All 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.

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
  • 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.


You can listen to and/or watch most of the recent repertoire listed on this page, at NEC's InstantEncore and YouTube channels. Visitors to NEC's Firestone Library may listen to recordings of these and other NEC concerts.

Hugh WolffConducted by Hugh Wolff

Hugh Wolff, NEC's Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras, conducts roughly half of each year's orchestra concerts in Jordan Hall. Wolff has brought the NEC Philharmonia to perform in Boston's Symphony Hall in 2010 and 2014.

Adams Lollapalooza 2010-09-29 listen
Barber Serenade for Strings 2010-04-07 Symphony Hall listen
Violin Concerto 2010-11-03 listen
Barber Cello Concerto 2012-04-18 listen
Barber School for Scandal Overture, Op. 5 2014-11-05 listen
Bartók The Miraculous Mandarin Suite 2010-11-03 listen
Beethoven Overture to Egmont 2014-04-23 listen | watch
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major 2012-02-08 listen
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 "Eroica" 2010-04-28
Symphony No. 4 2010-09-29 listen
Symphony No. 5 (Mahler Retouch) 2011-11-30 listen
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 2008-10-01
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 2014-02-12 listen 
Berlioz Overture to Benvenuto Cellini 2014-10-01 listen
Berlioz Roméo et Juliette 2013-12-11 listen
Symphonie Fantastique 2010-09-29 listen
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique 2012-11-12 listen 
Borodin Polovtsian Dances 201304-24 listen
Brahms Symphony No. 1 2013-09-25 listen
Brahms Symphony No. 2 2012-04-18 listen
Brahms Symphony No. 3 2009-09-30
Britten Violin Concerto 2013-12-11 listen
Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune 2012-10-03 listen
Concerto for Orchestra after Marco Polo 2013-09-25 listen
Dvorák Symphony No 5 2013-04-10 listen
Dvorák Symphony No. 6 2009-04-01
Elgar Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 "Enigma" 2015-02-19
Gandolfi "The Nonsense" from The Garden of Cosmic Speculation 2009-01-29
Gershwin An American in Paris 2014-03-12 listen
Golijov Last Round 2012-11-12 listen
Remembering Gatsby 2015-02-19
Haydn Symphony No. 82 "The Bear" 2013-03-11 listen
Haydn Symphony No. 90 2010-11-03 listen
Ives Symphony No. 2 2009-11-04
Ives The Unanswered Question 2014-03-12 listen
Janacek Jealousy 2012-10-03 listen
Kirchner Music for Flute and Orchestra 2014-11-05 listen
Mahler songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn 2011-11-30 listen
Mahler Symphony No. 1 (1889 Budapest) 2011-09-26 listen | watch
Mahler Symphony No. 3 2011-11-2 listen | watch
Mozart Symphony No. 35 "Haffner" 20012-02-08 listen
Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 2014-04-23 listen
Prokofiev Concerto for Piano No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26 2015-02-11 listen
Ravel Piano Concerto 2014-03-12 listen
Ravel Une barque sur l'ocean 2012-04-18 listen 
Salonen L.A. Variations 2014-10-01 listen
Schubert Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D 944 "Great" 2014-11-05 listen
Schumann Cello Concerto 2010-04-07 Symphony Hall listen
Schumann Symphony No. 1 "Spring" 2013-04-24 listen
Shorter Prometheus Unbound 2009-10-24 watch
Shostakovich Symphony No. 1 2012-02-08 listen
Shostakovich Symphony No. 2 2014-02-12 listen
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 2007-10-03
Symphony No. 6 2013-03-11 listen
Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 2010-04-07 Symphony Hall listen
Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 2014-04-23 Symphony Hall listen | watch
En saga 2012-10-03 listen
Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 47 2015-02-19
Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra 2012-10-03 listen
Don Juan 2011-09-26 listen
Strauss Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28 2015-02-11 listen
Stravinsky Rite of Spring 2013-04-24 listen | watch 
Stravinsky Fireworks, Op. 4 2015-02-11 listen
Tchaikovsky Symphony no. 4 2014-10-01 listen
Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg 2012-11-12 listen
Wagner Tristan und Isolde Prelude and Liebestod 2014-03-12 listen
Walton Viola Concerto 2013-03-11 listen

David LoebelConducted by David Loebel

Following an 11-year tenure as music director of the Memphis Symphony, with frequent visits to conduct at NEC, David Loebel was named Associate Director of Orchestras at NEC in 2010.

