Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on February 16, 1975 · Page 91
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page 91

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 16, 1975
Page 91
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-People Dfraocrat and (Cfjnmirlf One Woman's Voice 4E Columnists 5E Paul Graves 6E ROCHESTER. N.Y.. SUNDAY. FEBRUARY 16. 1975 Dialogue The Eastman School Today Changing times at Eastman School I a- Peter Folk Fallcthe unlikely actor By ALCOHN D&Ctiewsday NEWYORKTheidea ofPeterFalk Staying at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan didn 't exactly square with his image, but that was taken care of soon enough. On the day he was interviewed, Falk shambled into the hotel lobby wearing a drab coat. Hush Puppies and a shirt open at the neck revealing a spillage of Drillo-like chest hair. He meandered to the newsstand, looking thoroughly lost He found a room clerk and complained, apologetically, about his room. He did not, however, say, "I'm awfully sorry to trouble you, but you're under arrest for murdering your aunt." For all his versatility, Falk has be- ' ' come stefeotyped as Peter Falk. Whether he is the sloppy, unorthodox TV detective Columbo, the neurotic "Prisoner of Second A venue "or the troubled husband of a housewife having a nervous breakdown in his latest film, John Cassavetes' "A Woman Under the Influence," Falk has a low-keyed charisma, all his own. His choice of profession was unlikely. Falk lost his right eye when he was 3 in an operation for a malignant tumor. Still, he became an excellent athlete and a high school student leader in Ossining, N. V., where he was born and raised. He earned college degrees in political science and public administration before turning to acting. Chain-smoking throughout the inter-view, Falk, 47, spoke thoughtfully about his style. Q: Is it true that there is much of yon in Columbo? FALK: I guess there is, I guess there is. I know that in "Columbo" I like to do things that tickle me. I figure if they tickle me they're gonna tickle the audience. I get tickled when I hold my hand up like that (raises his hand in a typical Columbo gesture). That just tickles me. If it's in the midst of a very serious discussion, an investigation of a murder, and everybody there is high-powered, very formidable people with a lotta money, if they figure I'm not too bright, that Can't hurt me, either. It's better if they think I'm not too bright, and besides, I do like this guy's shoes. If in the midst of all that I ask a guy a personal question, "What did you pay for them shoes?", I tell ya, that tickled me no end. I mean, I enjoyed it when I said it. I enjoyed when 1 thought of it. So when you say there's me in the part, I suppose in that sense it's true. Q: Is there a particular kind of role you prefer? FALK: Your reaction when you read roles is there are good ones and there are bad ones. I wouldn't care if the good one was ... as long as it's good. It could be a gangster cr it could be anything. I don't care if it's comedy or if it's not comedy. I like a guy that's funny, that's always nice. Can't go wrong there. I like the role in "The Price of Tomatoes" very much (a 1962 television play in which he won an Emmy for his portrayal of a rough but compassionate truck driver). And I love playing Columbo. Q: In the new Cassavetes film, your role as the husband, Nick, gets more deeply into the psychological makeup of the character than others you've played. How did you approach the part? FALK: I always thought the guy was funny. I still think he's funny. I think he's very much in love. I think he's crazy about this woman. I played it that I was . (Continued on Page 2E) Inside People Egyptian Jews live on memories . . see page 3E Sex therapy tapes solve problems . see Ruth Winter, page 5t This is the first of a four-part look at the Eastman School of Music today. Later sections will examine whether the school will be moved closer to the University of Rochester River Campus, opinions of those inside and outside the school about the state of education there, and a question-and-answer transcript o f an interview with Eastman director Robert S. Freeman. For the establishment of a school, he has purchased land in Gibbs Street valued at $381,000, has set aside $1,000,000 for construction cost and has deposited an endowment fund of $2,139,999 for maintenance and upkeep. news item of Aug. 6, 1919 By MICHAEL WALSH D&C Staff Writer Like some elephantine monument of the Second Empire, a great gray building occupies a section of once-choice real estate in downtown Rochester. It sits not upon any wide boulevards or allees; Gibbs Street lejids traffic to its front door, while behind it runs a miserable alley known, somewhat optimistically, as Swan Street. There are no swans to be seen anywhere near the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, to give its formal title. The building that houses one of the world's most famous music schools and the Eastman Theatre is the imposing, partially-incomplete brainchild of the most prominent Rochesterian of his time, George Eastman. George Eastman, the Kodak millionaire, did not by his own choice live to see his music school rise from a parochial conservatory to become the dominant force in music education in America over the past 40 years or so. But Eastman, with an unerring instinct for picking