Last Sunday’s 52nd Grammy Awards hit close to UR this year, with three Eastman School of Music graduates taking home awards for their notable contributions to music.
Soprano Renee Fleming (M.M. ’83), tenor Anthony Dean Griffey (MM ’01) and composer/arranger Bill Cunliffe (M.M. ’81) join other Eastman musicians who have accomplished this notable goal over the years.

‘We are justifiably proud of our Eastman alums who have won Grammys this year,” Eastman School of Music Dean Douglas Lowry said.

Fleming took home the Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Performance for her album of opera arias ‘Verismo.” The album ‘Yo-Yo Ma ‘ Friends: Songs of Joy and Peace,” which features Fleming, also took the Grammy for Best Classical Crossover Album.

‘Lots of singers have beautiful voices and are lovely to look at, but few of them, if any, have the artistic integrity, work ethic and time management skills that Rene Fleming has,” distinguished Professor of Voice at Eastman and Senior Vocal Coach Benton Hess said. ‘She got all of those things at Eastman. I know, because I first worked with her in New York City right after she graduated from Eastman. Her voice was pretty, but not yet settled; her technique was solid, but not yet spectacular. But integrity, work ethic and time management were already qualities she owned and was putting to good use.”

Griffey took home two Grammys for his performance on the album ‘Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio from Symphony No. 10,” which won both the Best Classical Album and Best Choral performance awards.

Griffey’s success follows up two Grammy wins last year.
Cunliffe received his third nomination and his first Grammy for his arrangement of ‘West Side Story Medley,” which appeared on the album ‘Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson.”

‘[These musicians] are out there blazing new trails in the world of music, and their work bears the stamp of the extraordinary training they got at “America’s hottest school for music’,” Lowry said.

Clark is a member of
the class of 2012.

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