Welcome to Class Notes online—a space for you to post your news and read about your classmates' recent activities.
News from your classmates
Sara Serpa ’08 M.M. is featured on the cover of the spring edition of Jazziz magazine. She recently released a new album entitled Mobile on the record label “Inner Circle Music”. Currently, she is touring throughout Europe and the US, stopping in Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Germany and New York. The album has received largely positive reviews. Click here to view a video of one of the songs entitled “Sequoias Gigantis” inspired by John Steinbeck's book "Travels with Charley." 2012-03-22
Composer Mohammed Fairouz '08, '10 M.M. recently released a Sono Luminus/Naxo CD containing chamber and solo music. This recording features several performers who are NEC alumni/faculty, Jim Orleans; Maarten Stragier, guitar; Michael Couper ’09 M.M., saxophone; and Rayoung Ahn ’05, ’07 M.M. violin, and current faculty at NEC Prep. 2012-01-26
Composer Matti Kovler ’08 M.M. had his piece Fanfare to Israel premiered by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in October to be performed again in December, by the Israel Chamber Orchestra in a special tribute concert to Gilad Shalit. Theodor Tezhik, a renowned Russian/Czech visual artist, has designed a visual set for Matti’s recent music theater projects, with lights and video projection. The first pilot event in this collaboration, titled “Awaiting the Messiah,” will feature soprano Reut Rivka (Israel/The Netherlands) and musicians from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. 2012-01-26
Noah Preminger ’08 recently released his second album “Before the Rain” This album has received much acclaim from The New York Times, DownBeat, and Jazz Times among other publications. Most recently, NPR placed this album #4 on its top 10 list of best Jazz albums for 2011. NPR writes “The tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger plays ballads like an old guy, and that's a compliment. He's in his 20s, but on this collection of slow to mid-tempo tunes he occupies melodies, inhabits their caverns and tight corners, and extracts their richest marrow.” Noah's playing and his group's concepts are influenced by genres ranging from classic to contemporary jazz, from hard rock to ambient music. He has performed extensively over the northeast and has had the opportunity to perform and work with Cecil McBee, Dave Liebman, Fred Hersch, Danilo Perez, Bob Moses, Dave Douglas, John Mastroianni, Joel Frahm, Dave Holland, and John and Bucky Pizzarelli. Noah currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. 2011-12-09
Rhode Island-based accordion whiz Cory Pesaturo ’08, took top honors at the Primus World Accordion Championships in Finland. The 24-year-old became the first American to compete in the event, which was broadcast on Finnish national TV to 1.1 million viewers. Comparing the show to “American Idol,’’ Pesaturo, who also won a world digital accordion title in New Zealand two years ago, says he was surprised to win an acoustic competition - he mostly plays electronic now - but hopes it will boost his campaign to make the dowdy old squeezebox hip again. “I won’t be truly successful until Jay Leno calls,’’ says Pesaturo. Cory also won first place in the 2009 Coupe Mondiale World Digital Accordion Championship in New Zealand. He is the first American in 25 years to win the World Accordion Championship. He has also won the Leavenworth International Championship, and the Kimberley International Jazz Championship. Cory currently lives in Cumberland, R.I. 2011-11-09
Guitarist Adam Levin '08 M.M. and Violinist William Knuth '08 M.M. of Duo Sonidos were recently awarded 1st Prize at the 2010 Luys Milan International Guitar Chamber Music Competition in Valencia, Spain. 2011-11-17
The Parker String Quartet’s ’08 Daniel Chong, Karen Kim, Jessica Bodner, and Kee-hyun Kim, graduates of NEC’s Professional String Quartet Training Program, have won a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance for their CD Ligeti: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2. In addition to their Grammy win, the Parker Quartet recently won the 2009-2011 Cleveland Quartet Award and is in their second season as Quartet-in-Residence with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. They are also serving as the first-ever Artists-in-Residence with Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media. 2011-02-23
Soprano Erin Holmes ’08 M.M. teaches voice and piano at Music 101 Studios in Melrose, and is on voice faculty at Brookline Music School. She has appeared with Opera Boston, Opera Providence, New England Light Opera, Longwood Opera, MetroWest Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, Opera del West, New England Conservatory Opera Theatre, and Washington D.C.’s Strathmore Hall Opera Series. In October 2010, she performed the role of “Gretel” in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel with Longwood Opera, and will be covering the role of “The Lady” as well as singing in the ensemble for Opera Boston’s February 2011 production of Hindemith's Cardillac. 2011-01-06
Darryl Harper '08 D.M.A. has a new album, Stories in Real Time, out on Hipnotic Records. This is the debut recording of the C3 Project ensemble, which presents new music with video, poetry, and dance. The album is available online and through itunes, CD Baby, and Rhapsody. 2010-08-02
Cellist Michal Shein ’08 M.M. performed in a concert in Carnegie Hall with the YouTube Symphony in April, 2009. To become a member of the ensemble, Michal had to first submit a video of herself playing cello, which was reviewed by a professional panel. The panel selected her as a finalist, and in the final phase of the competition she received enough votes online to become a member of the orchestra. Michal currently lives in Jamaica Plain, Mass. 2009-08-18
Guitarist and composer Nick Grondin ’08 M.M. won the 2009 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award for his piece The Shifter. Nick currently lives in Boston, Mass. 2009-08-18
Help find your lost classmates
Unfortunately, NEC has lost touch with some of your classmates. If you have e-mail or other contact information for any of the people listed below, please let us know so that we can keep them informed of reunions and other NEC activities.
Heidi Aispuro, Kobi Arad, Jessica V. Bachicha, Victor Cayres De Mendonca, Luis Esnaola, Alicia Lynne Gregorian, Wen-Zhong Guo, Elden Gowler Kelly, William Thomas Knuth, Natsumi Malloy, Erin Catherine Martin, David McCarroll, Jeffrey Christopher Means, John Russell Reynolds, Yumi Sagiuchi, Myoung Jin Song, Emily A. Spear, Megan Louise Taylor, Anders Carl David Walker.