Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
Since its opening in 1922, the Eastman Theatre has been Rochester’s preeminent performance space. Throughout its history, this stage has hosted some of the world’s greatest musicians: conductors Leonard Bernstein, Sir George Solti, and Christoph von Dohnányi; composers Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and John Williams; and jazz musicians Bob Brookmeyer, Stan Getz, and Keith Jarrett, to name only a few. Other notable events include a visit from Sir Winston Churchill, who spoke at Eastman in 1932, and presentations by the Metropolitan Opera, which travelled to Rochester annually to perform full productions at the Eastman Theatre for nearly three decades.
The magnificent theatre, which originally contained 3,352 seats, was built by George Eastman as a center for music, dance, and silent film with orchestral and organ accompaniment. An architectural gem, its opulent décor reflects the taste and elegance of the 1920s. The hall features a majestic chandelier, containing 20,000 individual pieces of crystal from Italy and the Czech Republic. This piece is 14 feet in diameter and 35 feet tall, weighs 2.5 tons, and has 546 lights. The venue underwent a historically-sensitive renovation in two phases: the concert shell was replaced in 2004, thus improving acoustics, and in 2009 renovations were completed, including widened aisles, the addition of box seats, and an expansion of the lobby.
In recent years, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre has presented outstanding performers including classical virtuosi Renée Fleming, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo Yo Ma; jazz legends such as Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck, and Arturo Sandoval; Broadway sensations Bernadette Peters, Kristin Chenoweth, and Jason Alexander; stunning ensembles such as the Vienna Boys’ Choir, Kodo; and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.
Now housing 2,326 seats, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre is also the principal concert hall for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Eastman School of Music’s larger ensembles and annual fully staged Eastman Opera Theatre productions. It is used periodically throughout the year for a variety of other concerts, lectures, and special events.
Opened in 1922, Kilbourn Hall was built by George Eastman and dedicated to the memory of his mother, Maria Kilbourn Eastman. Three stories high and decorated in the Venetian Renaissance style, the 444-seat hall is renowned for its remarkable beauty, pure acoustics, and excellent sight lines.
Considered by many to be one of the finest chamber music halls in the world, Kilbourn Hall has hosted countless superb ensembles and soloists. Recent guests include the Emerson String Quartet, violinist Christian Tetzlaff, Third Coast Percussion, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe with pianist Warren Jones, and Eastman’s resident Ying Quartet. It is the home of the Eastman Faculty Artist Series, World Music Series, Kilbourn Concert Series, and Eastman-Ranlet Series.
Hatch Recital Hall
Completed in December 2010 as part of Eastman’s new East Wing, Hatch Recital Hall is the latest jewel among Eastman’s concert venues. With 222 seats, Hatch Hall is an ideal size for solo instrumental, chamber, and vocal music—a modern complement to Eastman’s historic Kilbourn Hall. Along with its elegant appearance and outstanding acoustics, the hall boasts state-of-the-art acoustical and multimedia technology.
Acoustically and aesthetically, this beautiful facility is also a visual symbol of Eastman’s values as an institution devoted to the training of musical artists of the highest caliber. Funding for the Hatch Recital Hall project came from the Davenport-Hatch Foundation.
Hatch Recital Hall is adjacent to the grand Wolk Atrium, which is graced by a stunning 19-foot blue-and-gold chandelier sculpture by renowned glass sculptor Dale Chihuly.
Other Performance Spaces
In addition to Eastman’s traditional concert venues, a number of other spaces exist for performances, recordings, rehearsals, and other events such as lectures and masterclasses. These include Howard Hanson Hall, the Ray Wright Room, and Schmitt Organ Recital Hall, all located within the School’s Main Building, as well as Ciminelli Formal Lounge in the Eastman Student Living Center at 100 Gibbs Street Across the street from Eastman’s main building is Sproull Atrium at Miller Center, at 25 Gibbs Street.