Centennial Awards

About The Eastman School of Music Centennial Awards

In honor of its centennial year, Eastman created the Centennial Award to recognize 100 individuals who exemplify Eastman’s mission and legacy through their commitment to artistry, scholarship, leadership, community engagement, and/or philanthropy.

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George Abraham

George Abraham

A native of Geneva, NY, George Abraham graduated from Hobart College in 1959 with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and chemistry, and received the MS (mathematics) in 1961, and M.D. degrees at the State University ofNew York at Buffalo in 1963.

He received clinical and research training at the University of California San Francisco where he

published his first research report, the University of Illinois, Chicago and the University of Rochester. He remained at the University of Rochester where he has served as the Associate Dean of Research, and in a variety of other leadership positions including Directorships of the Center on Aging, the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and the Medical Scientist Training (MD/PhD) Program all of which were funded by the National Institutes of Health. He is a currently Medical Center Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, and Pediatrics, and a member of the Cancer Center’s Honorary Board. He is an author on more than 100 scientific publications, a contributor to 3 books, and has procured 3 patents. Among many of his laboratory’s achievements are identification of an incipient gene mutation causing benign lymphocytes to morph into malignant hematologic tumors, development of methods to genetically modify a patient’s tumor cells to target and kill the patient’s cancer (suicide gene) and fostering the development of an antibody that is now widely used to isolate and purify human stem-cell populations for wide clinical and therapeutic uses.

Nationally he has served as a member of the Director’s Advisory Committee (Board of Trustees) of the National Institutes of Health, as Chair of the steering committee of the Advisory Council to the Director and then as Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Aging, as Acting Deputy Director of the Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation Division of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Chair and member of grant review committees and panels for the National Institutes of Health. His honors include an Arthritis Foundation Research Award, and an Allergic Diseases Academic Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a MERIT research grant award from the National Institute on Aging, of the NIH, the Buswell award of the University of Rochester, and the President’s Medal from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Other academic appointments have included time as a visiting Investigator at the NY University Medical Center, and as a Visiting and Adjunct Professor of Pathology at Tulane University Medical School.

Active in many community projects, a few include service as a member and Board Chair of Garth Fagan Dance, the Board of Directors of the Geneva Arts Development Council and the Board of Managers and Art Acquisitions Committee of the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester NY, He is a current member of the Photographic acquisition committee of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography, the National Advisory Council of the Eastman School of Music, and the Board of the Arthur Dove Tribute Group and Project in Geneva, NY.

Among many philanthropic activities he has a) endowed an annual lecture in the Wilmot Cancer

Institute to honor the deceased Eastman Dean Douglas Lowry; b) has provided for the acquisition and preservation of art in, the collection of Hobart and William Smith Colleges; c) has established the Dean’s lectureship at the University of Rochester medical Center; d) was a founding financial supporter and continues to support the annual San Francisco International Piano Festival; e) annually provides supports for concerts in the Cloverdale, Sonoma County Performing Arts Center and f) has provided for a named scholarship to honor the exceptional and innovative leadership of the current Eastman School of Music Dean Jamal Rossi and his beloved wife, Pamela.

Samuel Adler

Sam Adler

Born March 4, 1928 in Mannheim, Germany. Came to the U.S. in 1939. Educated at Boston University and Harvard University BM and MA plus 5 honorary doctorates. 

Taught at the University of North Texas (1956-1966) The Eastman School (1966-1995) and the Juilliard School (1997-2017) 

Composer of over 450 works, and author of four books including THE STUDY OF ORCHESTRATION, and an Autobiography entitled BUILDING BRIDGES WITH MUSIC. 

Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002

Susan and Aron Ain

Susan ’78E and Aron Ain

Susan Ain

Susan Ain received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music. Susan studied violin in the studio of Millard Taylor and performed in the Eastman Philharmonia under the direction of David Effron. She received a Master of Music degree from Roosevelt University’s Chicago Musical College and later earned a Master of Arts in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College. Susan enjoyed a career in music education and remains committed to volunteerism and philanthropy at various organizations centered around music, Jewish life, higher education, and medicine.  Susan and her husband Aron have two daughters and three grandchildren.

Aron Ain

Aron Ain holds a degree from Hamilton College and an advanced education program at Stanford University. Aron serves as executive chair of the UKG Board of Directors.  Aron joined Kronos Incorporated in 1979 and held a role in nearly every functional department, before being named CEO in 2005. In 2020, Aron helped lead the merger between Kronos and Ultimate Software where he became the founding CEO before transitioning to his current role as board chair. On multiple occasions, Glassdoor has named Ain to its list of Top 100 CEOs. Along with his wife Susan, Aron is committed to service and philanthropy at several nonprofit organizations focused on music, Jewish life, higher education, and medicine. Aron and his wife Susan have two daughters and three grandchildren.

Liz Asaro-Biggar Photo

Liz Asaro-Biggar ’92

Co-recipient with Steve Biggar ’92

Elisabeth Asaro-Biggar is a professional rock singer and “high-energy, higher intellect songwriter” who recently released her first album. “I don’t like to be preachy in my lyrics,” she has said, “but hope people may find new ways of looking at life through my songs.”

They both played varsity soccer at the University of Rochester and continue to be active volunteers as members of the Friends of Rochester Athletics and the George Eastman Circle.

Jean Barr

Jean Barr

Jean Barr, Professor Emerita of Piano Accompanying & Chamber Music, is the first keyboard artist in the USA to be awarded a doctorate in accompanying. 

Considered to be a pioneer in her field, she has appeared in concert with many distinguished artists and has given masterclasses throughout the world. 

Awards include ESM’s Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching, UR’s Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award, the MTNA Achievement Award, and the NCKP Outstanding Service Recognition Award.

Jeff Beal

Jeff Beal ’85E

Co-recipient with Joan Beal ’84E

Jeff Beal is a composer with a genre-defying musical fluidity. His film scores have received critical acclaim, while he remains a respected composer in the concert, theater and dance worlds.

Beal’s evocative score and theme for the Netflix drama House of Cards received four Emmy Award nominations, and recently won for outstanding score, bringing Beal’s Emmy tally to fifteen nominations and four statues. Other lauded series include HBO’s Carnivale and Rome. Film scores feature the documentaries Blackfish and Queen of Versailles and dramas Pollock and Appaloosa.

Beal’s orchestral works have been performed by the St. Louis, Rochester, Pacific, Munich, and Detroit symphony orchestras. Commissions include works for the Metropole Orchestra, The Ying Quartet, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Henry Mancini Institute, Prism Brass Quintet, Smuin Ballet, and grammy winner Jason Vieaux. His first choral commission, The Salvage Men, was written for the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Eric Whitacre Singers. Music for theater includes 2015 the World Science Festival production Light Falls.

Born and raised in the San Fransisco Bay Area, Beal’s grandmother was a pianist who performed on the radio and as accompanist for silent movies. Beal graduated from the Eastman School of Music where he and his wife, Joan, recently donated $2 million to the creation of The Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media.

Joan Beal

Joan Beal ’84E

Co-recipient with Jeff Beal ’85E

Joan Beal sang in the Los Angeles recording studios for 30 years, appearing on hundreds of film and television scores, albums, and commercials.  She was vocal contractor and choral director for many composers, including Mark Isham, Christopher Lennertz, and her husband, fellow Eastman alum Jeff Beal (’85E.)  In 2016, Joan and Jeff endowed The Beal Institute for Film and Contemporary Media at Eastman, establishing a masters degree program in composition for visual media.  Now retired from singing professionally, Joan still enjoys collaborating with composers as a librettist.


Joan has served on the University of Rochester’s Board of Trustees since 2017, and as chair of Eastman’s National Council since 2020. She is currently co-chair of Eastman’s Centennial Campaign, and enjoys being a mentor and connector for Eastman students and alumni. Jeff and Joan’s son, Henry Beal, is a Dallas-based composer, recording engineer and bassist.

David Beauchesne photo

David Beauchesne ’94E, ’99E (MM)

David Beauchesne (Performer’s Certificate and BM, 94/95 and MME, 99) is the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School (RIPO&MS) and was the founding Associate Director of Eastman’s Arts Leadership Program (ALP), which has grown to become the Institute for Music Leadership (IML).  Beauchesne enrolled at ESM in 1990 as an undergraduate trombone major.   In his senior year, Director Robert Freeman appointed Beauchesne to the Eastman Commission on the Teaching of Music. His work earned him an invite to work with Doug Dempster to create ALP. He served as ALP’s Associate Director from 1996 to 2001.

An innovative leader, Beauchesne joined RIPO&MS in 2006 and has helped transform it into a field-leading dual mission organization that demonstrates artistic and educational excellence while promoting community service and positive change in and through music.  RIPO&MS is the largest combined professional orchestra and community music school in the United States.  Deeply committed to community, collaboration, sustainability and equity, Beauchesne helped create a coalition to pass two Rhode Island cultural bonds resulting in $40 million in direct grants to RI’s cultural institutions, and worked with US Senator Jack Reed and others to author relief legislation that made over $265 million in Shuttered Venues Grants available to orchestras nationwide.  RIPO&MS utilized streaming technology to maintain and expand access to music instruction and live orchestral performance for its community during the pandemic.  The school closed for only two weeks in 2020, and RIPO was one of the first professional orchestras in the nation to resume performing for live and remote audiences.   Under Beauchesne’s leadership, RIPO&MS has increased diversity on its staff, on its stages and in its classrooms, has expanded access to music education in RI and launched partnerships with the Papitto Opportunity Connection, Boston University and Brown University to create models for lasting change.  He is fortunate to learn from and collaborate with colleagues, patrons and community partners at RIPO&MS and beyond in service of transforming lives and communities through music.

John Beck

John Beck ’55E, ’62E (MM)

ESM- 1955-BM – 1962-MM

United States Marine Band – 1955-59

Professor of Percussion 1959-2008 ESM

Emeritus of Percussion ESM 2008-2019

Timpanist Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra 1959-2002

Gene Bertoncini

Gene Bertoncini

“The Segovia of the jazz guitar”, bringing the fluid technique and lyricism of classical guitar playing to jazz.

His collaborations since the 1960s include Buddy Rich, Tony Bennett, Astrud Gilberto, Michel Legrand, and many more, and he has made more than 20 albums as a leader.

From the 1970s through the early 2000s, he taught and performed in Eastman’s summer jazz studies program.

Kristen Bezuidenhout

Kristian Bezuidenhout ’01E, ’04E (MM)

Kristian Bezuidenhout is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the fortepiano, harpsichord, and modern piano. Born in South Africa in 1979, he began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music, and now lives in London. After initial training as a pianist with Rebecca Penneys, he explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson, and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O’Dette. Kristian first gained international recognition at the age of 21 after winning the prestigious first prize, and audience prize in the Bruges Fortepiano Competition.

Kristian is a regular guest with the world’s leading ensembles including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre des Champs Elysées, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra & the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester; and has guest-directed (from the keyboard) the English Concert, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Tafelmusik, Collegium Vocale, Juilliard 415 and the Kammerakademie Potsdam, & Dunedin Consort (Bach St. Matthew Passion).

He has performed with celebrated artists including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Bernhard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Giovanni Antonini, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Alina Ibragimova, Rachel Podger, Carolyn Sampson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore & Matthias Goerne.

Kristian’s rich and award-winning discography on Harmonia Mundi includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart (Diapason d’Or de L’annéePreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, & Caecilia Prize);  the complete Piano Concertos of Beethoven with the Freiburger Barockorchester; Bach Violin Sonatas w. Isabelle Faust; Mozart Violin Sonatas with Petra Müllejans; Mendelssohn and Mozart Piano Concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester (ECHO Klassik); Beethoven, & Mozart Lieder, and Schumann Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore (Edison Award). In 2013 he was nominated as Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year. Upcoming releases include two discs of Mozart Piano Concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester to be recorded in May 2021.

