Eastman Audio Archive
The Eastman Audio Archive (EAA) is the repository for all recordings of performances at the Eastman School of Music. The EAA’s earliest recordings date from 1933, making it the oldest continuous collection of recordings made at any music school in the United States. Today, the collection contains recordings of more than 35,000 performances, including student degree recitals, ensemble performances, faculty and guest artist programs, lectures and workshops, and concerts.
Following 20th- and 21st-century developments in recording technology, the EAA recordings comprise a range of media formats—many of which are now obsolete—namely, instantaneous acetate and aluminum disks, reel-to-reel analog magnetic tape, reel-to-reel digital tape, magneto-optical disks, CDs, and now digital files (.wav audio files). Recordings made since 1988 are catalogued in the University of Rochester library catalog system (DiscoverUR), and service copies of many of these recordings are available in the library’s Recordings Stacks. Members of the UR/ESM community can also access streaming audio of recordings made since 2018, as well as select archival recordings, through links in DiscoverUR. For recordings made before 1988, contact David Peter Coppen, Special Collections Librarian and Archivist (585-274-1335). Additionally, video recordings of many recent Eastman concerts and student performances are available on the ESM YouTube channel.
Select highlights in the EAA include recordings of:
- Prominent faculty and alumni such as Ron Carter, José Echániz, Renée Fleming, Walter Hendl, Eugene List, Joseph Mariano, Robert Sprenkle, and William Warfield.
- Guest artists and conductors appearing with Eastman ensembles, including Robert Craft and Igor Stravinsky, Henry Cowell, Roy Harris, and Robert Shaw.
- American Composers Concerts (1925–1954) as well as concerts, lectures, and presentations from the School’s long-running Festivals of American Music (1931–1971).
- Arrangers’ Holidays concerts and workshops (1959–1990), featuring such prominent jazz artists as Duke Ellington (1964), Dizzy Gillespie (1972), Gerry Mulligan (1973), Stan Getz (1974), Joe Williams (1976), and Marian McPartland (1981).
- Premiere and notable performances of works by Eastman alumni and faculty composers, including selections by Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Dominick Argento, John La Montaine, Kevin Puts, George Walker, and Robert Ward, among numerous others.
- Premiere performances of works by significant American and international composers; select highlights include Charles Griffes’s Scherzo-Bacchanale (1936), Elliott Carter’s Symphony No. 1 (1944), William Grant Still’s Suite from the Ballet Sahdji (1945), Ned Rorem’s Overture in C (1948), Alan Hovhaness’s Artik: Concerto for Horn and Strings (1954), Wallingford Riegger’s Introduction and Fugue for Cello and Symphonic Winds (1960), Krzysztof Penderecki’s Partita (1972), and Chen Yi’s Sound of the Five (1998).