The Eastman School of Music is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Rochester. The School is considered one of the best music schools in the United States, and its alumni and alumnae can be found in many professional ensembles. It was established in 1921 by the Rochester philanthropist and Eastman Kodak magnate George Eastman, who was a music-lover. Eastman selected composer Howard Hanson to be its first director.
The Eastman School occupies parts of three buildings in downtown Rochester, New York. The main hall includes the 3,094-seat Eastman Theater, the 455-seat Kilbourn Hall, and offices for faculty.
The Sibley Music Library—the largest academic music library in North America—is located across the street from the main hall. Hiram Watson Sibley founded the library in 1904 using the fortune he made as first president of Western Union. It moved to its current location in 1989, and occupies 45,000 square feet (4,000 m²) on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of Eastman Place. The Sibley Music Library currently holds almost 750,000 items, ranging from 11th century codices to the latest compositions and recordings; this is the largest private collection of musical materials in the Americas.
About 800 students currently attend Eastman (500 undergraduate, 300 graduate). The faculty numbers around 150.
The Eastman School is home to several famous ensembles, including the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Frederick Fennell, himself an Eastman alumnus, founded the Wind Ensemble in 1952.
- Dominick Argento, composer
- Ron Carter, jazz musician
- Mike Davis, jazz musician
- Frederick Fennell, conductor
- Renée Fleming, soprano
- Steve Gadd, jazz musician
- Raymond Gniewek , violinist
- Chuck Mangione, jazz musician
- Chris Theofanidis , composer
- Ted Poor, jazz musician
- Mitch Miller, record producer
- Bill Reichenbach, Hollywood trombonist
- Maria Schneider, composer, big band leader
- Charles Strouse, composer
- Tim Stodd, percussionist
- Ralph Saur, trombonist
- Jeff Tyzik (Principal Pops conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra )
- Lewis Van Haney, bass trombonist
- Mark Volpe , director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
- William Warfield, baritone
- Walt Weizkopf, jazz musician
- Alec Wilder, composer
- Richard Woitach , conductor and pianist