In the 20/21 season, Kristian appears as a soloist with Essener Philharmoniker/Richard Egarr,  Les Arts Florissants/William Christie, Kammerorchester Basel/Giovanni Antonini, Orchestre National de France/Emmanuel Krivine and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Klaus Makela. His play-direct visits include Concerto Copenhagen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester and English Concert. Kristian gives solo recitals, continues his close recital partnership with Anne Sofie von Otter and new collaborations with Voces 8 and Niek Baar.

Steve Biggar Photo

Steve Biggar ’92

Co-recipient with Liz Asaro-Biggar ’92

Stephen R. Biggar is a partner at Baker Brothers Investments in New York City, a fund management company focused on long-term investments in life sciences companies. He joined Baker Brothers as an associate in 2000 before becoming a principal and then partner.

In 2013, Biggar joined the board of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, where he is now board chair. He is a former director of Synageva BioPharma Corp., a biotechnology company that was acquired in 2015, and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on autoimmune diseases and antivirals.

Gene Dobbs Bradford

Gene Dobbs Bradford ’89E

Gene Dobbs Bradford, has been the Executive Director of the Savannah Music Festival since February 2022. For 23 years before that, he was Pres. & CEO of Jazz St. Louis. While there, he built their budget from $375,000 to $3.5 million, and led an $8.5 million capital campaign. He oversaw the expansion of their education programs that reached over 200,000 students. He co-commissioned two operas by Terence Blanchard, one of which became the first opera by a black composer to be staged at the Met.

Julia Bullock

Julia Bullock ’09E

Winner of many impressive competitions and awards; a popular recital and opera performer whose concerts feature the words, work, and experiences of Black American artists

Artist-in-residence with Metropolitan Museum of Art, Collaborative Partner with San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

She has organized benefit concerts for war-affected children and adolescents in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Uganda, and her hometown, St. Louis; serves on advisory board of Turn the Spotlight, promoting equity in the arts.

Jim Busterud

Jim Busterud ’81E (MM)

Jim received his master’s degree in music in 1981 and a performer’s certificate in opera from Eastman in 1982.  Highlights of his 16-year operatic career included debuts with the Metropolitan, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and New York City operas; performing a duet for the Queen of England and President Reagan; and singing the role of Schaunard on a recording of La bohème with Leonard Bernstein.  

Prior to arriving at Eastman, Jim received his BA in Music from Pomona College in California. While at Pomona, Jim was awarded the Kappa Delta Award as the school’s most outstanding scholar-athlete, was twice named All-American in baseball, and is in the school’s Athletic Hall-of-Fame.  In 1998, he began his financial career in wealth management with Merrill Lynch, later becoming Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at UBS Wealth Management.  In 2017, he became Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Jack Point Advisors.  

Jim is a George Eastman Circle sustaining member at the benefactor level.

Jennifer Cable ’83E (MM), ’89E (DMA)

Jennifer Cable earned her Doctor of Musical Arts (1989) and Master of Music (1983) degrees from Eastman and her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College in 1981. Post-graduate studies included the Aspen Music Festival, the Academie für Alte Musik (Bremen, Germany), the Schubert Institute (Baden-bei-Wein, Austria), and the Britten-Pears Institute for Advanced Musical Study (Aldeburgh, England).  As a performer, Jennifer focused her attention primarily on music before 1800 (she was a founding member of Affetti Musicali, originally based in NYC, then moving to Richmond, VA) and in contemporary music, having had the privilege of premiering multiple works over the course of her performing career.

Currently, Jennifer is a Professor of Music at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, where she coordinates the Vocal Studies Program. A Qi Gong instructor, Jennifer trained with Qi Gong Master Teacher Dr. Aihan Kuhn, C.M.D., in addition to classes with Master Chunyi Lin, Master Daisy Lee, and Dr. Roger Jahnke. She is also a certified teacher for the Koru Mindfulness Program and is involved in campus outreach centered on mindfulness and meditation.

Jennifer’s research and scholarship delves deeply into the English secular song, with published essays examining Henry Carey’s treatment of political satire, mad songs of the early eighteenth-century, burlesque cantatas of the eighteenth-century, and the development of the eighteenth-century English cantata. Her current work considers two distinctly different areas of study: first, the role of women amateur musicians on early twentieth-century American arts culture—she recently published a chapter on Mary Howe and Adella Prentiss Hughes in The Routledge Handbook of Women’s Work In Music (2022)—and second, the positive impact of Traditional Chinese Medicine pillar Qi Gong on freeing the voice.  Jennifer has also begun research in the personal archives of noted vocal pedagogue Beverley Johnson, sharing her early discoveries in recent conference presentations about Mrs. Johnson’s life and work.

In 2018, Jennifer established an endowed scholarship at Eastman in honor of her professor, mezzo-soprano Marcia Baldwin.  She is also a long-standing member of the George Eastman Circle and serves on the boards of the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia and the James River Singers.

Jennifer and her husband David live in Manakin Sabot, VA with their two dogs.  They have three children and six grandchildren. In a departure from the field of music, Jennifer is also a certified equine massage therapist, joyfully embracing the opportunity to work with horses across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Ruth Patricia Cahn

Ruth Patricia Cahn (McLean) ’68E

Co-recipient with William L. Cahn ’68E

Rochester Philharmonic Percussion Section-34 years.

Teacher at the Eastman Community Music School (42 years),founder/director of the Music Horizons residential summer program for outstanding high school students. 

Development Director for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra 93-94, member of the RPO board and finance committees, Youth Orchestra Board and Young Artists Auditions.

Presenter in Eastman’s Arts Leadership Program on the topic of Studio Teaching.

Summer Session Director ESM 01-11.

William Cahn

Willam L. Cahn ’68E

Co-recipient with Ruth Patricia Cahn (McLean) ’68E

Bill Cahn is a member of the NEXUS percussion group (1971-present). 

He was the Principal Percussionist in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1968-1995.

Honors include the TORONTO ARTS AWARD with NEXUS (1989), the BANFF CENTRE FOR THE ARTS NATIONAL AWARD (1997), the Percussive Arts Society’s HALL OF FAME (1999), the SABIAN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (2005), a GRAMMY AWARD with the Paul Winter Consort (2006), and the Arts & Cultural Council of Rochester LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (2015).

Ron Carter

Ron Carter ’59E, ’10 (HNR)

Awarded Most Recorded Jazz Bassist in 2015 by Guinness World Records with over 2,200 albums across  jazz, rock, classical, spoken word, hip-hop, soul and film scores.  Member of Miles Davis’ Second Great Quartet 1963-1968.  3 time Grammy winner, most recently 2022.  Author of 11 teaching books.  Taught at City College New York for 18 years.  Also taught at Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Artistic Director Thelonious Monk Institute in Boston.  5 honorary Doctorates.  Hutchinson Award 2010.  

Helen H Cha-Pyo

Helen Cha-Pyo ’93E (MM)

Helen H. Cha-Pyo is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, New Jersey’s largest performing arts education organization comprising 4 programs: NJ Youth Symphony, NJ Youth Chorus, Performing Arts School and Paterson Music Project. Previously she was Music Dir./Conductor of the Empire State Youth Orchestra, Artistic Dir./Conductor of the Riverside Phil Orchestra & Choir (NY) and Visiting Asso. Professor of conducting at Montclair State Univ. (NJ).

Tanya Chanphanitpornkit

Tanatchaya Chanphanitpornkit ’15E

Tanatchaya “Tanya” Chanphanitpornkit is a music educator, double bassist, and conductor. She currently teaches at Nyack Public Schools and conducts at Manhattan School of Music Precollege and New York Youth Symphony. Her teaching positions in higher education include Columbia University, William Paterson University, and The College of New Jersey. She is a founding member of the non-profit: Girls Who Conduct. Tanya is currently a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Betsy Ward Photo

Elizabeth Ward Chicares ’86

Elizabeth Ward Chicares ’86 is the Chief Financial Officer at MassMutual. She also serves on the University of Rochester’s Board of Trustees and co-chairs the personal and professional development committee for the Women’s Network.

Ward earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and Spanish from the University of Rochester, while studying flute at the Eastman School of Music. She is a Non-Executive Director at The Hanover Group, serves on the Board at the Community Music School of Springfield, and continues to perform in local classical ensembles, chamber choirs and chorales.

In 2012, she was named by Diversity Journal as a Woman Worth Watching in Financial Services, and in 2014, she was cited by Insurance Risk magazine as CRO of the Year. She was named a 2022 CFO of the Year by Boston Business Journal.

A frequent speaker, in November 2019, Ward was the keynote speaker at the University’s Simon Women’s Conference and she served as moderator for the Leading Through Change webinar in February 2021.

Betsy is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and a Professional Risk Manager.

James Courtney

James Courtney ’73E (MM)

In 2019, the Metropolitan Opera honored James Courtney on the occasion of his 4Oth anniversary with the company. Since his debut in 1979,James has sung 95 roles with nearly 2000 performances to his credit. Mr. Courtney has also collaborated with many of the world’s most celebrated conductors including Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, and Mstilav Rostropovich. James had the privilege of studying at the Eastman School of Music under the guidance of John Maloy.

Alan Curle

Alan Curle

Co-recipient with Andrew London

Alan E. Curle, MD is Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Co-Director of the Center for Perioperative Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine as well as the Medical Director of Perioperative Services at URMedicine/Highland Hospital.  He is an alumnus of the Schola Cantorum of Christ Church Rochester, Stephen Kennedy, Director.

Peggy Diane Dettwiler

Peggy Dettwiler ’91E (DMA)

Co-recipient with Jürgen Thym

Peggy Dettwiler has been Director of Choral Activities at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania for thirty-two years, where she received the Elaine Brown Award and the Presidential Coin for Choral Excellence. 

She holds the DMA Degree in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music and served as president of the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Region.

She also served on the jury for the World Choir Games in Sochi, Russia, and was designated an Honored Artist of the American Prize.

George Doomany

George Doomany ’76

George received his BA in Mathematics and Music (College of Arts and Sciences, ’76), and a Performer’s Certificate in Clarinet from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Professor D. Stanley Hasty. He obtained his MBA in Finance and Accounting from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and has spent the past 35 years working in the private equity investment business. George celebrated his 40th Anniversary together with his husband, Norman Goldblatt, in August 2022.

Jim Doser

Jim Doser ’79E, ’84E (MM)

Jim Doser forged a wide-ranging career, teaching at Eastman and in the Penfield, N.Y., school district, performing with national jazz artists and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. 

As Eastman’s Director of the IML, Doser developed The Eastman Case Studies, MA in Music Leadership Degree, the Eastman Career and Leadership Certificate, the Eastman Leadership Conference and Arts in The Loop project. In Penfield, his work received awards from the Smithsonian Institution and the NEA.

Bryan Dumm

Bryan Dumm ’84E, ’86E (MM)

Co-recipient with Molly Fung-Dumm ’86E

Bryan Dumm has been a member of The Cleveland Orchestra since 1986. He maintains a varied career that also includes solo work, chamber music, teaching, and educational outreach. He has been featured as a soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Dumm has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia with a variety of small ensembles including the Cleveland Octet, Brioso String Quartet, Ars Poetica, Amici String Quartet, and the Myriad Ensemble. He is a founding member of the Samaris Piano Trio, which has recorded on the Newport Classics label.

Martha Kirchenbauer Ellison

Martha Kirchenbauer Ellison ’66E, ’68E (MM)

Martha Ellison, a native of Toledo, Ohio, graduated from Eastman with a BM in 1966 and a MM in 1968. She has taught voice and related subjects at the university and high school levels and as a private studio teacher while singing professionally. Residing in the Washington DC area, she is now dedicated to volunteering in the musical arts. She is chair of Vocal Arts DC presenting world class singers at the Kennedy Center, is on the board of Washington Master Chorale and a Cosmos Club member.

Roy Ernst

Roy Ernst

Taught at Eastman from 1975 to 2002, chaired its music education department for 12 years

In 1991, he started the first New Horizons Band at Eastman, a model program in music making for older adults.

Founding director of the New Horizons Music projects; New Horizons Band is a model for similar programs in the United States and Canada.