the best man in any field, wisely entrusted the care and feeding of his school to a young man of 27 just back from Rome. By the force of his vision and his strong personality, that young man, Howard Hanson, made the Eastman School into an institution to be reckoned with by musicians all over the country. Though Hanson was the school's third director Alf Klingenberg and Raymond Wilson had preceded him he held the post for 40 years. When Hanson stepped down in 1964, to be succeeded by Walter Hendl, his place, and his school's place, in American musical history were assured. Today the Eastman School of Music is 53 years old. It finds itself with a new director, Robert Schoficld Freeman, and new challenges. In a way, Eastman's very success in educating musicians has proven to be a source of woe, for those musicians are now on the faculties of other American music schools, made over in the image and likeness of Eastman, and competing for its students, often at lower cost. THERE IS a strong feeling among Eastman faculty members that the school is changing; changing from what it had become under Hanson, changing to something different, not necessarily welcome. Freeman Is an Ivy Leaguer, educated at Harvard and Princeton, and there is some worry that he may wish to move Eastman in the direction of the Ivy League. University of Rochester Chancellor W. Allen Wallis has said, at a Faculty Senate of March 4, 1974: "One concern when one tries to look fifty years ahead, and that is what we are doing when we are talking about where to locate the School, is to predict the directions of some of the Ivy League Schools: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and Cornell and of Chicago, Stanford, and Berkeley. "They are not of immediate concern to us, since at present they do not teach music; they teach about music. The danger is that they are moving toward the teaching of music; Cornell and Yale already do, to some extent. The influence of the Eastman School has been a big factor, both with Midwestern Universities and the Ivy League universities." The "Midwestern Universities" of which Wallis spoke are also seen as challengers to Eastman hegemony in the field of musical education. Besides worrying that Eastman may be moving to an Ivy-League atmosphere, others at Eastman see the school girding to compete with the state schools of the Midwest and the West in terms of faculty star quality. Schools of music such as Indiana's and Michigan's are repeatedly cited by both Eastman and University administrators as competition, which they are. They offer lower tuition and big-name faculties to attract students, adding, for those who care about such things, the blandishments of campus life: company, variety and big-time sports. FREEMAN SPOKE to this point in an Interview held Feb. S in his office. Also IS present were his two assistants, Daniel Patrylak and Wendell Brase. (A transcription of the interview will appear Wednesday in the Democrat and Chronicle People section.) Q. "One of the questions (around) the school is: In which direction is it going? There seems to be a feeling that perhaps Eastman traditionally was a dominant figure in musical education, but now, faced with competition from, say, left and right, from high-powered faculties at Indiana . . ." Patrylak: (interjecting) "And here." Q. (continuing) "and the more scholarly Ivy League schools, of which you are a product. (Some people) see Eastman being torn by a desire to perhaps go in both directions at the same time, to try to take on both sides at once. Or is it the The Eastman v.'.'.- . :.-..-' ' . . .- r t i , ...... . . His parents met at Robert Schofield Freeman is a 39-year-old Rochester native who grew up, and received most of his education, in Boston. His father and mother met at the Eastman School of Music, something Freeman likes to joke about In his speech to the University of Rochester Board of Trustees in Toronto on Nov. 16, 1973, he said, "As a matter of fact. . .had it not been for the Eastman School of Music, where my parents met as students, I might not exist at all, at least in the same format." He attended the Eastman School Preparatory Department from 1942 to 1945, then, after his parents moved to Boston (where his father joined the Boston Symphony) he went to the Longy School Cm.. V ; ( tJ;MV , 1 V .fi Jl-mif'i The Eastman School made into an institution to be other way around? Are those schools trying to take on Eastman? Freeman: "Well, first of all, I don't see the way musicians should be educated in anything like the terms that people in the Ivy League do. If I did I wouldn't be here. I said that. . .pretty clearly when I was interviewed last year and I said it in the inaugural address last year. Go back to my statement about Aristotle and Plato. "I think the Eastman School has been doing the right thing. I think that a lot of people see that the Eastman School has been doing the right thing. It's only up to us to do it better than we've been doing it, as well or better, because there's increased competition. And of course one of our problems is that competition comes from universities which have public tax support, which means that School of Music when it was opened in 1921. of Music in Cambridge and Milton Academy in Milton, Mass. He entered Harvard in 1953, and won his Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude. He did graduate work at