An impressive list of Eastman School of Music alumni will perform a benefit concert entitled “Eastman in New York” to support Eastman’s Unrestricted Scholarship Fund on March 22 at 2 p.m.

The event will take place at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and is being performed solely by artists who have earned degrees from Eastman in the past 10 years.

Musicians participating in the recital have all graduated from Eastman within the last 10 years, and include students who received their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree from Eastman or, as in a few cases, have received more than one degree from Eastman.

“I am immensely proud of these talented alumni for using their Eastman skills to mount such a first-rate concert,” Dean of Eastman James Undercofler said.

Many of these performers have begun establishing reputations for themselves through careers spanning the globe. In many cases, Saturday’s performers are the winners of many pretigious music competitions, such as the Cleveland and Gina Bachauer Competitions.

They have continued to collaborate with other Eastman alumni, as well as with Eastman faculty, after their graduation. Their post-Eastman histories include advanced degrees at other high-level music schools, summers at Tanglewood, success in major competitions, concerto performances with major orchestras, broadcasts on radio stations such as National Public Radio and the New York City classical music stations, as well as teaching at major festivals and post-secondary schools.

Pianist Robert H. Smith, Jr. graduated from Eastman in 1998 with a master’s degree. Both the organizer of the event and a performer in the concert, Smith’s artistic expertise ranges from dance to piano accompaniment to trombone and double bass performance. He enjoys a career composed of major performances with artists throughout the world, producing concerts and working as Director of the Graduate Program in Orchestra Performance and Community Outreach at the Manhattan School of Music.

“It is with great affection for the faculty, appreciation of the value of our Eastman years and in gratitude for all who support the mission of the School, that these musicians are delighted to showcase Eastman in New York,” Smith said in a press release.

Music composed by Eastman graduates will also be performed at this event. Matthew Fuerst, who received his bachelor’s degree from Eastman in 1999, will have his “Sonata-Fantasie No. 2 for Violin and Piano” premiered during the concert. Fuerst’s music has been performed at the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Eastman School of Music, Alice Tully Hall at Juilliard and in many cities in Canada and Scotland.

Saturday’s concert will also mark the New York City premiere of “Six Strokes,” a piano piece written by Carter Pann, who graduated from Eastman in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree. Pann’s work has received five American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awards and won various international honors. Recently, the ensemble Naxos released Pann’s “Piano Concerto” and the Seattle Symphony, conducted by Gerard Schwarz, will soon record his “Clarinet Concerto.”Also to be performed are the “French Overture in b minor, BWV 831” by J.S. Bach, the “Liebeslieder Waltz, Op. 52” by Johannes Brahms, “Chaconne” by Sofia Gudaibulina and the “Piano Quintet in f minor” by Csar Franck.

Saturday’s Weill Hall performance will be the second event of this type that has been produced by Eastman alumni.

Weill Hall is located at 154 West 57th Street. Tickets are $20 for students with a valid college ID, and can be purchased either by calling CarnegieCharge or online at www.carnegiehall.org.

Caltvedt can be reached at ecaltvedt@campustimes.org.



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