NEC PhilharmoniaAll students majoring in an orchestral instrument participate in NEC's orchestra program, under the leadership of Hugh Wolff, Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras at NEC. David Loebel, as Associate Director of Orchestras, also conducts a large number of concerts each year. Donald Palma coaches the conductorless NEC Chamber Orchestra, with guest appearances by other faculty members.

As an orchestra member, you will have a full season of rehearsals, concerts, and reading sessions under conditions matching the professional orchestra world.

  • At least five public concerts per year, plus full opera productions—see recent repertoire on this page
  • Emphasis on learning a wide range of repertoire and styles
  • Sectionals led by Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians
  • Reading sessions with visiting BSO conductors

In addition to this core program, specialized ensembles provide additional playing opportunities for wind, brass, and percussion majors. Outside of your credit-bearing orchestra, you may also participate in the paid Lab Orchestra, where you will read scores under the direction of participants in NEC's orchestral conducting program.

Current students: Find audition schedules, ensemble audition information, and required orchestral excerpts here.


Visitors to NEC's Firestone Library may listen to recordings of these and other NEC concerts. Where indicated, tracks are available at NEC's Instant Encore channel as streams and downloads.

Hugh WolffConducted by Hugh Wolff

Hugh Wolff first visited NEC to conduct in Jordan Hall on October 3, 2007. In the spring of 2008 he was announced as NEC's Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras, and has conducted roughly half of each year's orchestra concerts beginning with the 2008/2009 academic year.

Hugh Wolff conducted the NEC Philharmonia in Symphony Hall on April 7, 2010. This was the first time an NEC orchestra had performed in Symphony Hall since 1995, when Jordan Hall was closed for restoration. Listen to this concert at InstantEncore.

Adams Lollapalooza 2010-09-29 stream/download
Barber Cello Concerto 2012-04-18 stream/doownload
Barber Serenade for Strings 2010-04-07 Symphony Hall stream/download
Violin Concerto with Hannah Choi 2010-11-03 stream/download
The Miraculous Mandarin Suite 2010-11-03 stream/download
Beethoven Overture to Egmont 2014-04-23 stream/download
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major 2012-02-08 stream/download
Beethoven Symphony No. 3, "Eroica" 2010-04-28
Symphony No. 4 2010-09-29 stream/download
Symphony No. 7 2008-10-01
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 2014-02-12 stream/download
Berlioz Roméo et Juliette 2013-12-11 stream/download
Symphonie Fantastique 2010-09-29 stream/download
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique2012-11-12 stream/download
Borodin Polovtsian Dances 201304-24 stream/download
Brahms Symphony No. 1 2013-09-25 stream/download
BrahmsSymphony No. 2 In D Major 2012-04-18 stream/doownload
Brahms Symphony No. 3 2009-09-30
Britten Concerto for Violin 2013-12-11 stream/download
Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune 2012-10-03 stream/download
Concerto for Orchestra after Marco Polo 2013-09-25 stream/download
Dvorák Symphony No 5 2013-04-10 stream/download
Dvorák Symphony No. 6 2009-04-01
Gandolfi "The Nonsense" from The Garden of Cosmic Speculation 2009-01-29
Gershwin An American in Paris 2014-03-12 steam/download
Golijov Last Round 2012-11-12 stream/download
Haydn Symphony No. 82 in C major "The Bear" 2013-03-11 stream/download
Haydn Symphony No. 90 in C Major 2010-11-03 stream/download
Ives Symphony No. 2 2009-11-04
Ives The Unanswered Question 2014-03-12 steam/download
Janacek Jealousy 2012-10-03 stream/download
Mahler songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn 2011-11-30 stream/download
Mahler Symphony No. 1 (1889 Budapest) 2011-09-26 stream/download | watch
Mahler Symphony No. 3 2011-11-2 stream/download | watch
Mozart Symphony No. 35 in D Major, "Haffner" 20012-02-08 stream/download
Prokofiev Concerto for Violin No. 1 2014-04-23 stream/download
Ravel Concerto for Piano 2014-03-12 stream/download
Ravel Une barque sur l'ocean 2012-04-18 stream/download
Schumann Cello Concerto 2010-04-07 Symphony Hall stream/download
Schumann Symphony No. 1 "Spring" 2013-04-24 stream/download
Shorter Midnight in Carolotta's Hair, Flagships, Prometheus Unbound, Orbits, Forbidden Plan-it! 2009-10-24
Shostakovich Symphony No. 1 2012-02-08 stream/download
Shostakovich Symphony No. 2 "To October" 2014-02-12 stream/download
Shostakovich Symphony No. 6 2013-03-11 stream/download
Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 2010-04-07 Symphony Hall stream/download
Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 2014-04-23 Symphony Hall stream/download | watch
En saga 2012-10-03 stream/download
Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra 2012-10-03 stream/download
Don Juan 2011-09-26 stream/download
Stravinsky Rite of Spring 2013-04-24 stream/download
Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg 2012-11-12 stream/download
Wagner Tristan und Isolde Prelude and Liebestod 2014-03-12stream/download
Walton Concerto for Viola 2013-03-11 stream/download

David LoebelConducted by David Loebel

David Loebel has visited NEC to conduct on an annual basis since the 2004/2005 academic year. Following an 11-year tenure as music director of the Memphis Symphony, Loebel has been named Associate Director of Orchestras at NEC, effective fall 2010.

