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Eastman School of Music

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Peabody Award


Acceptance rate
13% (2011)

George Eastman

Eastman School of Music

Rochester, New York, USA

26 Gibbs St, Rochester, NY 14604, USA

1921, New York, United States

Notable alumni
Renée Fleming, Steve Gadd, Maria Schneider, Ron Carter, Allen Vizzutti

University of Rochester, Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School, New England Conserva, Manhattan School of Music


The Eastman School of Music is a comprehensive school of music located in Rochester, New York. The Eastman School is a professional school within the University of Rochester. It was established in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman.


It offers Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degrees, Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees, Master of Music (M.M.) degrees, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees, and Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degrees in many musical fields. The school also awards a "Performer's Certificate" or "Artist's Diploma". In 2015, there are more than 900 students enrolled in the collegiate division of the Eastman School (approximately 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students). Students come from almost every state of the United States, with approximately 25% foreign students. Each year approximately 2000 students apply (1000 undergraduates and 1000 graduates). The acceptance rate was 13% in 2011, and about 1,000 students (ranging in age from 16 years to over 80 years of age) are enrolled in the Eastman School’s Community Music School.

Mike eastman school of music


Alfred Klingenberg, a Norwegian pianist, was the school's first director. He was succeeded by composer Howard Hanson in 1924, who had an enormous impact on the development of the school, holding his post for four decades and continuing his involvement at Eastman after his retirement.Since the founding of the Eastman School of Music in 1921, the school has been directed by six men. Alfred Klingenberg served as the school’s first director from 1921 to 1923. After a one-year interim under Acting Director Raymond Wilson, the young American composer and conductor Howard Hanson was appointed director of the school in 1924. Dr. Hanson is credited for transforming the Eastman School into a top school. Upon his retirement in 1964, after serving as director of the school for 40 years, Hanson was succeeded by conductor Walter Hendl.

Hendl served as director from 1964 to 1972, and was then succeeded by pianist and musicologist Robert Freeman who served from 1972 to 1996. Associate Director Daniel Patrylak served as the acting director from the time of Mr. Hendl’s resignation (May 1972) until Robert Freeman assumed the position in July 1973. Following the resignation of Robert Freeman in 1996, James Undercofler was then appointed Director and Dean of the Eastman School, and held that position until he resigned in 2006 to accept the position of C.E.O. and President of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jamal Rossi, an Eastman alumnus, was appointed Interim Dean of the Eastman School in April 2006. On May 21, 2007, composer/conductor Douglas Lowry, formerly the dean of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, was appointed Dean of the Eastman School, to begin serving in 2007. Following Lowry's death in 2013, Rossi was appointed Dean.

Campus and facilities

The Eastman School occupies parts of five buildings in downtown Rochester, New York. The main hall includes the renovated 3,094-seat Eastman Theater, the 455-seat Kilbourn Hall, and offices for faculty.

The Eastman Theatre opened in 1922 as a center for music, dance, and silent film with orchestral and organ accompaniment. Today, the 3,094-seat theatre is the primary concert hall for the Eastman School's larger ensembles, including its orchestras, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, and chorale. Also, the Eastman Opera Theatre presents fully staged operatic productions in the theatre each spring. It also is the principal performance venue for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. A $5 million renovation of the theatre was completed in 2004. The theatre is located at 60 Gibbs Street, on the corner of Main and Gibbs Streets. Due to a $10 million donation by Eastman Kodak Inc. in April 2008, the Eastman Theatre was officially renamed "Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre" upon the renovation's completion in 2010.

The Sibley Music Library—the largest academic music library in North America—is located across the street from the main hall. Hiram Watson Sibley founded the library in 1904 using the fortune he made as first president of Western Union. It moved to its current location in 1989, and occupies 45,000 square feet (4,000 m²) on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the Miller Center, formerly known as Eastman Place. The Sibley Music Library currently holds almost 750,000 items, ranging from 11th century codices to the latest compositions and recordings. Considered among its jewels are the original drafts of Debussy's impressionistic masterpiece, "La Mer."

The Student Living Center, which is located at 100 Gibbs Street, is the dormitory building of the Eastman School of Music. In 1991, the new building was opened at the corner of Main and Gibbs Streets, replacing the University Avenue dormitories built nearly 70 years earlier. It is a four-story quadrangle and 14-story tower surrounding a landscaped inner courtyard. The majority of students enrolled in the undergraduate program live on campus in this building.

