founded the Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media in 2016. Under the direction of Mark Watters, Emmy-winning composer and conductor, the program builds on the film legacy of the school’s founder, George Eastman.
As a Distinguished Visiting Artist, Beal will continue to work and mentor Eastman students. Beal remarks on his appointment, “As we enter the sixth year of the Composition for Visual Media degree program at Eastman, I am thrilled to be appointed as a Distinguished Visiting Artist. I look forward to working with our gifted director, Professor Mark Watters, as we further the comprehensive and vibrant study of the art and craft of film scoring. This new position will be a way I can share my own professional experiences with our talented students and offer them hands on guidance and mentorship. After 30 years in Los Angeles, I’m excited to be living on the East Coast once again; closer to my alma mater and home of The Beal Institute.”
“We are very excited to have Jeff as a Distinguished Visiting Artist. Not only will his skill and talent be a great asset to our media composition students but also the experience of his award-winning 30-year career,” says Mark Watters, Director of the Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media.
Beal is a composer with a genre-defying musical fluidity. His film scores have received critical acclaim, while he remains a respected composer in the concert, theater, and dance worlds.
Beal’s evocative score and theme for the Netflix drama House of Cards received four Emmy Award nominations, with wins for outstanding score, bringing Beal’s Emmy tally to nineteen nominations and five statues.
“Jeff and Joan Beal have had an incredible impact on Eastman with the founding of the Beal Institute and their countless interactions with our students and community,” says Jamal J. Rossi, Joan and Martin Messinger Dean at Eastman. “As a Distinguished Visiting Artist, Jeff’s reach and influence within our community will be that much greater, and I am grateful that we will have him present to continue to share his wisdom and talent at Eastman.”
Jeff Beal’s other lauded series include HBO’s Carnivale and Rome. Film scores feature the documentaries Blackfish and Athlete A and dramas Pollock, Appaloosa, and the upcoming Raymond and Ray for Apple TV+. Beal’s orchestral works have been performed by the New World, Rochester, Pacific, Munich, New West, Minnesota, Detroit, and National symphony orchestras. Commissions include works for the Metropole Orchestra, The Ying Quartet, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Henry Mancini Institute, Prism Brass Quintet, Smuin Ballet, Grammy winner Jason Vieaux, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, who commissioned The Paper Lined Shack for Leonard Slatkin and Grammy-winning soprano Hilá Plitmann.
His choral works include The Salvage Men, commissioned by the Eric Whitacre Singers, and Sunrise, an evening-length score for W.F. Murnau’s groundbreaking silent film commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Music for theater includes the 2015 World Science Festival Production Light Falls and the 2019 installation celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, produced by 59 productions and presented on the Mall in Washington, D.C., where it was viewed over three nights by more than a half a million spectators.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Beal’s grandmother was a pianist who performed on the radio and as accompanist for silent movies. Jeff and Joan Beal donated $2 million to the creation of The Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media
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; “100 concerts to celebrate 100 years”; a documentary being produced in partnership with WXXI, and more.
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.
# # #
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.