Agócs Shenanigan 2013-11-13 listen
Cantata "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort" 2014-03-05 listen
Bartók Piano Concerto No. 2 2013-02-13 listen
Dance Suite for Orchestra 2012-11-14 listen
Beethoven Symphony No. 2 2012-11-14 listen
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 2014-02-11 listen | watch
Berg Violin Concerto and Orchestra 2014-03-05 listen | watch
Berlioz Béatrice et Bénédict Overture 2012-03-07 listen
Berlioz Chasse Royale et Orage 2013-10-09 listen
Bernstein Overture to Candide 2012-11-27 listen
Berwald Konzertstück for bassoon and orchestra 2013-03-13 listen
Brahms Hyperions Schicksalslied 2010-10-22 listen
Nänie 2010-10-22 listen
Brahms Requiem 2014-12-02 listen
Britten Sinfonia da Requiem 2013-12-04 listen
Brahms Concerto for Violin in D Major, Op. 77 2015-03-04 listen
Chadwick Symphonic Sketches: Jubilee 2010-10-22 listen
Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 2013-11-13 listen
Copland Billy the Kid 2012-11-14 listen
Copland Rodeo 2013-03-13 listen
Debussy Images for Orchestra 2012-03-07 listen
Dohnányi Suite romantique 2013-02-13 listen
Dvořák Slavonic Dances (8) for Orchestra, Op. 46/B 83 2014-10-24 listen
Dvořák Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70/B 1412015-02-04 listen
Elgar Cello Concerto 2012-11-27 listen
Elgar Variations on an Original Theme 2010-10-22 listen
Haydn Symphony No. 102 2013-10-09 listen
Hindemith Symphony "Mathis der Maler" 2014-03-05 listen
Ives New England Holidays 2012-12-05 listen
Kodály Dances of Galánta 2013-02-13 listen
Mahler Symphony No. 1 in D Major, "Titan" 2014-11-19 listen
Mahler Symphony No. 4 2011-11-9 listen
Mahler Symphony No. 10 2011-12-7 listen
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3 2013-12-04 listen
Messiaen L'Ascension 2011-11-9 listen
Mozart Ballet Music for Idomeneo, K 367 2014-10-24 listen
Mozart Symphony No. 28 2014-10-08 listen
Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 in B flat Major, Op. 100 2015-03-04 listen
Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances 2013-11-13 listen
Ravel La Valse 2013-03-13 listen | watch
Ravel Valses nobles et sentimentales 2014-10-24 listen
Respighi Fountains of Rome 2013-10-09 listen
Rossini Overture to William Tell 2013-10-09 listen
Rouse The Nevill Feast 2014-10-24 listen
Satie Gymnopédies 2015-02-04 listen
Schoenberg Pieces for Orchestra 2011-12-7 listen
Schubert Symphony in B Minor "Unfinished" 2012-2-1 listen
Schwantner New Morning for the World 2014-02-11 listen
Sibelius Symphony No. 7 2012-12-05 listen
Strauss Tod und Verklärung "Death and Transfiguration" 2013-03-13 listen
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 2012-02-1 listen
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique" 2012-11-27 listen
Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker (Pas de Deux) 2014-10-24 listen Violin Concerto 2012-03-07 listen | watch
Thomson Symphony on a Hymn Tune (Symphony No. 1) 2015-02-04 listen
Tippett Suite for the birthday of Prince Charles 2013-12-04 listen
Weill Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny 2014-03-05 listen

