photo by Andrew Hurlbut

Since 1967, John Heiss has taught New England Conservatory students the roots of 20th-century modernism both in the classroom and as a conductor and coach. His courses on Ives, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky have shaped generations of musicians.

Stravinsky called him the "pitch doctor." We at NEC call him a man who wears many hats: flutist, composer, conductor, writer, mentor, award winner, festival organizer, and beloved teacher. We're paying him back a fraction of his gifts to us with this celebration of his life in music as he hits a birthday milestone.

Performers in tonight's retrospective of music written by Heiss over the last 40 years include faculty, students, alumni, family members, and Heiss's extended family within Boston's musical community.

Music by John Heiss

Inventions, Contours and Colors (1973)
NEC Wind Ensemble, Charles Peltz, conductor

Songs of Nature (1975)
Collage New Music, David Hoose, director
Thea Lobo, mezzo-soprano

Birthday Greeting (1976)
Laura Arlene Varas, piano

Epigrams (1985)
Laura Heiss Varas, flute and piccolo
Frank Epstein, percussion

Lines from Neruda (1997)
Lisa Saffer, soprano
Peggy Friedland, flute
Eliko Akahori, piano
Tony Woodcock, narrator

Serenade for Flute and Harp (2012)
Written in memory of Arlene Heiss
Jacqueline DeVoe, flute
Franziska Huhn, harp

Music from Heiss's life journey

Claude Debussy/Robert Maxwell Clair de Lune/Ebb Tide
Nancy Fletcher, piano
Richard Bis-Cornet, bass

Ilhan Gokhan March for Concert Band
W. T. Purdy arr. A. Balent Onward Bronxville
Bronxville High School Band
Sharon Slote, director

George Shearing Lullaby of Birdland   
Brad Kohl, tenor saxophone
Kim Holland, piano

The party continues tomorrow night. Each year John Heiss recruits students interested in performing 20th- and 21st-century music to join the NEC Contemporary Ensemble. This year, the group's season begins with modernist works from the 1960s to now.

Date: October 27, 2013 - 3:00:PM
Price: Free
Location: Brown Hall

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MUSICIANS OWN MUSIC BECAUSE MUSIC OWNS THEM. VIRGIL THOMSON