July 22, 2013

NEC’s Festival Youth Orchestra Presents World Premiere of New Work Commemorating the Boston Marathon bombings, July 26, 2013

Free Concert Marks Return of Ben Bolter ‘05 Who Conducts

Composer Jeremiah Klarman ’15 Responded to City’s Resilience and Courage in writing Boston Strong

New England Conservatory’s Festival Youth Orchestra, a summer symphony orchestra comprised of intermediate and advanced high school-age musicians, will present the world premiere of Jeremiah Klarman’s Boston Strong, July 26 at 7:30 pm in NEC’s Jordan Hall. Composed to commemorate the Boston Marathon bombings, the new piece honors the resilience and courage demonstrated by the City in the wake of the April tragedy. Klarman, a Preparatory School graduate and third year student in the College, studies with Michael Gandolfi, Chair of Composition.

The free concert, which serves as the culmination of three weeks’ work by the student musicians, will be conducted by Ben Bolter ’05, who is also a Prep School alumnus. A fast rising young conductor, he currently resides in Chicago, where he serves as artist faculty for Roosevelt University, Director of Orchestras at the Merit School of Music, Director of the El Sistema inspired YOURS Orchestra (People’s Music School), and co-founder/principal conductor of the HOLOGRAPHIC New Music Series.

Besides Boston Strong, the concert program features Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture, Sibelius’ tone poem Finlandia, symphonic excerpts from Bernstein’s West Side Story, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica.”

Composed of 77 young musicians, the FYO features a truly international roster this year with players coming from seven states and five countries. Now in its 14th year, the program offers three weeks of intensive rehearsal, coaching, and sectional work to strings, brass, winds, and percussion players.

In his program note, composer Klarman writes of the “mix of emotions” he experienced when contemplating writing a symphonic work dealing with the Marathon bombings. “I felt an uncertainty and responsibility; how would I be able to adequately voice what I and so many other people were feeling?” Seizing upon the powerful idea of Boston Strong, he created “a musical cryptogram for the main theme that spells out Boston Strong in musical notation, as well as a middle theme that spells out these words backwards.” The piece traces the events from the beginning of Marathon Day to the culmination of the bomber’s capture, then celebrates the spirit and mutual support of Boston’s citizens. 

“I hope this music,” Klarman said, “will serve as a reminder of our immense strength and courage that sometimes only the darkest events can bring to light.”

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. St. Botolph Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.

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.

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