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 listen
Berlioz Roman Carnaval Overture 2013-10-23 Julian Kuerti listen
Berlioz Symphonie fantastique 2009-11-12 Fabio Luisi story
Debussy La Mer 2012-04-13 Esa-Pekka Salonen watch
Harbison The Most Often Used Chords 2009-04-07 Julian Kuerti
Haydn Symphony No. 88 2011-10-26 Marcelo Lehninger listen
Henze Symphony No. 8 2013-10-23 Julian Kuerti listen
Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture 2013-10-23 Julian Kuerti listen
Mozart Overture to Die Zauberflöte 2011-10-26 Marcelo Lehninger listen
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 listen
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade 2010-03-15 Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos story
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 listen
Shadows: Four Dirge-Nocturnes (1990) 2011-11-16 Paul Biss listen
Barber Symphony No. 1 2012-10-24 Jefferey Kahane listen
Beethoven Coriolan Overture 2014-04-09 Paul Biss listen
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 2007-11-09 Gustavo Dudamel reading session
Beethoven Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21 2014-11-12 Paul Biss
Beethoven Lenore Overture No. 1 in C Major, Op. 138 2015-03-11 Joshua Weilerstein listen
Debussy Nocturnes: Nuages and Fêtes 2009-10-07 Christopher Wilkins
Dvorak Symphony No. 9 2010-10-06 Tito Muñoz listen
Dvorak Scherzo Capriccioso 2010-10-26 Mei-Ann Chen listen
Golijov Sidereus 2010-10-26 Mei-Ann Chen listen
Gould Spirituals 2011-10-12 Yan Pascal Tortelier listen
Lutoslawski Symphony No. 4 2012-10-24 Jeffrey Kahane listen 
Lutoslawski Concerto for Orchestra 2015-03-11 Joshua Weilerstein listen
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto 2013-03-06 Paul Biss listen 
Menotti The Consul 2014-10-29 Gil Rose listen
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 22 2012-10-24 Jeffrey Kahane listen
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 25 2013-10-23 Jeffrey Kahane listen
Prokofiev Symphony No. 4 2012-12-12 Andrew Litton watch
Piano Concerto No. 2 2011-10-12 Yan Pascal Tortelier listen
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet 2011-11-16 Paul Biss listen
Ravel Rapsodie espagnole 2011-10-12 Yan Pascal Tortelier listen
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade 2010-10-26 Mei-Ann Chen listen
Rouse The Infernal Machine 2013-03-06 Paul Biss listen
Concerto for Violin No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77 2015-03-11 Joshua Weilerstein listen
Sibelius Symphony No. 2 2014-04-09 Paul Biss listen
Stravinsky Pétrouchka 2010-10-06 Tito Muñoz listen
Tarm Headline Hues: Concerto for Strings 2014-04-09 Paul Biss listen | watch
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique" 2013-03-06 Paul Biss listen
Tchaikovsky Concerto for Piano No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 2014-11-12 Paul Biss
Verdi La forza del destino Overture 2014-11-12 Paul Biss
Weber Overture to Oberon 2011-11-16 Paul Biss listen

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.

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.

Bartók Divertimento 2014-04-16 listen
Bridge Idylls (3) for String Quartet 2013-11-20 listen
Britten Les Illuminations 2013-11-20 listen
Britten Prelude and Fugue for 18-part String Orchestra 2013-11-20 listen
Britten Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge 2013-11-20 listen
Dvořák Serenade in E Major 2012-11-28 listen
Elgar Serenade in E Minor 2014-04-16 listen
Elgar Introduction and Allegro 2014-04-16 listen
Grieg From Holberg's Time, Op. 40 (Holberg Suite) 2014-10-15 listen
Handel Concerto Grosso No. 2 2014-2-26 listen
Handel Concerto Grosso No. 8 2012-10-31 listen
Symphony No. 44 "Trauer" 2012-11-28 listen
Haydn Symphony No. 45 "Farewell" 2014-10-15 listen
Haydn Symphony No. 52 2013-10-16 listen
Mozart Divertimento No. 11 2013-02-27 listen
Mozart Serenade No. 6 2014-04-16 listen
Mozart Sinfonia concertante 2012-04-25 listen | watch
Mozart Symphony No. 29 2014-02-26 listen
Divertimento in D Major for Oboe, Two Horns, and Strings, K. 251 2014-11-18 listen
Mozart Concerto for Oboe in C Major, K 314 (285d) 2015-02-25 listen
Piazzolla Four, for Tango 2015-02-25 listen
Verklärte Nacht 2013-02-27 listen | watch
Schreker Intermezzo and Scherzo 2014-11-18 listen
Séjourné Concerto for Marimba and Strings 2013-10-16 listen
Shostakovich Chamber Symphony Op. 110a 2012-11-28 listen
Shostakovich/Barshai Chamber Symphony Op. 118a 2013-10-16 listen
Stravinsky Concerto for String Orchestra 2012-10-31 listen
Stravinsky from Apollon musagète Apollo's Variation 2011-02-14 at WGBH watch
Stravinsky Concerto for String Orchestra in D Major 2014-11-18 listen
Suk Serenade for Strings 2014-02-26 listen
Suk Serenade for Strings in E flat Major, Op. 6 2015-02-25 listen
Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings 2012-10-31 listen
Veress Four Transylvanian Dances 2013-02-27 listen
Walton Sonata for Strings 2012-04-25 listen
Waxman Sinfonietta for Strings and Timpani 2014-10-15 listen
Webern Five Movements, Op. 5 2015-02-25 listen

NEC orchestral conducting majors

Hugh Wolff, Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras at NEC, works with Orchestral Conducting majors at the graduate level. As part of this training program, students rehearse and perform with the NEC Lab Orchestra under realistic professional conditions.

Beethoven Ah, Perfido!, Op. 65 2014-12-11 Nathan Aspinall
Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 "Pastoral" 2014-12-11 Aspinall & Earl Lee
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 2014-12-11 Lee & David Yi
from Symphony No. 1 Un poco sostenuto - allegro 2011-04-29 Joshua Weilerstein '05 Prep, '09, '11 M.M. watch