More than 8,000 patrons attended concerts in the inaugural season of the Eastman School of Music’s Eastman Presents series, enjoying the talents of guest artists ranging from Broadway stars Jason Alexander and Bernadette Peters to the Vienna Boys’ Choir.
“The mission of this new concert series is to give the Rochester community the chance to enjoy a great array of international performers in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre,” said Keith C. Elder, Director of Concert Activities at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to Alexander, Peters, and the Vienna Boys’ Choir, the 2014-2015 season featured Cuban jazz trumpet legend Arturo Sandoval, pianist Peter Serkin with the Eastman Philharmonia under director Neil Varon, and Kodo, a taiko drumming ensemble from Japan, who presented their “One Earth Tour: Mystery” program.
“Audiences have responded with great enthusiasm and glowing feedback. This was a wonderful start to a great series,” said Elder. “We want to thank all the patrons and sponsors for supporting the series. Without the help of Manning & Napier, Rochester Brain & Spine, and the Fernando Laires Piano Fund, Eastman Presents would not have been possible. Following the artistic and financial success of our first season, we are so excited to bring to Rochester another amazing lineup of must-see artists.”
The 2015-2016 season of Eastman Presents kicks off on September 30 with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, followed by Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor and singer Kristin Chenoweth on October 9, and a holiday concert with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring trumpeter Wynton Marsalis on December 8. The series continues in 2016 with soprano Kathleen Battle and pianist Cyrus Chestnut on January 30 in a program inspired by the Underground Railroad and the writings of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman; they will also be joined by the Rochester Festival Chorus, conducted by Eastman alumnus Jason Holmes. The next event in the series on February 26 welcomes 15-time Grammy recipient banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck, with the Eastman Wind Ensemble under conductor Mark Davis Scatterday. The series concludes on April 15 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and British/Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt under conductor Peter Oundjian performing works of Bach and Shostakovich.
Subscription packages for next year’s Eastman Presents as well as the Eastman-Ranlet and Kilbourn Concert Series are on sale now. Information can be found at eastmantheatre.org
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