Udo Fehn

Udo Fehn

Born and raised in Munich, Ph.D. in Physics, Technical U Munich.

Research Associate, Harvard U. 

Professor and Chair, now Emeritus, Earth & Environmental Sciences, UR.

Visiting Professor, Kyoto U. and Gakushuin U, Japan 

Research and publications: cosmogenic isotopes; fluids in the Earth’s crust; volcanology; releases from nuclear activities.

Teaching: Geophysics; Isotope Geology; Energy and Environment 

Research visits: New Zealand, Japan, Central America, China, Germany, etc.

Renee Fleming Photo

Renée Fleming ’83E (MM), ’11 (HNR)

Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. Honored with four Grammy® awards and the US National Medal of Arts, she has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2014 Renée became the first classical artist ever to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. A ground-breaking distinction came in 2008 when Renée became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.

In the spring of 2022, Renée joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in a world premiere concert of The Hours, a new opera by Kevin Puts based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and award-winning film, with the fully-staged premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in November. Her collaborations with Eastman alumnus Puts also include The Brightness of Light, a concert work based on the letters of Georgia O’Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz, commissioned in part by the Eastman School.

Known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, Renée has sung not only with Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, but also with Elton John, Paul Simon, Sting, Josh Groban, and Joan Baez. She has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series and Live from Lincoln Center. Her voice is featured on the soundtracks of Best Picture Oscar winners The Shape of Water and The Lord of the Rings. She has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to indie rock and jazz. In 2017, Renée’s 2009 album Signatures was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for the National Recording Registry, as an “aural treasure worthy of preservation as part of America’s patrimony.”

Renée is also known as a leading advocate for research at the intersection of arts, health, and neuroscience. As Artistic Advisor to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, she launched the first ongoing collaboration between America’s national cultural center and the National Institutes of Health. Inspired by this initiative, Renée created a presentation called Music and the Mind, exploring the power of music as it relates to health and the brain, which she has presented in more than 50 cities around the world, earning Research!America’s Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion. During the COVID 19 pandemic, Renée launched Music and Mind LIVE, a weekly web show which amassed nearly 700,000 views, from 70 countries.

Renée’s book, The Inner Voice, was published by Viking Penguin in 2004. The paperback edition is now in its sixteenth printing. An intimate account of her career and creative process, the book is also published in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia, and China.

Advisor for Special Projects at LA Opera, Renée also leads SongStudio at Carnegie Hall. She is Co-Director of the Aspen Opera Center and VocalArts at the Aspen Music Festival. Renée earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Carousel. Her other awards include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and honorary doctorates from the Eastman School of Music, Yale University, Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, and The Juilliard School. www.reneefleming.com

Todd Frazier

Todd Frazier ’92E

Todd is a composer and arts advocate. He is Director of Houston Methodist Hospital’s System Center for Performing Arts Medicine (CPAM). The Mission of CPAM is to effectively translate the collaborative potential of arts and medicine to the holistic healthcare environment of Houston Methodist. Under his Directorship, the Center has received the 2019 International Hamilton Award from the National Organization for Arts in Health, “celebrating the best use of the arts in employee engagement;” the 2017 Business Council for the Arts Award from Americans for the Arts, “recognizing the best businesses partnering with the arts in America;” and in 2023, will receive the Texas Medal of the Arts Award from the Texas Cultural Trust, “spotlighting Texas leaders who fuel our state’s economy, improve our health and well-being, and enrich our cultural heritage.”

A graduate of the Eastman ’92 and Juilliard ’94 ’95 schools, he has long been motivated to broaden professional opportunities and scope of education for artists and expand the role and integrated value of the arts in communities.  In response, he has spent nearly 30 years forging and supporting research, education, and accessibility collaborations between education, medicine, and arts & culture communities in America, creating several new institutions and hundreds of new employment opportunities for artists.

As a composer, he has a love for writing and studying sacred choral music and composing music inspired by historical events and extra musical materials with a goal of illuminating ideas and experiences to inspire and motivate listeners, such as “Buffalo Altar; A Texas Symphony,” “Thomas Jefferson; The Making of America,” and “Breath of Life.”  For more information on his musicals composition visit www.jtoddfrazier.com

Robert Freeman

The American pianist, musicologist, and music educator Robert Freeman has led several of America’s finest music schools – including the Eastman School of Music, where he served as director for more than two decades.

In his youth, Freeman studied oboe with Fernand Gillet, and piano with Gregory Tucker, Artur Balsam, and Rudolf Serkin. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree with highest honors from Harvard University and a diploma in piano performance from the Longy School of Music. In 1957-58 he held one of Harvard’s Sheldon Travelling Fellowships. At Princeton University, he was awarded an MFA and a PhD in musicology. A Fulbright Scholarship enabled him to pursue further studies in Vienna in 1960-1962. He was awarded a Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation Award in 1962. In 1963 Freeman joined the Princeton music faculty, leaving in 1968 to join the music faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 1972 he was named director of the Eastman School of Music, a position he held until 1996. He had a longtime connection to the school and to Rochester: his parents were Eastman graduates, and his paternal grandfather had been the first trumpet teacher at the school.  Freeman’s father was a double bass player, and ultimately principal bass, in the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Robert Freeman’s 24 years at Eastman were a time of great growth for the school. As director, Freeman oversaw a major expansion in the campus, including a new Student Living Center and a new building for the Sibley Music Library. He appointed many distinguished artists and scholars to the Eastman faculty, while pointing the school’s curriculum towards the realities of the musical world. He helped to increase national and international exposure for such Eastman performing groups as the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Philharmonia. An enthusiastic and opinionated Rochesterian, he was a leader of the development of the downtown Cultural District, and an articulate spokesperson on the subject of Eastman’s responsibility to the Rochester community.

One of Freeman’s most successful and enduring initiatives involved commissioning faculty member Joseph Schwantner, a Pulitzer Prize winner, to compose a new work for the Eastman Philharmonia that would include a narrator role intended for Willie Stargell, the beloved and iconic first baseman of the Pittsburgh Pirates. New Morning for the World incorporated text from the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., drawing attention to one of the most critical social issues of the time, the civil rights movement. The work’s premiere at the Kennedy Center in 1983 and its subsequent performances and recordings were tremendous musical experiences for our students and brought wide acclaim and visibility to the Eastman School of Music.

From 1996 through 1999, Freeman served as president of the New England Conservatory, then as dean of the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin till 2006. He is now the Susan Menefee Ragan Regents Professor of Fine Arts at the UTA, where he teaches courses in musicology.

A Steinway artist, Freeman has performed in concerts and recitals throughout North America and Europe, and has made several recordings, mainly with colleagues from Eastman and the University of Texas. As a musicologist, his publications have focused on 18th-century music history and on the history and future of musical education. Many of Robert Freeman’s reflections on his experiences as a musician and music educator are included in his recent book The Crisis of Classical Music in America: Lessons from a Life in the Education of Musicians (2014).

Molly Fung-Dumm

Molly Fung-Dumm ’86E

Co-recipient with Bryan Dumm ’84E, ’86E (MM)

Violinist Molly Fung-Dumm founded the Samaris Piano Trio with cellist Bryan Dumm and pianist Sylvia Wang. A former student of Sylvia Rosenberg and Donald Weilerstein, she was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ohio Chamber Orchestra and taught at Cleveland State University, Credo Music and Csehy Summer School of Music. Current collaborations include the BlueWater Chamber Orchestra, programs at Case Western Reserve University, and medical research at the Cleveland Clinic.

Vivien Goh

Vivien Goh ’69E

Since graduating from Eastman, Vivien Goh has been nurturing young musicians in Singapore. Besides maintaining a private studio, she performed extensively on stage, radio and television. She was Music Director and Resident Conductor of the Singapore Youth Orchestra from 1980-1990, playing a seminal role in the formation of the Youth Orchestra movement in Singapore. She was awarded the Cultural Medallion by the government of Singapore in recognition of her contribution to the Arts in Singapore.

Suzanne Gouvernet

Suzanne Gouvernet

Suzanne Gouvernet, grew up in New York City. She moved to Rochester in 1982 but has also lived in Boston, Tunisia, and France. Suzanne’s volunteerism in began with Young Audiences of Rochester, where she served on the board. She also has served on the Eastman Council, the Junior League, the Gallery Council and Travel Committee of the Memorial Art Gallery (where she also was a docent), the Downstairs Cabaret advisory committee, Shipping Dock Theatre board, the Arts and Cultural Council board, and the Rochester Area Community Foundation board where she is now on the distributions committee. She was a founding board member of Friends of Eastman Opera . She is currently a founding board member of Finger Lakes Opera, and on the board of Geva Theatre.

Cathy Hain

Cathy Hain ’09 (MS)

Cathy Hain has dedicated her career to raising support for the performing arts and higher education. Cathy spent seven years as Assistant Vice President of Advancement for the Eastman School of Music, where she secured critical funding to support Eastman’s second century of excellence by completing the leadership phase of Eastman’s $100M Centennial Campaign. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and a Master’s degree from UR’s Simon School of Business.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins Photo

Kelly Hall-Tompkins ’93E

Winner of a Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize and featured in the Smithsonian Museum for African American History, Kelly Hall-Tompkins ‘93E is an acclaimed violin soloist and entrepreneur. A widely acclaimed soloist and recitalist, she has appeared with the Symphonies of Baltimore, Dallas, Madison, Oakland, Greensboro and Artist in Residence with Cincinnati, with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Keith Lockhart and Dmitry Sitkovetsky. As guest concertmaster Ms. Hall-Tompkins has appeared with several orchestras, including Chineke!, Sphinx and as a member the Gateways Festival Orchestra.

Inspired by her experience as the “Fiddler”/violin soloist in a recent Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, she commissioned and developed The Fiddler: Expanding Tradition, her fourth solo album.

During the pandemic, she premiered four pieces written for her, and participated in unique collaborations with Tony-nominated actor Daniel Watts, aerial dancer Alexandra Peter, Frisson Films, Gil Shaham’s Gilharmonic, Routledge Press as contributing author for a new book on Music and Human Rights and with WQXR as part of the inaugural Artist Propulsion Lab.

As founder of Music Kitchen: Food for the Soul, Kelly Hall-Tompkins is a pioneer of social justice in classical music. She has brought top artists in over 100 concerts in homeless shelters coast to coast from New York to Los Angeles, and in Paris. (Music Kitchen commissioned Forgotten Voices, a song cycle comprised of comments written by shelter clients set to music by 15 award-winning composers and premiered in Association with Carnegie Hall in March ‘22.)

George Hamlin

George and Mary Hamlin

George is a friend of the University.  He is the Chair of Eastman Board of Managers and is a member of the Eastman National Council.  He is also a member of the Medical Center Board and Medical Center Campaign Cabinet.  He is a George Eastman Circle charter member at the benefactor level and a generous donor to the Eastman Theatre Renovation.  

He is Chairman of Canandaigua National Bank and Trust.  He is also a commercial, instrument-rated pilot and has been active in the development of the Canandaigua Airport.  He is president of the Canandaigua Area Development Corporation, Chairman of the Finger Lakes Community Care Network, on the board of the New York State Wine & Culinary Center, and Chairman Emeritus of Thompson Health System, among many other affiliations.  George received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Yale University in 1963 and earned his JD from the University of Virginia in 1972.  George and Mary live in Canandaigua, and have one daughter, Sherrod, and two sons, Frank III and Alexander ’00E.

Mary Jo Heath

Mary Jo Heath ’88E (PHD)

Radio host, writer, producer and Emmy Award-winning Mary Jo Heath spent 15 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera sharing her enthusiasm for “all things opera.” For six seasons she hosted both the live Saturday matinee broadcasts heard by almost eight million people worldwide each week and those heard on the Met Opera Radio Channel on the SiriusXM Satellite network. She was only the fourth “Voice of the Met” in the history of the house since the broadcasts began in 1931. Prior to that Mary Jo spent nine seasons as the Met’s Senior Radio Producer, leading the broadcasts from behind the scenes. Her voice was heard on the broadcasts narrating features and interviewing artists, and she was seen on the Met’s “Live in HD” series of transmissions into movie theatres around the world interviewing artists.  During her time at The Met, she conducted hundreds of interviews with all the world’s leading opera singers, conductors and composers and was part of 1,400+ broadcasts, more than any broadcaster in Met history.