Agócs Shenanigan 2013-11-13 stream/download
Cantata "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort" 2014-03-05 stream/download
Bartók Concerto for Piano No. 2 2013-02-13 stream/download
Dance Suite for Orchestra 2012-11-14 stream/download
Beethoven Symphony No. 2 2012-11-14 stream/download
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 2013-2-11 stream/download
Berg Concerto for Violin and Orchestra 2014-03-05 stream/download
Berlioz Béatrice et Bénédict Overture 2012-03-07 stream/download
Berlioz Chasse Royale et Orage 2013-10-09 stream/download
Bernstein Candide 2012-11-27 stream/download
Berwald Konzertstück for bassoon and orchestra 2013-03-13 stream/download
Brahms Hyperions Schicksalslied 2010-10-22 stream/download
Nänie 2010-10-22 stream/download
Britten Sinfonia da Requiem 2013-12-04 stream/download
Chadwick Symphonic Sketches: Jubilee 2010-10-22 stream/download
Chopin Concerto for Piano No. 1 2013-11-13 stream/download
Copland Billy the Kid: Suite 2012-11-14 stream/download
Copland Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes 2013-03-13 stream/download
Debussy Images for Orchestra 2012-03-07 stream/download
Dohnányi Suite for Orchestra in F sharp minor "Suite romantique" 2013-02-13 stream/download
Elgar Concerto for Cello in E minor 2012-11-27 stream/download
Elgar Variations on an Original Theme 2010-10-22 stream/download
Haydn Symphony No. 102 2013-10-09 stream/download
Hindemith Symphony "Mathis der Maler" 2014-03-05 stream/download
Ives New England Holidays 2012-12-05 stream/download
Kodály Dances of Galánta2013-02-13 stream/download
Mahler Symphony No. 4 2011-11-9 stream/download
Mahler Symphony No. 10 2011-12-7 stream/download
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3 2013-12-04 stream/download
Messiaen L'Ascension 2011-11-9 stream/download
Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances 2013-11-13 stream/download
Ravel La Valse 2013-03-13 stream/download
Respighi Fountains of Rome 2013-10-09 stream/download
Rossini Overture to William Tell 2013-10-09 stream/download
Schoenberg Pieces (5) for Orchestra 2011-12-7 stream/download
Schubert Symphony in B Minor "Unfinished" 2012-2-1 stream/download
Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5 in E Minor 2012-02-1 stream/download
Schwantner New Morning for the World 2013-02-11 stream/download
Sibelius Symphony No. 7 in C major 2012-12-05 stream/download
Strauss Tod und Verklärung "Death and Transfiguration" 2013-03-13 stream/download
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 in B minor "Pathétique" 2012-11-27 stream/download
Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5 in E Minor 2012-02-1 stream/download
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto 2012-03-07 stream/download
Tippen Suite in D major for the birthday of Prince Charles 2013-12-04 stream/download
Weill Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny 2014-03-05 stream/download

BSO logoConducted by BSO
assistant conductors and
visiting conductors

Since the 1990s, Boston Symphony Orchestra assistant conductors have been frequent guests at NEC, leading concerts by student orchestras. Visiting guest conductors have also taken time away from their busy rehearsal schedules with the BSO to conduct impromptu reading sessions with NEC student orchestras.

Beethoven Symphony No. 3 2007-10-12 Robert Spano reading session
Beethoven Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral" 2011-10-26 Marcelo Lehninger stream/download
Berlioz Roman Carnaval Overture 2013-10-23 Julian Kuerti stream/download
Symphonie fantastique 2009-11-12 Fabio Luisi reading session
Harbison The Most Often Used Chords 2009-04-07 Julian Kuerti
Haydn Symphony No. 88 2011-10-26 Marcelo Lehninger stream/download
Henze Symphony No. 8 2013-10-23 Julian Kuerti stream/download
Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream 2010-03-15 Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos reading session
Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture 2013-10-23 Julian Kuerti stream/download
Mozart Overture to Die Zauberflöte 2011-10-26 Marcelo Lehninger stream/download
Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 2009-04-07 Julian Kuerti
Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini 2009-04-07 Julian Kuerti
Respighi Pines of Rome 2013-10-23 Julian Kuerti stream/download
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade 2010-03-15 Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos reading session
Stravinsky Symphonies of Wind Instruments 2010-02-10 Julian Kuerti

Other guest conductors

Guest conductors from near and far expose students to a variety of conducting styles and approaches to repertoire.

