Robert O. “Robin” Lehman, an internationally renowned Rochester-based glass artist and documentary filmmaker, has established the Marie Rolf Dean of Graduate Studies Endowed Fund at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. This gift creates two named positions: the Marie Rolf Dean of Graduate Studies and the Robert O. Lehman Graduate Fellowship. Both honor Eastman’s senior associate dean of graduate studies and professor of music theory, Marie Rolf ’77E (PhD), who is also Lehman’s wife. Rolf will retire on January 2, 2023, after 27 years as graduate dean and 44 total years on the faculty of the school.
Matthew Ardizzone ’97E (DMA), currently Eastman’s associate dean of admissions and enrollment management, has been named the associate dean of graduate studies in January and will become the inaugural Marie Rolf Dean of Graduate Studies in January 2023. The Lehman Fellowship will provide support for one incoming doctoral student for a three-year term. Subsequent fellows will be named in future years.
“We are tremendously grateful to Robin Lehman for his generous gift,” says Jamal Rossi, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music. “The named faculty position and fellowship celebrate the remarkable legacy Professor Rolf will be leaving at Eastman and her commitment to graduate students. It is also very fitting that Matthew Ardizzone will be the first person named the Marie Rolf Dean of Graduate Studies. He was the first recipient of the doctor of musical arts degree in classical guitar—a major that Professor Rolf helped create.”
“I can think of no better way to honor Marie’s legacy of leadership and service to Eastman than to endow this position in her name and support graduate students for years to come,” says Lehman. “Marie’s tenure at the school and as senior associate dean of graduate studies has been marked by many transformational accomplishments.”
As Eastman’s senior associate dean of graduate studies, Rolf was responsible for launching new degrees in contemporary media and film composition (MM), music leadership (MA), early music (MM and DMA), ethnomusicology (MA), and opera stage directing (MM) as well as developing new academic tracks in contemporary ensembles for conductors (MM and DMA), in historical and classical guitar (MM), and in ethnomusicology for musicology PhD students. She also worked with the faculty to create advanced certificate programs in college and community teaching, early music, ethnomusicology, the art of improvisation, and music theory pedagogy. She has overseen the annual distribution of more than $8.5 million in scholarships and stipends to graduate students. Prior to her current role, Rolf was chair of the music theory department, during which time she led her colleagues to initiate an MA in music theory pedagogy.
Rolf is also an accomplished scholar and pianist. Her research interests range from the music and manuscripts of Debussy and Mozart to topics in analysis and performance, keyboard skills, and the pedagogy of music theory. Rolf’s translation and revised edition of François Lesure’s Claude Debussy: A Critical Biography (Rochester NY: University of Rochester Press, 2019) updated Lesure’s seminal work, making it accessible to the global audience it deserves. Rolf is the only American member of the editorial board for the critical edition of Claude Debussy’s work, the Œuvres Complètes, for which she has also edited individual volumes, one on early songs as well as the volume of La Mer. As a pianist, she has concertized with musicians such as Marcia Baldwin, Jan DeGaetani, Robert Spillman, Charles Castleman, Millard Taylor, Francis Tursi, Anthony Dean Griffey, Randall Scarlata, and Timothy Long.
“I am deeply grateful to Robin for his generosity and steadfast support of Eastman,” says Rolf. “In addition to endowing the graduate dean position, the Lehman Fellowship will provide critical funding to help the school continue to attract graduate students who embody Eastman ideals of artistry, scholarship, leadership, and community engagement.”
Matthew Ardizzone came to Eastman in 2009 as an associate dean of admissions. In his current role, he oversees admissions, financial aid, and the registrar’s office. A highly regarded guitarist, Ardizzone has performed in many concerts and festivals across North America. He has also served on the faculties of Bowling Green State University, Nazareth College, and the Eastman Community Music School.
“I am incredibly honored to move into this role, in part because I count Marie as one of my most influential role models and mentors,” says Ardizzone. “This gift only deepens my sense of carrying forward her legacy of shepherding the graduate studies program with such care, professionalism, and vision.”
About Robin Lehman
In high school and college, Lehman studied painting and worked in graphic arts. When he graduated, he studied musical composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, where he remained for the next 10 years. While in Europe, Lehman combined his skills in sound and vision and began making documentary films. For his work, he has won more than 150 awards at most of the major film festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Chicago, Melbourne, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. His films have also won two Academy Awards and a third nomination as well as an Emmy.
Learn more about Marie Rolf and her accomplishments.
Please contact Eastman’s Advancement team to learn how you can support this fund for graduate students at Eastman as well as contribute to other initiatives at the school that promote music education, artistry, scholarship, innovation, and community.
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.
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. 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 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.