A 30+ year veteran of the classical music business, Heath spent a decade with the Philips Classics record label including stints both at their New York offices and at their headquarters in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where she lived for eight years.  While at Philips, she held positions as product manager, marketing manager and director of new business development.  

Mary Jo hosted programs on several radio stations including WQXR-FM in New York City, WSHU-FM in Fairfield, CT and WXXI-FM in Rochester, NY. She has also served as music critic for the Greenwich (Connecticut) Time newspaper and as music advisor to noted opera singers, sopranos Renée Fleming and Barbara Bonney.

Heath has appeared on countless radio shows and podcasts discussing opera and classical music including NPR’s “Here and Now.”  She has been a guest at Yale University and at the Society of Music Theory to share her ideas about careers beyond academia for students with advanced degrees in the humanities. Her chapter on “Broadcasting Opera” will be included in the forthcoming “Handbook of Public Music Theory” to be published by Oxford University Press (Summer 2022). 

A native of Norman, Oklahoma, Mary Jo graduated from the University of Oklahoma with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music and while still a student was the first Music Director of Norman’s Cimarron Circuit Opera Company.  She left Oklahoma for Rochester, New York where she earned a Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music. She has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from both schools and gave the Commencement Address at Eastman in May 2016.

Kevin Honeycutt

Kevin Honeycutt ’85E, Performer’s Certificate

Over the past twenty-five years, Kevin has dedicated his professional career to mastering the role of strategic, results-driven change agent who transforms complex organizations into streamlined, effective mission-driven operations generating measurable impact on important societal issues.  

Both as an independent consultant and in a wide variety of C-suite roles in both the non-profit and for-profit arena, Kevin has been an adroit manager of multi-million-dollar P&L, expert at cost containment, improving ROI, and ensuring fiscal responsibility and organizational compliance. In addition, Kevin has a proven track record as an innovative, principled fundraiser and cause marketer who has generated over $1 billion for cancer, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, diabetes, reproductive rights, academia, and the arts and humanities. Kevin has led business operations, overseen business development and advancement, built supporting systems and infrastructures, managed intricate grant programs, event productions and logistics, and orchestrated successful turnarounds and project launches. 

Kevin is currently CEO and President of Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, which invests in innovative research and biotechnology to bring better, more permanent non-toxic therapies and cures to cancer patients. Prior to ACGT, Kevin was President and CEO of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade and Executive Director of the Avon Foundation for Women. Kevin has been the founder and president of the following consulting firms: HGI Ventures, sold in 2003; Honeycutt Partners, Inc.; and, CP Spencer Consulting LLC.

Samuel Hope

Sam Hope ’67E

Samuel Hope received the Bachelor of Music in Composition from the Eastman School in 1967. From 1975 to 2013, he was Executive Director of the National Association of Schools of Music. He was Executive Editor of Arts Education Policy Review and a steering committee member for the National Voluntary K-12 Arts Standards of 1994. He holds two honorary doctorates and numerous service citations, including a 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from Eastman and the University of Rochester.

Don Hunsberger

Donald Hunsberger  ’54E, ’59E (MM), ’63E (DMA)

Few musicians are more closely associated with the Eastman School of Music than Donald Hunsberger. He received three Eastman degrees: a bachelor’s in 1954; master’s in 1959; and a DMA in 1963, and in 1965 was appointed conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, a post he held until 2002. He remains Professor Emeritus of Conducting at Eastman.

Among his many achievements, Hunsberger elevated the Eastman Wind Ensemble to international prominence, widening its repertoire to include sophisticated works by contemporary composers and promoting higher performance standards.

Through his work as pedagogue, conductor, author, arranger, and recording artist, Dr. Hunsberger furthered the principles of the modern wind ensemble. His many publications, including The Art of Conducting and the essay collection The Wind Ensemble and Its Repertoire are used worldwide.

Under his direction, the Eastman Wind Ensemble performed on a US State Department tour throughout Japan and Southeast Asia in 1978 and another six tours of Japan and Taiwan between 1990 and 2000, arranged and published several works for each of the tours.

He also conducted numerous recordings, including Carnaval with Wynton Marsalis, which reached #1 on the Billboard Classical Chart in 1987.

He has been recognized internationally with named awards and for lifetime achievement accomplishments from Eastman, the Conductor’s Guild, the College Band Directors National Association, the American Bandmasters’ Association, and the Asahi Broadcasting Company, Osaka, Japan, among others. He remains Professor Emeritus of Conducting at Eastman.

Sally Johnson

Sally and Bill Johnson

Sally and Bill Johnson initially became friends of Eastman as they followed their younger daughter Emlyn’s Eastman experience as she completed both her undergraduate and doctoral studies in flute performance. The experience continued as now son-in-law, Daniel Ketter, received doctoral degrees in cello performance and in theory. The entire family (which includes older daughter, Hannah Ong, M.D. and husband Ryan) looks forward to continuing their relationship with the University. Sally is a Jefferson Medical College/Duke trained practicing forensic psychiatrist who has continued an academic career after retiring as a Captain in the US Public Health Service. She is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where she is the Clinical Director of the UNC Forensic Psychiatry Program and Clinic, and also teaches at both Duke and UNC Schools of Law.  She conducts criminal and civil evaluations, having extensive experience as an expert witness, is involved in research with military veteran populations, and consults nationally and internationally on forensic issues, including corrections, violence risk management, and law enforcement concerns. She has been an active member of the inaugural Carolina Performing Arts Board at UNC and previously served as secretary of the North Carolina Symphony Board.  Sally and Bill spend their time between homes in North Carolina and Tennessee. Sally also serves as president of the Johnson Family Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting health, education, and the arts.  Sally and Bill are George Eastman Circle sustaining members at the benefactor level.

Paul R Judy

Paul R. Judy

Paul R. Judy, born 1931, graduated from Harvard College in 1953, served in the USMC into 1955, received an MBA with high distinction from the Harvard Business School in 1957, joined A.G.Becker & Co. in 1958, became CEO in 1965, and retired in 1981 when Pres. of the Chicago Symphony. 

He founded the Symphony Orchestra Institute in 1983, conveying its terminal assets to ESM in 1994. 

In the last ten years, he has shaped the Chicago Philharmonic Society as a musician centric and governed institution.

Louis Karchin

Louis Karchin ’73E

Louis Karchin’s music-over 100 works-has been praised for its “fearless eloquence” (The New Yorker), “bare-nerve intensity” (NY Times) and “coruscating beauty” (San Francisco Examiner), and has been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Guggenheim Foundation, among others. 

He has conducted extensively, serving since 2009 as Music Director of the Orchestra of the League of Composers. An NYU professor since 1979, he initiated the Graduate School’s Ph. D. program in composition.

Mindy Kaufman

Mindy Kaufman ’78E

Mindy Kaufman joined the New York Philharmonic at the age of 22, after performing for 3 seasons with the Rochester Philharmonic. She has a BM from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Walfrid Kujala, Bonita Boyd, and James Galway. Ms. Kaufman has performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic and for one season performed with the Milwaukee Symphony as principal flute. Ms. Kaufman has played on more than 50 film soundtracks.


Rose-Marie Klipstein

Born in Germany; emigrated to US at age 17; BA in Russian Language and Literature, Swarthmore College; teacher, Greenwich Academy; MSEd, Nazareth College; lecturer, Nazareth College; tutor, learning-disabled adolescents; board member, The Norman Howard School, Literacy Volunteers Rochester, Friends of Rochester Public Library, Friends of Eastman Opera, Brighton Memorial Library, Finger Lakes Opera; Rochester resident since 1968; widow of UR professor of medicine; three sons; four grandchildren.

Lee Koonce

Lee Koonce ’96E (MM)

Lee Koonce serves as President & Artistic Director of Gateways Music Festival. Prior appointments include Executive Director of Third Street Music School Settlement (NYC), Executive Director of Sherwood Conservatory of Music (Chicago) and Director of Community Relations for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Lee earned a bachelor of music in Piano Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a master of music in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music.

Ellen Koskoff

Ellen Koskoff

Ellen Koskoff (Professor Emerita) is the author of Music in Lubavitcher Life, 2000, winner of ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music Scholarship 2001, and A Feminist Ethnomusicology: Writings on Music and Gender, 2014. For many years, she hosted a spot on WXXI, Rochester’s NPR Affiliate, called “What in the World is Music?” Koskoff has served as President of the Society for Ethnomusicology and is currently the general editor of the Eastman/Rochester Studies in Ethnomusicology.

Evans Lam Photo

Evans Lam ’83, ‘84S (MBA) and Susanna Lam

Evans Lam holds an MBA in Accounting and a BA in Economics from the University of Rochester, and has enjoyed a distinguished career in investment banking, wealth advisory and portfolio management over the past three decades.

Evans’ passion for education inspired him and his wife, Susanna, to endow multiple scholarships and a professorship at the University of Rochester. He is also instrumental in the revitalization of the University Libraries. Evans serves as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and the National Advisory Council at the Simon Business School and chairs the University’s leadership annual giving society, the George Eastman Circle.

He is a Founder and Honorary Director of the Hong Kong School Alumni Federation Scholarship Foundation and Vice Chairman for the Morning Light Foundation. In 2016, Evans was honored as a History Marker by the Chinese American Museum for his achievement in business, public service, and education.

Judith LeClair

Judith Leclair ’79E

Judith LeClair joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Bassoon in 1981, at the age of 23. Since then, she has made more than 50 solo appearances with the Orchestra, performing with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Alan Gilbert, Christopher Hogwood, Rafael Kubelik, Erich Leinsdorf, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, John Williams, and Andrey Boreyko.

Ms. LeClair is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with K. David Van Hoesen. She made her professional debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra at age 15, playing Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante with colleagues from the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, where she studied with Shirley Curtiss. Before joining the New York Philharmonic, she was Principal Bassoonist for two seasons with the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera.

Active as a chamber musician, she has performed with numerous leading artists and has participated in leading festivals around the country. She has given solo recitals and master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, Michigan and Ohio Universities, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Every August she gives a solo recital and week-long master class at the Hidden Valley Music Seminar in Carmel Valley, California. She performed with the Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet of New York, formed in 2001 with her colleagues from the New York Philharmonic wind section. They gave recitals throughout the country and on the Orchestra’s foreign tours.

In April 1995 Ms. LeClair premiered The Five Sacred Trees, a concerto written for her by John Williams and commissioned by the New York Philharmonic as part of its 150th Anniversary celebration. She later performed the concerto with the San Francisco Symphony and with the Royal Academy Orchestra in London. She recorded it for Sony Classical with the London Symphony Orchestra in June 1996, with Mr. Williams conducting. This, along with her solo New York Legends CD for Cala Records, was released in March 1997. Her newest CD, Works for Bassoon, was released in the spring of 2010.

Ms. LeClair is on the faculty of The Juilliard School, and she joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in fall 2014. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, pianist Jonathan Feldman, and their son, Gabriel.

Seunghee Lee Clarinet 90E

Seunghee Lee ’90E

Clarinetist Seunghee Lee is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM ’90) where she studied with Charles Neidich and the Yale School of Music (MM ’92, AD ‘94) where she studied with David Shifrin. Ms. Lee joined the George Eastman Circle in 2014 and serves on the National Advisory Board of the Eastman School of Music. She also serves on the Board of Advisors at the Yale School of Music, the Board of Directors of the Concert Artists Guild, and as an active voting member of the Recording Academy since 2016; she serves on the Board of Governors of the Recording Academy’s New York Chapter.

