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“I hope to change the way we view music from an extra-curricular activity that simply keeps our children busy to an absolutely integral part of human development.”
PROFILE: Eugene Feygelson comes from a long line of musicians, including his father, a renowned cellist, and grandfather, an operatic tenor. It was no surprise, then, when Eugene began tinkering with a violin at age four. As a performing violinist since the age of eight, he has always wondered about music as a social phenomenon. “Why does music exist in all human cultures? Is it necessary for our survival?”
To answer such questions, Eugene created his own curriculum through the Musical Arts honors program at University of Rochester to study the new cross-disciplinary field of music and human evolution, while simultaneously completing his performance degree. He now plans to pursue a Master of Philosophy in Musicology at University of Cambridge, concentrating on the biological nature of musical behavior.
INSPIRATION: Watching Leonard Bernstein’s famous Harvard lecture series, “The Unanswered Question,” was a turning point. “I was taken by Bernstein’s question, ‘whither music?’ and in looking for the answer, ‘where from music?’ and ‘why music?’ Bernstein’s lectures influenced me to begin the career path that I walk today.”
ASPIRATION: Eugene aims for a career in academia, researching the benefits of musical activity in hopes of ultimately influencing US education policy concerning music. He plans to use his performance experience to present his research in concert and lecture settings, placing theory into practice while exposing and explaining the power of music.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Eugene regularly performs benefit concerts and participates in educational outreach programs. He has given private violin lessons to urban school children in Rochester and plans to continue his community involvement volunteering for Cambridge-affiliated institutions such as Meldreth Manor, a residential school for adolescents with learning disabilities.
ACCOLADES: Eugene is a recipient of the Howard Hanson Scholarship and George Eastman Grant from the Eastman School of Music.
INTERESTING FACT: Eugene is a founding member of the Oxbow String Quartet and Gypsy Jazz Quintet. He has shared his research as a guest lecturer at various colleges and universities.
Texas Christian University
University of Oregon
University of Cambridge
New York University