Today's Youth Perform Today's Music

The New England Conservatory Preparatory School's annual contemporary festival, "Today's Youth Perform Today's Music," was founded in 1991 to give students and faculty the opportunity to study the performance skills needed for contemporary music. Featured composers work closely with students in workshops, seminars, and coachings.

In the recent past, there has been a surge of interest among Preparatory School students to study composition and perform their own music and that of their friends. This has become an integral part of the festival.

Judith Weir"Her music breathes coolly, calmly and intelligently with a clarity of tonal language that positively invites you in."
—The Independent

This year's resident composer is Judith Weir, whose visit comes on the heels of a year of close listening to a fellow British composer to whom Weir is often compared: Benjamin Britten. Like Britten, Weir's approach to tonality eschews academic orthodoxies, while referencing folkloric and ethnographic inspirations. Also like Britten, she has written extensively for the human voice. Her most recent opera, Miss Fortune, premiered at the 2011 Bregenz Festival and moved on to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Boston audiences' exposure to Weir's music include works commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra: Music Untangled and Natural History. The 2013 Aldeburgh Festival premiered her new work for vocal soloist and string orchestra, I give you the end of a golden string, on a program where it kept company with music by Britten, Tippett, and Bartók. Read the Guardian review. Weir received Lincoln Center's Stoeger Prize for chamber music composition in 1997, and Britain's Queen's Medal for Music in 2007.

Tonight's masterclass with NEC Preparatory School student chamber music groups kicks off Judith Weir's residency. In recognition of NEC's partnership with the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, whose students participate in music lessons and ensembles through the NEC Preparatory School, Walnut Hill hosts this event at their Natick campus.

Works performed in this masterclass

Several Concertos (1980) first and third movements
Juree Kim, flute
Emily Munstedt, cello
Sebastian Li, piano

The King of France (1993)
Daniel Kim, piano

String Quartet (1990)
Sofia Tong and Euna Lee, violin
Miranda Waltz-Peters, viola
Zlatomir Fung, cello

Unlocked (1999) second movement "No Justice"
Ben Adams, cello

I Broke off a Golden Branch (1991) first movement
Caroline Joyner, violin
Chris Rogers-Beadle, viola
Yuri Ahn, cello
Ormay Chen, bass
Peter Ho, piano

Judith Weir residency events

2014-01-31 Chamber music masterclass at Walnut Hill School
2014-02-01 Composition masterclass
2014-02-01 New Music for Orchestra
2014-02-01 New Music for Piano
2014-02-02 Full day of concerts

Date: January 31, 2014 - 6:00:PM
Price: Free
Location: Boswell Hall, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, 12 Highland Street, Natick

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WHY DO I LIKE THESE THINGS? ARE MY EARS ON WRONG? CHARLES IVES