Ms. Lee is a multi-faceted classical recording artist, TEDx speaker and music entrepreneur based in New York City. Ms. Lee recently recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, and Clarinet Magazine has recognized her as “an uncompromising soloist, destined to be an upcoming contender of top stature”.  Mentored by multi-Grammy Award winning producer Joanna Nickrenz and legendary recording engineer Marc Aubort, Ms. Lee produced multiple solo albums and upon the release of her debut album Brava, she was included in the ‘Top 30 Under 30’ classical musicians list of the KDFC classical radio. Ms. Lee has collaborated with celebrities such as Deepak Chopra, and her long time passion for cinema music led to an unprecedented full-length concert as a soloist with Andrea Morricone, the world-renowned composer of the “Love Theme” from the film Cinema Paradiso, who especially arranged the “Love Theme” for clarinet and orchestra for Ms. Lee.

Ms. Lee is the founder of Musica Solis, an independent classical record label and sheet music publisher. She appeared as a guest speaker at Harvard Business School at the 2019 Asia Business Conference titled, “The Game Changers” and at the 2019 Yale Alumni Association Career Panel live stream “Careers in Music” among others.  An advocate for mental health and through her artist consulting lecture series titled “You Are the Company”, Ms. Lee aims to guide and mentor emerging classical musicians to become independent entrepreneurial leaders of their generation.

Also a highly skilled golfer, known as “Sunny Kang” in the golf world, she was featured on Hong Kong Golfer Magazine and spoke at TEDx Hong Kong about the surprising similarities between golf and music and the mental challenges of viewing both skills through the lens of a perfectionist.

Vincent Lenti

Vincent Lenti ’60E, ’62E (MM)

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music (B.M. ’60, M.M. ’62), Vincent Lenti served on the full-time faculty at Eastman for fifty-seven years before retiring in 2020 and being named professor emeritus of piano. He was director of the school’s Community Education Division 1970-96 and was appointed school historian in 2001. 

He has published a three-volume history of the school, and he has given lectures and written articles on a wide variety of topics throughout his long tenure at Eastman.

Dawn Lipson

Dawn Lipson

Dawn Lipson became a Rochester resident in 1993. She feels at home in the
Rochester area and loves the variety of cultural and educational
opportunities that are offered. Living in an area with so many institutions of
higher education and such a variety of arts and culture delivers a wealth of

Since taking up residence in Rochester Dawn has become involved in many
of the areas finest nonprofit enterprises. Dawn currently serves on the Board
of the Downstairs Cabaret, is a George Eastman Society member at the
George Eastman House, a director on the Board of the Jewish Community
Center, Co-chair of the Charles Marcus Society at the Jewish Community
Center, President of the Jewish Home Auxiliary, on the Nazareth College
Arts Center Advisory Council, a member of RIT’s Nathaniel Rochester
Society, and serves on Rochester General Hospital’s Cancer Advisory panel.
She also serves on the RPO Board of Directors, the Geva Theater Center
Board, is a trustee of WXXI Board, and a member of the Dean’s Advisory
Council of the Eastman School of Music.

In 2000, Dawn and the late Dr. Jacques Lipson had the honor of donating funds to renovate the
medical oncology unit at Rochester General Hospital, which now carries the
name: Dawn and Jacques Lipson Medical Oncology and Blood Disorder
Center. In 2005 the entire cancer center at Rochester General Hospital was
finished and is now the Dawn and Jacques Lipson, M.D. Cancer and Blood
Disorder Center. Dawn and Jacques also generously provided support for scholarships at the Eastman School of Music, SUNY Brockport, RIT and they endowed a
performance fund at Nazareth College while also supporting the Nazareth College Arts Center renovation project.
Dawn feels a strong commitment to the Rochester Community. Dawn believes the
quality of life in Rochester exceeds any other city of its size. There are arts
and educational offerings for everyone. By enhancing the ability of its local
residents to dream by supporting the arts and supplying the tools to make
those dreams a reality by supporting education Dawn Lipson feels proud to
help the Rochester community continue to be a wonderful place to live and

Andrew London

Andrew London

Co-recipient with Alan Curle

Andrew S. London is the Associate Dean for Administration and Research, and a Professor of Sociology, in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is a Faculty Associate in the Aging Studies Institute, and a Faculty Affiliate in the Center for Policy Research and the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health. London is a Sociologist and Demographer who specializes in studying the social determinants of health, care, and well-being of stigmatized and vulnerable persons and populations.

Chuck Mangione ’63E, ’85E (HNR)

Chuck Mangione ‘63E, ’85 (Honorary) is an American flugelhorn player, voice actor, trumpeter, and composer. He came to prominence as a member of Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers in the 1960s. Mangione served as director of the Eastman Jazz ensemble from 1968 to 1972, and achieved international success in 1977 with his jazz-pop single “Feels So Good.

Mangione has released more than 30 albums since 1960, and has won two Grammy Awards, “Best Instrumental Composition” for Bellavia (1977) and “Best Pop Instrumental Performance” for The Children of Sanchez (1979).

Mangione’s composition “Chase the Clouds Away” was used at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, and his “Give It All You Got” was the theme for the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid. He performed it live at the closing ceremonies.

Chuck Mangione’s fundraising efforts in Rochester have included a December 1980 benefit concert to benefit the victims of an earthquake in Italy and raising over $50,000 for St. John’s Nursing Home at his 60th Birthday Bash Concert.

Chris Martin

Chris Martin ’99E (MM)

1994 BM Audio Recording/Music Performance(Tuba)- Cleveland Institute of Music

1999 MM Performance and Literature/Performer’s certificate- Eastman School of Music

2010-present Audio Engineer/Events Technical Supervisor- University of Delaware

Christopher Martin ’97E

Christopher Martin joined the New York Philharmonic as principal trumpet, Paula Levin Chair, in 2016, after serving as principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) for 11 seasons. He has also served as principal trumpet of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and associate principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra—a post he won at age 22.

Martin made his New York Philharmonic solo debut in October 2016, performing Ligeti’s The Mysteries of the Macabre, led by then music director Alan Gilbert. He has appeared as soloist multiple times with the Chicago Symphony and music director Riccardo Muti. He has had other solo engagements with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa’s Saito Kinen Festival, Atlanta and Alabama Symphony Orchestras, and the National Symphony Orchestra (OSN) of Mexico.

Martin’s discography includes a solo trumpet performance in John Williams’s score to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012), the National Brass Ensemble’s Gabrieli album, and CSO Resound label recordings including the 2011 release of CSO Brass Live. He has served on the faculty of Northwestern University and coached the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and in 2016 he received the Edwin Franko Goldman Memorial Citation from the American Bandmasters Association for outstanding contributions to the wind band genre. Martin and his wife Margaret, an organist and pianist, enjoy performing together in recital.

Dan McIntosh

Dan McIntosh

Co-recipient with Patty Parsons

Dan was born and raised in Oregon. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967 as a U.S. History major, where he was President of the Associated Students and received the Robert Gordon Sproul Award as the outstanding male student. After serving as Vice President of the U.S. National Student Association and a Legislative Assistant to Congressman William Fitts Ryan of NY, he graduated from Berkeley Law School and pursued a career in private practice in Los Angeles with Morrison & Forester, LLP, among other firms, ultimately serving as EVP and General Counsel of Content Partners, LLC, an investment fund manager specializing in acquiring and managing cash generating entertainment assets for institutional investors. 

During a forty-five-year career, Dan represented primarily entertainment industry clients on corporate, finance and large real estate matters. His clients included Lucasfilm, LLC, the Lucasfilm Foundation (for whom he negotiated the terms of a $230 million contribution to the USC School of Cinematic Arts), William Morris Agency and numerous financiers and other participants in entertainment industry ventures and initiatives. He also was part of the MoFo team that represented the Organizing Committee of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

In addition to his law practice, Dan served as President of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the nation’s leading entertainment industry bar association; as a member of the board of Public Counsel (the nation’s largest provider of pro bono legal services); and as a member of the board of A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles.

Dan and his wife, Patricia Amanda Parsons, moved to Rochester in 2017 to access the myriad of musical events and arts activities available and spend more time at their summer cottage on Sodus Bay.  Dan is a member of the Eastman School of Music National Council and conducts workshops for Eastman film composition and other students on legal and business aspects of the music industry through the Institute for Music Leadership.  Dan also serves on the board of the Empire Film and Media Ensemble, which provides opportunities for Eastman students to perform, compose, and promote music composed for films, television, and other visual media.  He  is also taking jazz piano lessons.

Joel McNeely

Joel McNeely ’84E (MM)

Joel McNeely is an Emmy® Award-winning composer and conductor with more than 100 motion picture and television credits.  

He maintains a busy schedule composing for film and television as well as recording, producing and concert conducting.

As a composer for film and television, McNeely has worked repeatedly with such respected filmmakers as James Cameron, John Lasseter, Seth MacFarlane and George Lucas, among others.  

He is currently at work scoring the Hulu series, The Orville.

Harry Messina

Harry Messina ’54

Alto sax at 11, clarinet at 13, both with Anthony V. Bruno. Graduated from Preparatory Dept. With a Silver Medal for Performance in Honors Recitals. Awarded scholarship to U of R where I majored in music (clarinet) at ESM while taking pre-law courses on River Campus. Graduated in 1954 with Performers Certificate and A.B. cum laude. Attended Cornell Law School on scholarship; graduated 1957. Practiced business law while serving on ESM Board of Managers and negotiated purchase of Messinger Hall. Retired 2012 and started cello lessons at ECMS.

Marty Messinger Photo

Martin E. Messinger ’49

Marty earned a BA in Government and Economics in 1949. He has served the University in many capacities and joined the Board of Trustees in 1989. Currently, he is a Life Trustee and a member of the Investment committee.  He joined the Eastman School of Music National Council in 2008 and was previously a member of the Eastman Board of Managers from 1998-2007. Marty is a member of the Libraries Campaign Committee and has served in numerous leadership roles for his reunions.  He received the Eastman School of Music Centennial Award (2022), Luminary Award (2014), and the Dean’s Medal (2012).  Previous University awards include the Hutchison Medal (2006) and the Metzdorf Award (2005).

In 2011, building upon more than four decades of generously supporting programs and initiatives across the University, Marty and Joan made a commitment to endow the position of Dean of the Eastman School of Music.  Additionally, the Messinger family’s generosity helped provide a new home for the Eastman Community Music School at 10 Gibbs Street.  At the University, the Messingers’ gifts have enabled Rush Rhees Library to renovate its Periodical Reading Room and create a dedicated space for graduate study rooms.  Other areas that have benefited from the family’s philanthropy are the debate team (known as the Debate Union), the Goergen Athletic Center, the annual Library Recognition Award, and the Center for Jewish Studies.  Marty has also contributed major sculpture on all three campuses, as well as art in the Eastman buildings.

After receiving his MBA at Columbia University, Marty started his career at Merrill Lynch & Company, working his way up to VP of Management and Assistant to the President and CEO.  In 1973, he joined the independent asset management firm Neuberger Berman as a Managing Director.  Today the company has reorganized as Neuberger Berman LLC and manages $205 billion in assets.

Marty resides in Miami, FL and spends his summers in the Berkshires.  He and his late wife, Joan, have four daughters—Daryl, Alice, Lisa, and Sarah ’82—and ten grandchildren.

Cathy Minehan Photo

Cathy E. Minehan ’68

Cathy Minehan’s $5 million commitment has established two Minehan Family Professorships to support world-class Eastman faculty members, and the Minehan Family Scholarship. She studied clarinet at the Eastman Community Music School and took voice lessons at Eastman as a University of Rochester student.

She is a University of Rochester Trustee, a member of its Executive Committee, and currently is Chairperson of the Academic Affairs Committee.  She is also a co-chair for the Eastman School of Music Centennial Campaign.

Formerly CEO and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Minehan is managing director of Arlington Advisory Partners, the Boston-based accounting services firm, and a board member for several for-profit and non-profit educational, medical, cultural, and business organizations.

Cathy Minehan has also served as Dean of the School of Management at Simmons College and was the first woman to serve as chair of the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Board of Trustees, in 2008.

