January 14, 2014
Governor Deval L. Patrick to Narrate Words of Martin Luther King Jr. in NEC Performance of Schwantner’s New Morning for the World
David Loebel Conducts NEC Symphony February 5 at 8 pm in Jordan Hall
Concert Presented as Part of Music: Truth to Power Festival
Program Also Features Beethoven Eroica
New England Conservatory’s year-long, all-school festival Music: Truth to Power swings into high gear, February 5, when Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick joins Associate Director of Orchestras David Loebel and the NEC Symphony for a performance of Joseph Schwantner’s New Morning for the World, a dramatic orchestral setting of texts by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The performance at 8 pm in NEC’s Jordan Hall is free and open to the public. The program also features Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica,” thereby giving voice to the ideal of heroes and the struggle for freedom and justice.
Through more than 30 concerts, Music: Truth to Power will demonstrate the critical role music has played in human struggle across all eras, ethnicities, and countries. Emerging from the fractures of social and cultural upheaval in many guises and with many messages, music has expressed protest and outrage, quiet suffering and defiance, anguish, submission, reflection, and hope. It has challenged the status quo, discharged the universal angst, and galvanized the collective dream. NEC, with its unique and outstanding programs in classical, jazz, contemporary improvisation, world music, early and contemporary music, is perhaps the only music school that could offer such a wide range of styles and idioms supporting this festival theme.
Composed in 1982 by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner, New Morning for the World, was given its premiere by the Eastman Philharmonia in January 1983 in Rochester, New York and immediately following that at the Kennedy Center. Since then, it has taken its place alongside another famed work for orchestra and narrator — Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait of 1942 — as the musical centerpiece of choice for many official American celebrations and, of course, especially for the annual MLK holiday.
A commission from AT&T, the work was envisioned as a vehicle for Willie Stargell, the former star first baseman of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Schwantner decided to create a work based on excerpts from King’s eloquent, visionary speeches as a memorial to “a man of great dignity and courage, whom I have long admired.” He worked closely with Stargell to compile the text, which draws on many of King’s most renowned utterances, including “How long, not long” and “I Have a Dream.” After Stargell narrated the premiere performances, countless other renowned African Americans have lent their voices to the work.
Governor Deval Patrick, Biography
Deval Patrick was reelected to a second term as Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in November 2010. Governor Patrick’s life has charted a path from the South Side of Chicago to the U.S. Justice Department, Fortune 500 boardrooms, and now the Massachusetts State House. In each of these capacities, Governor Patrick has been guided by the advice of his grandmother: hope for the best and work for it
First elected in 2006 on a platform of hope and change, Governor Patrick entered office propelled by an unprecedented grassroots campaign. Despite a challenging economic environment, the Patrick administration maintained or expanded the state’s investment in critical growth sectors while delivering timely budgets and cutting state spending. Governor Patrick funded public education at the highest levels in the history of the Commonwealth and its school reform initiatives earned Massachusetts the top spot in the national Race to the Top competition. And through targeted initiatives that play to the Commonwealth’s unique strengths, like his landmark 10-year, $1 billion program to promote the state’s life sciences industry, the Governor has positioned the state as a global leader in biotech, bio pharmaceuticals and IT, and as a national leader in clean energy, including making Massachusetts home to the country’s first offshore wind farm.
Patrick came to Massachusetts in 1970 at the age of 14. A motivated student despite the difficult circumstances of poor and sometimes violent Chicago schools, he was awarded a scholarship to Milton Academy through A Better Chance, a Boston-based organization. From that time forward, it has been Massachusetts people, schools, and institutions that have given Governor Patrick the opportunity to excel. He sees his service as governor as pay-back for the opportunities the Commonwealth has given him.
Governor Patrick is a graduate of Harvard College, the first in his family to attend college, and of Harvard Law School. After clerking for a federal judge, he led a successful career in the private sector as an attorney and business executive, rising to senior executive positions at Texaco and Coca-Cola. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Patrick as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, the nation's top civil rights post.
For further information, check the NEC Website or call the NEC Concert Line at 617-585-1122. NEC’s Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, Williams Hall and the Keller Room are located at 30 Gainsborough St., corner of Huntington Ave. Pierce Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.
ABOUT NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY
A cultural icon approaching its 150th anniversary in 2017, New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized worldwide as a leader among music schools. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, on the Avenue of the Arts in the Fenway Cultural District, NEC offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate music students from around the world. Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide. Half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC-trained musicians and faculty.
NEC is the oldest independent school of music in the United States. Founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee, an American music educator, choral conductor and organist, its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions. On the college level, NEC features training in classical, jazz, and Contemporary Improvisation. Graduate and post-graduate programs supplement these core disciplines with orchestral conducting and professional chamber music training. Additional programs, such as the Sistema Fellows, a professional training program for top postgraduate musicians and music educators that creates careers connected to music, youth, and social change, and Entrepreneurial Musicianship, a cutting-edge program integrating professional and personal skills development into the musical training of students to better develop the skills and knowledge needed to create one’s own musical opportunities, also enhance the NEC experience.
Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Programs and Partnerships Program, the Conservatory provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, and adults. Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music, jazz, and Contemporary Improvisation. Currently more than 750 young artists from 46 states and 39 foreign countries attend NEC on the college level; 1,400 young students attend on the Preparatory level; and 325 adults participate in the Continuing Education program.
The only conservatory in the United States designated a National Historic Landmark, NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year. Many of these take place in Jordan Hall (which shares National Historic Landmark status with the school), world-renowned for its superb acoustics and beautifully restored interior. In addition to Jordan Hall, more than a dozen performance spaces of various sizes and configurations are utilized to meet the requirements of the unique range of music performed at NEC, from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to big band jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, and opera scenes. Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre or Paramount Center in Boston, and a semi-staged performance in Jordan Hall. This past 2012-2013 season, the operas produced were Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, and Rossini’s La Gazzetta. Earlier this year, the Conservatory performed a concert staging of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito with Stephen Lord conducting and Josehua Major, Chair of Opera Studies, directing.
NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.
Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Senior Communications Specialist
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115