Degrees offered

The school offers Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degrees, Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees, Master of Music (M.M.) degrees, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees, and Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degrees in many musical fields. The school also awards a "Performer's Certificate" or "Artist's Diploma" to students who demonstrate exceptionally outstanding performance ability. The Institute for Music Leadership, which was formed in 2001, offers a variety of diploma programs designed to educate and give students the skills and experience necessary to meet the demands of performance and education in today’s changing musical world.


Eastman was named the "Hottest School for Music" in the US by the Kaplan/Newsweek "How to get into college" guide for 2008. A 2014 report said it had been ranked first among U.S. music schools by U.S. News & World Report for five consecutive years.

Faculty and alumni

Eastman alumni include singer Renée Fleming, Canadian Brass co-founder Charles Daellenbach, drummer Steve Gadd, author and journalist Michael Walsh, trumpeter Allen Vizzutti, scholar Horace Clarence Boyer and composers Maria Schneider and Cardon V. Burnham. Current faculty include musicians and pedagogues like the Ying Quartet, Katherine Ciesinski and Paul O'Dette.

Directors and Deans

  • Alfred Klingenberg (Director, 1921–1923)
  • Raymond Wilson (Acting Director, 1923–1924)
  • Howard Hanson (Director, 1924–1964)
  • Walter Hendl (Director, 1964–1972)
  • Daniel Patrylak (Acting Director, 1972–1973)
  • Robert Freeman (Director, 1973–1996)
  • James Undercofler (Acting Director, 1996–1997; Director, 1997–2006)
  • Jamal Rossi (Acting Director, 2006–2007; Acting Dean, 2013)
  • Douglas Lowry (Dean, 2007–2013)
  • Jamal Rossi (Dean, 2014-)
  • Notable teachers

  • Samuel Adler, composition
  • Federico Agostini, violin
  • Armand Basile, piano
  • Katherine Ciesinski, voice
  • David Craighead, organ
  • Catherine Crozier, organ
  • Leonardo De Lorenzo, flute
  • Charles Warren Fox, musicology
  • Frank Glazer, piano
  • Harold Gleason, organ
  • Nicholas Goluses, guitar
  • Kenneth Grant, clarinet
  • Anthony Dean Griffey, voice
  • Arthur Hartmann, violin
  • David Higgs, organ
  • Henry Klumpenhouwer, music theory
  • Oleh Krysa, violin
  • Jon Manasse, clarinet
  • John Marcellus, trombone
  • Allen Irvine McHose, music theory
  • Emory Remington, trombone
  • Mendi Rodan, conductor
  • Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, composition
  • Howard Spindler, piano
  • Zvi Zeitlin, violin
  • Margaret Henry, theory
  • Cecile Saine, voice
  • Petar Kodzas, guitar
  • Institute for Music Leadership

    The Institute for Music Leadership (IML) was created to engage musicians in new ways and challenge them to think more broadly about music, its role, and their role in society. It serves as a center for the creation and implementation of new ideas related to music leadership, for Eastman students, alumni, and practicing musicians at all stages of their careers. The goals of the IML reflect the expansion of Eastman's role as an innovator and a standard bearer in professional development. The IML consists of four areas: Careers and Professional Development, Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program (ALP), Center for Music Innovation and Engagement (CMIE), The Orchestra Musician Forum (OMF) and its website Polyphonic.org.

    The IML offers online courses and speed lessons:

  • Interactive music theory classroom: This course teaches the basics of pitch, scales, rhythm and harmony and analysis of large symphonic works. Taught by Dr. Steven Laitz, this course provides live feedback, help sessions and tutorials. This course is completely online and students work on assignments over the course of a week.
  • Graduate music theory review: This course reviews undergraduate theory in preparation for graduate exams and classes and takes three and six weeks. It includes conceptual presentations and demonstrations, written and analytical exercises drawn from the literature, and skill development through singing, listening, and playing.
  • Music theory fundamentals in four weeks: This online course prepares first-year music majors for music theory placement exams. In addition to the presentation of basic music theory concepts and terminology, it includes over 200 sets of writing, playing, listening, singing, and conducting exercises. These lessons provide a transition between high school and college-level academics. The course can be completed in four to six weeks.
  • Speed lessons: These video lessons cover the standard orchestral repertoire for different instruments. They are taught by Eastman faculty members with demonstrations from their students. They include tips on what audition committees listen for, and on what technical challenges to watch out for.
  • References

    Eastman School of Music Wikipedia