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An Eastman School student with Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, an associate professor and a 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist in composition (Photo courtesy of Steve Piper/Eastman School of Music)

From the Top

In the competitive world of collegiate music schools, the Eastman School of Music isn't content to sit still.

Perpetually ranked among the top in the world, Eastman enjoys a reputation as a nimble, thoroughly modern school. It recently renovated its main theater, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, and built the Eastman East Wing to add more performance, classroom and studio space.

The project "supports our commitment to innovation and artistic leadership in preparing students for the new music economy," says Douglas Lowry, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean. One example of the new realities: Students shift seamlessly between the studio and the work world through Eastman's Institute for Music Leadership. In this unusual initiative, students learn how to be entrepreneurs in a fiercely competitive music industry-a focus for which Eastman is known.

Eastman educates 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students annually in performance, composition, jazz studies and contemporary media, music education, theory, conducting and musicology.

A digital-arts initiative known as Internet2 transmits master classes, lectures and symposia around the world. It also allows faraway experts to teach Eastman students.

The next generation of musicians is taking note. Eastman in 2012 had the largest applicant pool in its history, and applications from international students have risen 31 percent since 2007.

Music students aren't the only ones benefiting from Eastman's prestige. Here in Rochester, the school presents more than 700 public concerts a year-most of them free-in Kodak, Kilbourn and Hatch halls. Eastman musicians perform in community venues, and roughly 1,000 local residents, from toddlers to octogenarians, take lessons annually in Eastman's Community Music School.

Industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman, who founded Eastman Kodak Co., established the school in 1921. Well-known musicians have attended, from opera singer Renee Fleming and jazz percussionist Steve Gadd to composer-conductor Maria Schneider and the late oboist, record producer and conductor Mitch Miller.

© Rochester Business Journal
 

 

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