Myra Monfort

Myra Monfort

Co-recipient with Bill Runyan ’73E (MA), ’83E (PHD)

Myra is a friend of the University.  Myra was raised in New York City, where she attended Erasmus Hall High School and majored in philosophy at Barnard College.  She served on the Board of Barnard for ten years, as well as on the Board of the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida.  She was later appointed by the Governor of Colorado to the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education.  After receiving her JD from the University of Colorado Law School in 1975, she held the position of Chief Legal Counsel for a Fortune 500 company.  As president of the Kenneth and Myra Monfort Charitable Foundation, she has been instrumental in supporting a diversity of philanthropic areas, such as the construction and operation of Boys and Girls Clubs; choral groups; opera; chamber music; and symphony orchestras, serving on the boards of orchestras in two states.  She is also a member of the Monfort Family Foundation Board, which supports, among other things, museums, zoos, hospitals, and Colorado universities.


Myra enjoys playing the piano (she gave a Carnegie Recital Hall performance as a teenager), writing research papers, and until recently, breeding Kentucky horses.  She has two children: Brad, a stockbroker in Colorado with UBS and Rachel, a professional harpist with the Colorado Symphony and a harp professor in Colorado. She has three grandchildren, three stepchildren, five step-grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.  Her husband, Bill Runyan, is also on the National Council.  They are George Eastman Circle sustaining members at the benefactor level.

Erin Morley

Erin Morley ’02E

Erin Morley is one of today’s most sought-after lyric coloratura sopranos. Her performances have garnered huge critical acclaim worldwide and she regularly appears on the greatest opera stages, including the Vienna Staatsoper, Bavarian Staatsoper, Staatsoper Berlin, Teatro alla Scala, Opéra National de Paris, Los Angeles Opera and of course, the Metropolitan Opera where she has now sung more than 100 performances and has been featured in five “Live in HD” broadcasts.

Patty Parsons

Patty Parsons

Co-recipient with Dan McIntosh

Patty is a native of Sodus Point and boomeranged back to Rochester with her husband Dan McIntosh in late 2017, just in time to enjoy her first upstate NY winter after many years in Los Angeles.  An anthropologist and journalist by training and university degrees, she taught anthropology at Keuka and Cornell before working on numerous projects as a writer/photographer/editor/field producer for National Geographic magazine and books.  She has worked free-lance for various publications and museum projects.  Her book High Exposure: Hollywood Lives, was published by the Los Angeles Times.  

Her anthropological fieldwork includes working with traditional potters and musicians in North Carolina, the Tlapanecs of Mexico, the Kayapo on the upper Xingu in the Amazon, and three years on the excavation of the Great Temple of the Aztecs in Mexico City.  A co-founder of ACCESS, Community Arts & Education, a small consulting company in LA, she spent five years co-leading a major federally funded project to create effective strategies to re-introduce the culture of the arts, including music, back into the elementary school curriculum in the state of California.  

Patty is thrilled to be back living in this area, appreciating Sodus Bay in the summer and taking advantage of the fabulous arts and music opportunities that surround her.  She is loving being close to Eastman where she commuted in high school to study oboe.  Patty and Dan have two children, Robby and Douglas, both music lovers and creators, who spent their childhood summers sailing here and love to visit.  Her mother was a chemistry major at the U of R.

Alan Pierson ’06E (DMA)

Conductor Alan Pierson develops collaborative work with diverse artists, like electronic artist Jlin, performance artist Taylor Mac, author Garth Greenwell, Yo Yo Ma, and Steve Reich. He creates performances that tell original stories about music, such as 1969 and Finding Balance, on the life and work of Hans Abrahamsen. He is Artistic Director of Alarm Will Sound, former Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and conducting faculty at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.

Kevin Puts

Kevin Puts ’94E, ’99E (DMA)

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts has established himself as one of America’s leading composers, gaining international acclaim for his “plush, propulsive” music (The New York Times), and described by Opera News as “a master polystylist.” He has been commissioned and performed by leading organizations around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Philadelphia Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Opera Philadelphia, Minnesota Opera, and many more, and has collaborated with world-class artists such as Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, and Marin Alsop, among others.

Peggy Quackenbush

Peggy Quackenbush ’82E (DMA)

Margaret (Peggy) Quackenbush retired recently after serving 43 years at The Hochstein School (Rochester, NY) – the past 30 years as its President & Executive Director. There, she led the expansion of its music, dance, and expressive arts therapies programs and the development of the Hochstein Performance Hall. An active teacher and performer, she is a founding member of Antara Winds. She has received many awards for her leadership in and service to the field of community arts education.

Lance Reddick

Lance Reddick

His credits include The Wire, Fringe, Bosch, Oz, Lost (TV); the John Wick movie series; the video games Quantum Break, Horizon Zero Dawn, Horizon Forbidden West, Destiny.

Lance studied composition at Eastman in the 1980s and continues as a singer and songwriter with the album Contemplations & Remembrances.

Photo by Storm Santos

Bill Reichenbach

Bill Reichenbach ’71E

I grew up in the Washington, DC suburb of Takoma Park, Md. My father was a professional musician, a jazz drummer who took me to a lot of his rehearsals and jobs. My trombone teacher during high school was Bob Isele. He went to Eastman and went on to play solo trombone with the US Marine Band. He recommended that I go to Eastman and study with Mr. Remington. Luckily, I was able to do that. The four years with the Chief and the entire experience at Eastman prepared me for a studio career.

Karen Rettner

Karen Rettner

Co-recipient with Ron Rettner

Karen is a friend of the university. She played an integral role in the redevelopment of the Eastman Community Music School, where the Karen Rettner Community Music Center is named in her honor.  Karen has been an active member of the Eastman National Council since 2015.  She and her husband,, Ron, are involved with the Tanglewood Music Festival where they are members of the Koussevitzky Society, Tanglewood Board of Advisors, and the Buildings and Grounds Committee.  Karen has a special passion for supporting young musicians, sponsoring the Trombone Section for many years, as well as sponsoring Trombone Fellows, where she has maintained friendships with young musicians who are performing in orchestras all over the world.  

Karen was named Hadassah Westchester Woman of the Year.  She has been active in AIPAC, arranging meetings and forums with members of Congress in her home.  Karen is also an active member of the Cummer Art Museum in Jacksonville, Florida.  

Karen was born in Brooklyn, NY and earned her MBA in Organizational Behavior and Small Group Development from Pace University.  She worked in human resources and employee benefits in banking, before turning her efforts to volunteer work and community organizations.  Karen and Ron have been active in the University, both as members of the George Eastman Society and Ron, as a University Trustee. 

They have made significant gifts to the University, including Rettner Hall for Media Arts and innovation, the Rettner Campus Improvement Fund, and the Eastman Community Music School.  Karen and Ron resided in Westchester County, where they raised their two grown children—Matthew and Meredith—and now make their homes in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and the Berkshires.

Ron Rettner

Ron Rettner

Co-recipient with Karen Rettner

Through his commitment to nationally innovative and multi-disciplinary education at the University of Rochester, Ronald Rettner is creating an enduring impact on faculty and students, enabling the advancement of future generations of university and community leaders.

Ronald Rettner is a successful entrepreneur, business executive, developer, and visionary advocate of higher education. He earned his undergraduate degree with honors at Washington University in St. Louis and master’s degrees in business administration and urban planning from Columbia University. By night, he attended Fordham Law School; by day, he worked as a securities analyst, co-founded the Vitamin Shoppes, and managed real estate.

Under his leadership as director, the Morris B. Rettner Foundation, Inc. has funded scholarships, research, civic projects, and university facilities since 1975. He has served as president of Rettner Management Corporation since 1976 and as managing partner of Baron Associates since 1980.  In 2022, Mr. Rettner became a Life Trustee of the University, have served as a Trustee since 2012.

Passionate about higher education and its role in shaping tomorrow’s leaders, Mr. Rettner has been a tireless proponent and supporter of educational and community advancement. He has served on numerous civic and charitable boards and worked with community agencies throughout New York on redevelopment projects that revitalized business districts and neighborhoods.

Among other leadership roles, he served on the National Council of Arts and Sciences for more than 25 years and was named a distinguished alumnus at Washington University in St. Louis, where the Rettner Gallery in the Laboratory Science Building and the Earth Planetary Science Library are named in his honor.

A surrogate speaker for former President George H. W. Bush and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, he also served with many people in Congress on policy and community initiatives.

Judy Ricker

Judy Ricker ’76E, ’81E (MM), ’91S (MBA) 

Co-recipient with Ray Ricker ’73E (DMA) 

Judith Ricker holds two degrees and a Performance Certificate in oboe from the Eastman School, as well as an MBA from Simon. She has straddled the Arts and Business worlds during her career, first as a performer with the Rochester Philharmonic, and later with other local ensembles, and as an award-winning business leader for several companies.  She and husband Ray established a legacy gift that will fund two professorships and a scholarship for generations of deserving students to come.

Ramon Lee Ricker

Ray Ricker ’73E (DMA) 

Co-recipient with Judy Ricker ’76E, ’81E (MM), ’91S (MBA) 

For more than 40 years, Ray Ricker has poured his heart and soul into the Eastman School. As our first professor of saxophone, he has educated musicians who comprise a virtual who’s who in the saxophone world. Not only does he seek to build students’ skills and artistry, he is also passionate about sharing the secrets of turning a love for music into a thriving career. To this end, he has imagined and shaped signature programs that set Eastman apart from its peers.

Jamal Rossi 2024

Jamal J. Rossi ’87E (DMA)

Jamal J. Rossi was announced as the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music in May 2014 – the seventh dean in Eastman’s history.  Prior to his appointment as Dean, Rossi served as the Executive Associate Dean at Eastman (2005-14).  Previous academic leadership appointments include serving as Dean of the School of Music at the University of South Carolina, and Assistant and Associate Dean of the Ithaca College School of Music.

An active saxophone soloist and chamber musician, Rossi is featured on numerous recordings, he has commissioned/premiered more than twenty compositions, and he has been a soloist with symphony orchestras and military/college/university bands.  His articles and reviews have appeared in leading wind publications.  A founding and current member of the Kilbourn Saxophone Quartet, Rossi was formerly a member of the Carolina and Empire saxophone quartets.  Rossi earned a Bachelor of Music Education and Performance degree from Ithaca College (summa cum laude), the Master of Music from the University of Michigan, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music.

Having served in leadership roles in music for more than two decades, Rossi has spearheaded significant collaborative educational and community initiatives and has wide-ranging experience in academic scholarship and leadership, teaching, performance, recording, and fundraising.

Bill Runyan

Bill Runyan ’73E (MA), ’83E (PHD) 

Co-recipient with Myra Monfort

Bill received both his graduate degrees in musicology from the Eastman School, where he was a student of, among others, Charles Warren Fox and Emory Remington.  While a student at Eastman he received both a Graduate Teaching Assistantship and a Graduate Research Assistantship.  He performed in the Collegium Musicum, the East Opera Theatre Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra, the Graduate Brass Quintet, and the Trombone Choir.

He retired in 2003 after thirty years on the faculty of Colorado State University.  During that time, he taught music history, music theory, trombone, tuba, and euphonium lessons, played in the faculty brass quintet, and conducted the wind ensemble and symphony orchestra.  As an administrator he served as Department Chair, as well as Assistant Dean and Acting Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, the largest college in the University.  He has played bass trombone in Colorado and Wyoming symphony orchestras for over forty years, founded and conducted a wind symphony, and conducted professional performances of opera, ballet, and oratorio.  

He has three children: Allison, a ballet performer and teacher in Colorado; Jonathan, in website design management in Oregon; and David, a Director of Business Analysis at Paramount Global in New York City.  Two stepchildren, five grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and one step-great-grandchild round out his family.  His wife, Myra Monfort, is also on the National Council.  They are George Eastman Circle sustaining members at the benefactor level.

Martin E. Sanders,_Corazon D. Sanders

Corsee Sanders and Marty Sanders

Corsee Sanders

Corsee is Executive Vice President of Product Development Operations at Juno Therapeutics.  She was previously a Senior Vice President and the Global Head of Clinical Operations and Industry Collaborations for Roche Pharmaceuticals.  