Adams Harmonielehre 2013-10-23 Jefferey Kahane stream/download
Shadows: Four Dirge-Nocturnes (1990) 2011-11-16 Paul Biss stream/download
Barber Symphony No. 1 2012-10-24 Jefferey Kahane stream/download
Beethoven Coriolan Overture 2014-04-09 Paul Biss stream/download
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 (Mahler Retouch) 2011-11-30 Ken Schaphorst stream/download
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 2007-11-09 Gustavo Dudamel reading session
Debussy Nocturnes: Nuages and Fêtes 2009-10-07 Christopher Wilkins
Dvorak Symphony No. 9 2010-10-06 Tito Muñoz stream/download
Dvorak Scherzo Capriccioso 2010-10-26 Mei-Ann Chen stream/download
Golijov Sidereus 2010-10-26 Mei-Ann Chen stream/download
Gould Spirituals 2011-10-12 Yan Pascal Tortelier stream/download
Lutoslawski Symphony No. 4 2012-10-24 Jeffrey Kahane stream/download
Mahler Rückert-Lieder (5) 2011-11-30 Ken Schaphorst stream/download
Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin in E minor 2013-03-06 Paul Biss stream/download
Concerto for Piano No. 22 2012-10-24 Jeffrey Kahane stream/download
Mozart Concerto for Piano No. 25 2013-10-23 Jeffrey Kahane stream/download
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 2011-10-12 Yan Pascal Tortelier stream/download
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet (Excerpts) 2011-11-16 Paul Biss stream/download
Ravel Rapsodie espagnole 2011-10-12 Yan Pascal Tortelier stream/download
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade 2010-10-26 Mei-Ann Chen stream/download
Rouse The Infernal Machine 2013-03-06 Paul Biss stream/download
Sibelius Symphony No. 2 2014-04-09 Paul Biss stream/download
Stravinsky Pétrouchka 2010-10-06 Tito Muñoz stream/download
Tarm Headline Hues: Concerto for Strings 2014-04-09 Paul Biss stream/download
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique" 2013-03-06 Paul Biss stream/download
Weber Overture to Oberon 2011-11-16 Paul Biss stream/download

NEC's conductorless orchestra

The NEC Chamber Orchestra, NEC’s conductorless orchestra, was founded in 2000 by double bassist Donald Palma, a founding member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Palma’s coaching is supplemented by other members of the NEC faculty: Paul Katz, Roger Tapping, Hugh Wolff.

Music of the classical orchestra era by Handel, Haydn, and Mozart is at the core of virtually every program, along with an occasional baroque work and modern works for chamber orchestra.

In the past five seasons, this has included Handel Concerti grossi Nos. 8, 10, 11, 12; Haydn Symphonies No. 6, "Le matin,” No. 22, "The Philosopher," No. 44, "Trauer-Symphonie," No. 80, No. 88, Cello Concerto; Mozart Serenade No. 6 in D Major, K. 239, "Serenata notturna," Sinfonia concertante K.297b and K. 364 (320d), Symphonies No. 29 and No. 33, Violin Concerto No. 3.

Other repertoire performed from 2005 to present

Bartók Divertimento 2014-04-16 stream/download
Bridge Idylls (3) for String Quartet 2013-11-20 stream/download
Britten Les Illuminations 2013-11-20 stream/download
Britten Prelude and Fugue for 18-part String Orchestra 2013-11-20 stream/download
Britten Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge 2013-11-20 stream/download
Dvořák Serenade in E Major 2012-11-28 stream/download
Elgar Serenade in E Minor 2014-04-16 stream/download
Elgar Introduction and Allegro 2014-04-16 stream/download
Handel Concerto Grosso No. 2 2014-2-26 steam/download
Concerto Grosso No. 8 2012-10-31 stream/download
Symphony No. 44 "Trauer" 2012-11-28 stream/download
Haydn Symphony No. 52 2013-10-16 stream/download
Mozart Divertimento No. 11 2013-02-27 stream/download
Mozart Serenade No. 6 2014-04-16 stream/download
Mozart Sinfonia concertante 2012-04-25 stream/download
Mozart Symphony No. 29 2014-02-26 steam/download
Schoenberg Verklärte Nacht 2013-02-27 stream/download
Séjourné Concerto for Marimba and Strings 2013-10-16 stream/download
Shostakovich Chamber Symphony Op. 110a 2012-11-28 stream/download
Shostakovich/Barshai Chamber Symphony Op. 118a 2013-10-16 stream/download
Stravinsky Concerto for String Orchestra 2012-10-31 stream/download
Suk Serenade for Strings 2014-02-26 steam/download
Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings 2012-10-31 stream/download
Veress Four Transylvanian Dances 2013-02-27 stream/download
Walton Sonata for Strings 2012-04-25 stream/download