Industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak Company, established the Eastman School of Music in 1921 as the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Through the efforts of Eastman, Howard Hanson (Eastman Director from 1924-1964), and University President Rush Rhees, the Eastman School became an innovator in American music education. The original vision of a music school dedicated to the highest levels of artistry and scholarship, to the broad education of young musicians within the context of a university, to the musical enrichment and education of the greater community, and to the promotion of American music and musicians, is still alive and vital through the Eastman School’s numerous creative endeavors.
Today, more than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate division of the Eastman School of Music — about 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 25% are from other countries. Each year about 280 students enroll, selected from more than 2,100 applicants. They are guided by more than 95 full-time faculty members.