Corsee received a Bachelor of Science in Statistics and a Master of Science in Statistics from the University of the Philippines. She received her Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.  

Marty Sanders

Marty has had a long career in clinical medicine, basic laboratory research in immunology, pharmaceutical product development, venture capital investment, and serial company formation in the life sciences.  He is CEO of Io Therapeutics, Inc., a company developing new treatments for Parkinson’s disease, other neurodegenerative diseases, and various cancers. 

He received his B.A. in Microbiology from the University of Missouri in Columbia, and his M.D. from the University of Chicago School of Medicine.  He completed post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, and subspecialty training at the National Institutes of Health and at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, and Allergy/Clinical Immunology.  He occasionally performs in musical theater productions.  

Marty and Corsee Sanders, are the parents of Laura Sanders ‘16E, ‘18E (MM), a graduate of Eastman’s Voice and Opera Program.  They are George Eastman Circle sustaining members at the benefactor level and reside in The Woodlands, Texas.  Marty is also a Trustee of the University.

Margaret Sandresky

Margaret Vardell Sandresky ’44E (MM)

I was born the year Eastman was founded, and in 1944 I earned the M.M. degree in composition with Howard Hanson, with a minor in organ with Harold Gleason, later winning a Fulbright for a years study of Baroque Organ in Frankfurt am Main. Eleven volumns of my organ music are published. I’ve also composed three piano trios and various works for wood wind and brass. My last of five works for orchestra were completed last year with “Gaudeamus”. Improvisation has been central to my life.

Gene Scheer

Gene Scheer ’81E, ’82E (MM)

Mr. Scheer’s work is noted for its scope and versatility. With the composer Jake Heggie, he has collaborated on many projects, including the critically acclaimed 2010 Dallas Opera world premiere, Moby-Dick, starring Ben Heppner as Captain Ahab; Three Decembers (Houston Grand Opera), which starred Frederica von Stade; and the lyric drama To Hell and Back (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra), which featured Patti LuPone.

Other works by Scheer and Heggie include Camille Claudel: Into the fire, a song cycle premiered by Joyce di Donato and the Alexander String Quartet. Mr. Scheer worked as librettist with Tobias Picker on An American Tragedy, which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 2005 and on Therese Raquin which was produced by the Dallas Opera in 2001. Other collaborations include the lyrics for Wynton Marsalis’s It Never Goes Away, featured in Mr. Marsalis’s work Congo Square.  With the composer Steven Stucky, Mr. Scheer wrote the oratorio August 4, 1964, for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The work was nominated for a Grammy in 2012 for best classical composition. In 2015, Mr. Scheer collaborated with Joby Talbot on the opera Everest, based on the doomed 1996 Everest expedition. With Jennifer Higdon, Mr. Scheer wrote an operatic adaptation of Cold Mountain, which premiered in the summer of 2015 at the Santa Fe Opera. This work won the International Opera award, presented in London, for the best World premiere in 2015.  Along with Ms. Higdon, Mr. Scheer was nominated for a Grammy for his work on Cold Mountain for best classical composition. In December of 2016 Mr. Scheer and Jake Heggie premiered an operatic adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life for the Houston Grand Opera. In the Fall of 2022 The English National Opera will be presenting a new production of It’s a Wonderful Life on the West End of London. Current projects that Mr Scheer is working on include an operatic adaptation of “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” for the Dallas Opera with the composer Joby Talbot.  For the Houston Grand Opera, Mr. Scheer will once again collaborate with Jake Heggie on an opera entitled “Intelligence.” It is the story of a crucial Union spy ring working in Richmond, Va during the American Civil War.  With the composer Mason Bates, Mr. Scheer is hard at work on an operatic adaptation of Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay for The Metropolitan Opera.

Also a composer in his own right, Mr. Scheer has written a number of songs for singers such as Renée Fleming, Sylvia McNair, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Larmore, Denyce Graves, and Nathan Gunn.  The distinguished documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, prominently featured Mr. Scheer’s song “American Anthem” (as sung by Norah Jones) in his Emmy Award-winning World War II documentary for PBS entitled The War. Mr. Scheer was thrilled and deeply moved when President Biden cited the lyrics of the song during in his inaugural address.

Maria Schneider

Maria Schneider ’85E (MM)

Maria and the Maria Schneider Orchestra are frequent winners of the DownBeat annual critics’ poll; she has won seven Grammy Awards in jazz and classical categories and was nominated for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music

She has raised her voice as an advocate for musicians’ rights and copyright, and against big data companies, their impact on music and culture, and our resulting loss of privacy.

Photo by Whit Lane

Joseph Schwantner

Joseph Schwantner

Joseph Schwantner is a prizewinning American composer, educator and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 2002. He was composer in residence with the Saint Louis Symphony from 1982 to 1984. His orchestral work Aftertones of Infinity received the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Schwantner’s other prominent compositions, many of them written for outstanding orchestras and soloists, include …and the mountains rising nowhere, one of the most popular contemporary works for wind ensemble; (1977) New Morning for the World: “Daybreak of Freedom” (1982) for narrator and orchestra, based on speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. and first performed by the Eastman Philharmonia with baseball great Willie Stargell; the song cycle Magabunda (1983), A Sudden Rainbow (1986), a guitar concerto, From Afar … (1987), a piano concerto (1988), and a percussion concerto (1994), as well as a number of important chamber works for unusual instrumental ensembles. They all reveal his coloristic, eclectic style.

His students at Eastman include such prominent composers as Eric Ewazen, Kamran Ince, Carter Pann, Kevin Puts, Christopher Theofanidis, and Michael Torke.

Joseph Schwantner taught composition at the Eastman School of Music from 1970 to 1999), and also taught at Pacific Lutheran University, Ball State University, the Juilliard School of Music, and Yale.

Karen Peller Selwyn

Karen Peller Selwyn ’67

My husband Philip and I were undergrads on the River Campus and had little contact with Eastman. We connected with Eastman during our life in Washington DC. Each year, we attended Eastman’s concerts (Kennedy Center Conservatory Project). With retirement, we decided to make Eastman a big part of our lives. We moved to Rochester, blocks from Eastman, and frequently attended student concerts. I am proud to continue the support for faculty and students my husband and I began together.

Herbert Thomas Smith

Herb Smith ’91E

Herb is at home in the classical world and the Jazz world. A member of the Rochester Philharmonic trpt section for over 20 years, principal trumpet of the Gateways Festival Orchestra-just performed in Carnegie Hall April 2022, and is a member of the Gateways Brass Collective a traveling brass quintet. 

He is leader and composer for his jazz trio, the freedom trio, a regular guest conductor of the Rochester Phil and Symphoria, and founded his program for black boys called Herb’s City Trpts.

Barry Snyder ’66E, ’68E (MM)

BM, MM, Performer’s Certificate, Artist’s Diploma, Eastman. Studied piano with Vladimir Sokoloff and Cécile Genhart, accompanying with Brooks Smith. Member, Eastman Trio (1976-82), Meadowmount Trio (1989-90); triple prize winner, Van Cliburn International Competition (1966). Mu Phi Epsilon Musician of the Year (1987). Thirty-two solo, concerto, and chamber recordings on Bay City, Golden Crest, Mercury, Gasparo, Pro Arte, Pro Viva, Vox, Fun House, and Bridge Records. Collaborations with Herman Prey, Ani Kavafian, Asako Urushihara, Jan DeGaetani, Ronald Leonard, Steven Doane, Zvi Zeitlin, Bonita Boyd, Francis Tursi, Julius Berger, Sylvia Rosenberg, Paul Tobias, Charles Castleman, James VanDemark, Dong Suk Kang, Raphael Hillyer, Ornulf Borge Hansen, Joyce Castle, William Sharp, Ida Levin, Christoph Heckle, Martin Chalenfour, Charles Treger, Michael Webster, Nellie Skolnikova, Oleh Krysa, and with the Cleveland, Curtis, Purcell, and Composer’s quartets. Performed and given master classes in Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Australia, Europe, Poland, Russia, and South America. Performed in festivals including Seattle, Aspen, Schwetzingen (Germany), Takefu (Japan), Vienna Summer Festival, Bechyne (Czech Republic), and Shenyang International (China). Soloist with Detroit, Houston, Atlanta, National, Montreal, Singapore, Krakow Radio/TV, Nagoya, and Japan Philharmonic Orchestras. Premiered works by Syd Hodkinson, Verne Reynolds, Toshio Hosokawa, David Liptak, Carter Pann, Alec Wilder, and John LaMontaine. Listed in the book The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the United States. Awarded the Diapason D’or for recordings of the complete cello and piano works by Fauré with Steven Doane. Recipient, Edward Peck Curtis Award for Teaching Excellence (1975). Faculty member, Georgia State University (1968-70), Eastman (1970-).

Kerala J. Snyder

Kerala J. Snyder

I am Professor Emerita of Musicology and Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards at Eastman. I specialize in 17th-century music and am best known for my work on Dieterich Buxtehude, for which I was awarded the Buxtehude Prize by the city of Lübeck, Germany. I hold a Ph.D from Yale University and an honorary doctorate from Gothenburg University, at which I worked as a Senior Researcher and Editor of “The Organ as a Mirror of its Time.”

Leigh Stevens

Leigh Howard Stevens ’75E

Developed the revolutionary “Stevens Technique” of independent four-mallet marimba performance

He has performed in almost all fifty states and all over the world

Author of highly influential textbooks

Composer of exercises and original works for marimba and played numerous world premiere performances

Began a Summer Marimba Festival in 1980; professor of Marimba at Royal Academy Music, 1997 – 2004

Curtis James Stewart

Curtis Stewart ’08, ’08E

Multi GRAMMY-nominated violinist/composer has performed as a classical soloist at Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic, held chamber music residencies at Carnegie Hall, the MET Museum and National Sawdust. His work realizes a vision to find personal and powerful connections between styles, cultures. Curtis teaches at The Juilliard School, Perlman Music Program, has been commissioned to write works for the Royal Conservatory of music, Virginia Symphony, Eastman Cello Institute, Carnegie Hall

Byron Stripling

Byron Stripling ’83E

Conductor, trumpet virtuoso and singer, Byron Stripling currently serves as principal pops conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, principal guest conductor of the Philly Pops and artistic director and conductor of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. He has served as guest conductor of the Boston, St. Louis, Toronto, San Diego, Fort Worth, Baltimore Symphonies, to name a few. He continues to perform globally as trumpet soloist and vocalist with orchestras and his renowned quartet.

Charles Strouse

Charles Strouse ’47E

Charles Strouse is the Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning composer of, among other works, Bye Bye Birdie (1960), All-American (1962), Applause (1970) and Annie (1977). He’s a three-time Tony winner, and a seven-time nominee for, among others, Golden Boy (1962), Rags (1986) and Nick and Nora (1993). He is a two-time Grammy winner, and a three-time Drama Desk nominee. He has also been elected to both The Theater Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


Alexa Tarantino ’14E

“[Alexa is] a one-woman wrecking crew, […] an indomitable force for expression, education, and absolute excellence.” – Wynton Marsalis

Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist & woodwind artist, composer, and educator. She can be heard with Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Cecile McLorin Salvant, ARTEMIS, and the Alexa Tarantino Quartet. She was named “Rising Star” by Downbeat (’21, ’20) and “Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of the Year” (JazzTimes ’19).

Mark B Taubman

Mark B. Taubman

Dr. Taubman is CEO of the Medical Center, Dean of the School of Medicine & Dentistry, and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Rochester. He received his BA from Columbia University, his MD from New York University, and his clinical training in medicine and cardiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Taubman is an international authority in vascular biology, and has had a long history of NIH funding and has published more than 120 articles, chapters, and books.

Augusta Read Thomas

Augusta Read Thomas

Taught composition at Eastman, Northwestern University, University of Chicago

Her music has been championed by Mstislav Rostropovich and Pierre Boulez and commissioned by Boston, Chicago, and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, the Martha Graham Dance Company, and the Santa Fe Opera.

