Hofstra hosts tribute for late Rockville Centre music professor


Hofstra students, graduates and faculty held a concert on March 3 at the Helene Fortunoff Theater in memory of longtime music theory professor Howard Cinnamon.

Dr. Cinnamon, a late Rockville Centre resident, worked at Hofstra from 1985 until his death last October. He was remembered as “a devoted and exceptional teacher, and a model of leadership,” by Music Department Chairman Philip Stoecker. The concert in Cinnamon’s memory featured works by Chopin, Brahms, Liszt, Vaughn, Williams, Elgar, Sondheim and Hofstra colleague Chandler Carter.

 Cinnamon, born in 1948, grew up in Hicksville, and decided at the age of 9 that he would pursue a career in music. A respected conductor, he spent 25 years as the music director of the Island Symphony Orchestra and for many years as music director of the Bay Area Fine Arts Symphony.

 Robert Lombardo, a 2012 Hofstra graduate, who is currently teaching music on Long Island and pursuing a doctoral degree in education, remembered Cinnamon as a dedicated and passionate professor.

“His love for music and care for his students made him a very special person,” Lombardo said. “He was always supportive of students in the music department and took the time to attend student performances and recitals. Dr. Cinnamon worked with many Hofstra music students over the years and had a lasting impact on so many individuals in the fields of music education, merchandising, performance, and composition.”

Christina Cinnamo, who graduated Hofstra last year, is also a music teacher, and recalled stopping by his office while enrolled in his music theory courses with questions, which he would always happily answer. “Dr. Howard Cinnamon was a truly remarkable professor, theorist, and advocate for his students,” she said. “He was profoundly generous with his time, insight, and counsel.

“This attention to detail and ardent compassion was extended to each and every one of his students,” Cinnamo continued. “His dedicated attendance at innumerable music department concerts, faculty performances, and student recitals spoke of his unyielding dedication to our department.”

Cinnamon served as interim director of the Hofstra University Symphony Orchestra and organizer and conductor of the University Chamber Orchestra and the Hofstra Summer Reading Orchestra. As a scholar and theorist, he presented papers at conferences on the music of Brahms, Liszt, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, and published papers on Liszt, Schoenberg, Bach, Chopin, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

Proceeds raised benefitted the Island Symphony Orchestra’s Dr. Howard Cinnamon Scholarship Fund for deserving local music students.