Princeton, receiving his Master's degree in 1960. He spent two years at the University of Vienna in Austria and then returned to Princeton, where he got his PhD in music history in 1967. Freeman has a collection of fellowships and other academic honors, including a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship, a Martha Baird Rockefeller fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship, which took him to Vienna. He is an oboist and pianist, as well as a practicing musicologist In the field of V ; ' f 1 ""' ':-" 'J , 'J H '4 4 reckoned with. they have markedly lower tuition rates." (Eastman's tuition, effective next fall, will be $3,525, according to Edward Easley, the director of admissions.) Q. "Many people . . . have expressed some concern that the performing end of Eastman is perhaps on the way out and the more scholarly end on the way in. You've said that you want both equally emphasized. Is that possible, not to slight one or the other?" Freeman: "That's what the Eastman School has been about for the last 50 years. I think that's still a valid goal." Q. "Are there any grounds for the fears that the school is going to become much more concerned with scholarship than performance?" Freeman: "I think it's natural that Eastman musicology, he has published (through Baerenreiter) an edition of the Bach cantata 176, "Es ist ein trotzig und versagt Ding" with an introduction. He has also published, in the Musical Quarterly, an essay, "La verita nella ripe-tizione." An essay on the 18th-century castrato, Carlo Broschi, known as Farinello, was also published by Baerenreiter as part of "Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Music in Honor of Arthur Mendel." Freeman has been on the faculties of Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he attained the rank of associate professor in 1971. As director of the Eastman School, he is a tenured professor of musicology. when you have somebody from the Ivy League, especially a musicologist, that that kind of thing could make some people nervous, but I have to say that the kinds of evidence which I think is really important in that area is what kinds of appointments aremadetothe faculty?" Freeman's pride and joy are his appointments to the voice faculty. With the deaths of Julius Huehn and Josephine Antoine and the retirement of Anna Kaskas, he found himself with a depleted department. Freeman procured the services of baritone Thomas Paul and mezzo-soprano Jan deGaetani. Miss deGaetani, who brought along her husband oboist Philip West, is considered the foremost female interpreter of contemporary vocal music in America. Freeman spoke of this in the interview: Q. "Now the vocal department has been sort of your territory, given the deaths of its members." Freeman: "Given the fact that a whole new department had to be created, or almost a whole new department" Q. "Is this the kind of thing we can look for in the future?" Freeman: "Which kind?" Q. "Well, that type of department." Freeman: "Characterize the department." Q. "Very well-known singers and performers who may not be here allthe year round." Freeman: "They live here." Q. "Do they live here? I mean performing, in the sense they are on tour." Freeman: "Some of them tour quite extensively and some of them don't It's important to have, I think, that kind of balance. Zvi Zeitlin (a violinist) did a lot of touring before I came here, Eugene List does a lot of touring and did before I came here, but you'll notice that the people who teach here now, as was the case before, live in Rochester. We have a resident faculty." (BARELY 10 minutes after the completion of this interview, it was learned that Eugene List, and his wife, Carroll Glenn, were resigning from the Eastman faculty, effective at the end of the current school year. (The Lists said they wanted to move back to New York City to see their daughter and work on their performing careers, but students very close to them say there was more to their decision. "They detest the place," said one prize-winning piano student of List (At any rate, the Lists were probably the first two names that came to mind in any discussion of the Eastman faculty. Certainly, Eugene List is the best-known member of the piano faculty, and his name was repeatedly cited by Eastman and campus administrators whenever mentioning the quality of Eastman faculty.) THE QUESTION of professionalism has always been on the minds of the Eastman directors. Walter Hendl was a well-known conductor with the Chicago and Dallas orchestras before his ap-pointmentin 1964. Under theHendlad-ministration.therewasagreatdealof emphasis on the training of performing musicians. Hendl felt it important to have a performing faculty, and his first two appointments were List and Glenn. Hendl appeared at the Jan. 4, 1971, meeting of the university faculty senate, to discuss a report of the Senate ad hoc Committee on Cultural Climate. The report made the statement, "We (the university) are not primarily concerned with training the professional artist." "I suspect I find this more than indigestible. I thoroughly disagree, and issue an invitation to all present to study the professional careers of graduates of (the schools of Medicine and Music,)" . Hendl said. Hendl endorsed keeping the school (Continued on Page 2E) 1 M ,A& l A. A1 J 4 E Robert S. Freeman if

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