Created the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition, and Chicago’s Ear Taxi Festival (2016) featuring more than 350 musicians, 88 composers, and 54 world premieres.

Jurgen Thym

Jürgen Thym

Co-recipient with Peggy Dettwiler ’91E (DMA)

Jürgen Thym has taught at Eastman from 1973 to 2019 (chair of musicology, 1982-2000). 

He has published books and articles (in both English and German) as well as lectured (in the United States and abroad) on German Lieder, music theory, text-music relations, music and politics, and other subject matters.

Among his more recent accomplishments are Of Poetry and Song: Approaches to the Nineteenth-Century Lied (2010), articles on memory and song, and essays on the life and music of Luca Lombardi.

Bill Tiberio

Bill Tiberio

Bill Tiberio is in his 39th year in music education, and is a band director at Fairport, NY High School. He is director of bands and jazz ensembles at University of Rochester, and is on the jazz faculty at Ithaca College and SUNY Geneseo. Bill has been an instructor in the Eastman Community Music School for 35 years and founded and directs the Educators Wind and Jazz Ensembles sponsored by ECMS. He is active as a saxophonist and clarinetist in the diverse Rochester music scene.

Sandy Toole

Sandy Toole

Sandy Toole is a Rochester native and has always enjoyed classical and jazz music. Growing up in the shadow of the Eastman School and and the original University of Rochester campus on Prince Street. Sandy became a life-long listener of classical and jazz music because of early influence of attending Eastman School children’s programs. Today, Sandy continues to be a regular attendee at Eastman student recitals and ensembles performances.

Jeffrey T Turner

Jeffrey Turner ’84E

Jeffrey Turner currently serves as Professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. At Duquesne University (1988–2017) he was Director of Orchestral Activities (2011-2016) and Department Chair (1995–1999). Turner currently holds the Principal Bass position with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center. As principal bassist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Turner served thirty-one seasons under music directors Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, and Manfred Honeck.

Jeff Tyzik

Jeff Tyzik ’73E, ’77E (MM)

Jeff learned his musical craft at Eastman with Ray Wright and Chuck Mangione; became Mangione’s lead trumpeter, made two albums with Doc Severinsen, and six solo albums

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor since 1994; also pops conductor with orchestras in Oregon, Vancouver, Florida, Detroit, and Seattle.

His more ambitious compositions include several concertos and other orchestral works for the RPO and for Eastman, including his Centennial commission Symphonies for Wind Orchestra.

Kathleen van Bergen

Kathleen M. van Bergen ’98E

Kathleen enjoys a career as an arts executive. Prior to her role as CEO & President for Artis—Naples, Kathleen served as artistic and executive director of the Schubert Club in Saint Paul, Minnesota, vice president of artistic planning for The Philadelphia Orchestra and vice president and director of artistic administration for the St. Louis Symphony. 

Kathleen has served on the various boards including From the Top, American Composers Forum, the Rose Ensemble and Exhibits Development Group.

Allen Vizzutti

Allen Vizzutti ’74E, ’76E (MM)

Allen Vizzutti has visited over 70 countries and every state in the union to perform with a rainbow of artists from Chick Corea to the Slovenian National Symphony. He has performed on 150 movie soundtracks and video games and released 15 solo recordings in various idioms. The Allen Vizzutti Trumpet Method treatise is used world wide. Myriad ensembles have performed his compositions across the globe. Allen received an Eastman Alumni Award in 2014. He is a staunch advocate of music education.

Mark Volpe

Mark Volpe ’79E

Mark Volpe served as CEO of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1997 through June, 2021. Prior to Boston, Volpe had leadership positions with the orchestras of Detroit, Minnesota and Baltimore. Volpe received a JD from the University of Minnesota and a BM from the Eastman School. He holds 5 honorary doctorates and was the first orchestra executive elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2019, the French Government awarded him the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Thomas Warfield

Thomas Warfield

Thomas Warfield’s an international performing artist from Rochester, and has lived in 6 countries. He’s performed on stage, television, film, in more than 100 cities worldwide; as a singer, dancer, actor, model, composer, choreographer, director, producer, educator, activist and poet. His community activism spans founder of PeaceArt (arts for world peace), president of ARTWalk, co-founding Muccc Theatre; boards of Fringe Festival, Gateways, Greentopia, Community Foundation, Arts Council, WWSF.

David K Weber

David K. Weber

David is a Rochester native whose mother was an Eastman graduate in violin and pedagogy and whose father was a Kodak engineer. He earned engineering degrees from Cornell and Northwestern. His mother kept the house filled with melodies and he learned a deep appreciation of classical music. 

These days, he pursues philanthropic interests at the Eastman School, the Rochester Public Library and the Adirondack Mts. 

He is active in the Delta Chi fraternity, having mentored young men for 25 years.

Danny Wegman Photo

Danny Wegman

Danny Wegman is chairman of Rochester-based Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. He joined Wegmans in 1969, became its president in 1976, and was named CEO in 2005.

He is chairman emeritus of the University’s Board of Trustees after serving as a Board member for more than 17 years.

In 2010, Wegman received the University’s Eastman Medal, which recognizes outstanding professional achievement and dedicated service.

In 2018, as chairman of the board of the Wegmans Family Foundation, Inc., he announced a gift of $5 million to the Eastman School of Music by the foundation. The gift supports faculty and students, including scholarships.

Tim and Robin Wentworth

Robin and Tim Wentworth

Tim and Robin Wentworth are dedicated University of Rochester parents and supporters who are passionate about education and music. Tim is the recently retired CEO of Express Scripts. Robin supports performing arts, educational, and social causes in St. Louis and in New Jersey.

In 2013, Tim was appointed as a member of the University’s board of trustees. Tim and Robin are co-chairs of the Eastman School of Music’s Centennial Campaign and previously served as co-chairs of the University’s Parents Leadership Cabinet. The Wentworths are also members of the George Eastman Circle, the University’s leadership annual giving society.

In 2019, the couple established the Wentworth Family Scholarship to benefit deserving Eastman students, and the Robin and Tim Wentworth Professorship in Piano.

Richard and Susan Williams

Rick and Sue Williams

Both born and raised in Rochester, NY. 

Rick graduated from Brighton High, Undergraduate degree from Alfred University, Graduate School at Johns Hopkins University (MA and PhD work in Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences). Returned to Rochester and was Vice President of The Dolomite Group (now retired). Studied at Eastman Community School with both Gene Bertoncini and Bob Sneider. Sue graduated from Pittsford and SUNY New Paltz, then worked in Advertising for 25 years.

Stephen Williamson ’91E

Stephen Williamson is the principal clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Riccardo Muti. Mr. Williamson was formerly the principal clarinetist of both the New York Philharmonic as well as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He was recently appointed head clarinet faculty at Northwestern University. 

BM and Performers Certificate ESM (‘91); Fulbright Scholar Berlin HdK (‘91- 93); MM Juilliard School (‘95) 

Sony, Naxos,Telarc,Decca,CRI,BMG and numerous film soundtracks. 

Nat Wisch

Nat Wisch ’55

Nat earned his BA in Biology with Distinction from the University of Rochester in 1955.  While a student he was a member of Phi Epsilon Pi, involved in basketball, on Student Council, and a member of the Medicants Honor Society.  He went on to continue his education at Northwestern University and earned his MD in 1958.  Nat has served the University in many capacities; he is currently a Life Trustee, Co-Chair of the New York New Leaders Regional Cabinet, a member and former President of the Trustees Council of the college, and a member of the Eastman School of Music National Council.  Nat has also been the recipient of several awards, including the Eastman School of Music Centennial Award (2022) as well as the College of Arts and Sciences’ Distinguished Alumni Award (2019) and its James S. Armstrong ’54 Alumni Service Award (2002).

He and his wife started the Dr. Nathaniel & Helen Wisch Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship (for students in the Biology Department) in 2000, the Nathaniel and Helen Wisch Professorship in 2011, and the Nathaniel & Helen Wisch Scholarship at Eastman in 2013.  They are George Eastman Circle charter members at the founder level.

Dr. Wisch is currently retired, but during his career he was the Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at New York University. He was also an attending physician at both Mount Sinai Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital and served as the Chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the latter.  Dr. Wisch has served on many national committees in Hematology and Medical Oncology. He has been recognized for his clinical skills by being listed in New York Magazine, America’s Top Doctors, New York Super Doctors, and Castle Connolly for many years. He has also authored more than thirty scientific articles.

The Wisches have three sons—Peter, Steven, and Andrew—as well as a daughter, Karen Wisch Zames ’96.  Nat and Helen reside in New York City.

Xiaogang Ye

Xiaogang Ye ’91E (MM)

Born on 23 September 1955, Xiaogang Ye is regarded as one of China’s leading contemporary composers. From 1978 until 1983, he studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in China and after graduation he was appointed Resident Composer and Lecturer at the Central Conservatory of Music in China. From 1987 he studied at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester in New York. Amongst his former teachers are Minxin Du, Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, Louis Andriessen and Alexander Goehr. Since 1993, Ye has divided his time between Beijing and Exton, Pennsylvania.

Ye’s oeuvre comprises symphonic works, a range of chamber music, stage works and film music, and much of his music bears a connection to Chinese culture and tradition. In The Song of the Earth for soprano, baritone and orchestra, premiered inFebruary 2005, Ye uses the original Chinese texts on which Mahler based his symphonic work of the same name. The work has received performances in New York (Avery Fisher Hall), Munich (Philharmonie), Berlin (Konzerthaus), Venice, Rome and Lucerne. In the Macau Bride Ballet Suite (2001) and Four Poems of Lingnan (2011), which were recorded by the Macau Orchestra in 2014, Ye also refers to old Chinese legends and texts. The composer’s deep attachment to the nature and Buddhist religion is shown especially in composition series such as the “Tibet Series”: In Twilight of the Himalayas (2013) he gives his impressions of traveling through Tibet and Nepal. In August 2008, Ye’s piano concerto Starry Sky was premiered during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing by Lang Lang. Accompanied by dance and light shows the live broadcast was watched by 3 billion people worldwide.

Ye is entrusted with cultural tasks as a standing member of the 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and he is presently, chairman of the China Musicians Association, vice chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, professor of composition at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, distinguished professor of the Xinghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and honorary professor of the Tschaikovsky Conservatory of Music in Ukraine, and founder and artistic director of the Beijing Modern Music Festival. Ye has been appointed as the International Chair in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester as well as the founding dean of the School of Music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since 2021 he is also artistic director of Suzhou Bay Grand Theatre and Nine Tress Artistic Centre (Shanghai).     

He has received numerous prizes and awards, among others the 1982 Alexander Tcherepnin prize, the 1986 Japan Dance Star Ballet prize, and awards from the Urban Council of Hong Kong (1987-94), the Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (1992), the China Cultural Promotion Society (1993), the Li Foundation, San Francisco (1994) and the China National Symphony Orchestra (1996). He has won the Golden Rooster Award (the Best Film Music Score) in China for 3 times, and the Life Achievement of China Film Music. In 2013 Ye was awarded with the China Arts Award. He was a fellow of the Metropolitan Life Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts in 1996, and of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2012. In 2020, Ye became a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Daniel Zager

Dan Zager

Co-recipient with Kathy Zager

Daniel Zager served as Associate Dean and Head Librarian of the Sibley Music Library, and Associate Professor of Musicology, from 2000 to his retirement in 2021. In addition to his primary responsibility for developing Sibley’s collections, he regularly taught a course on J. S. Bach’s sacred cantatas and organ chorales, as well as sacred music courses in the Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards Department, where he also served as program director for the 2016 and 2018 EROI Festivals.

Kathy Zager

Kathy Zager

Co-recipient with Dan Zager

I began my work at ESM in 2001 as Ensemble Coordinator and was promoted to Ensemble Librarian/Operations Manager within a couple of years serving in that capacity for 18 years. Prior to coming to Eastman I served for 10 years at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music as Ensemble Librarian/Manager. I hold bachelor and master degrees in music education from the Universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota. As a cellist I specialized in string pedagogy and taught in the schools as well as privately.