March 29, 2013

NEC Celebrates British Composer Oliver Knussen with Honorary Doctorate, Performance, Lecture, Masterclasses in April 2013

Degree Bestowed at Boston Modern Orchestra Project concert, April 14

Performances by [nec] shivaree, BMOP

Knussen will Give Lecture, Work with NEC Composition Students in Two Masterclasses

In conjunction with Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s (BMOP) April 14 Boston ConNECtion concert featuring the music of Oliver Knussen, NEC will present the British composer/conductor with an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his extraordinary artistry and his advocacy for new music and young composers. Knussen will be in Boston for that concert and to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra, April 12 and 13, in a program featuring his Violin Concerto and Whitman Settings.

While here, Knussen will also return to the Conservatory as Master Composer-in-Residence where he will give a lecture and two masterclasses.  Additionally, Hums and Songs of Winnie the Pooh will be performed by [nec] shivaree and director Stephen Drury on a concert that sets it in context with works of John Cage and Christian Wolff.

Knussen and Boston

Born in Glasgow, Knussen, 60, has had a close relationship with Boston, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood, and former NEC president Gunther Schuller, since he was a very young composer. During the seventies, he spent several summers studying with Schuller at Tanglewood, married a young horn player who graduated from Boston University, and had several of his early works premiered or performed at NEC. As a mature composer, he served as Head of Contemporary Music Activities at Tanglewood between 1986 and 1993.

BMOP, Knussen and NEC

In its 16th annual Boston ConNECtion concert, BMOP will present Knussen’s Music for a Puppet Court and the Symphony No. 2 (a work that was performed at NEC in 1972 and 1976 –the latter during the International Society for Contemporary Music’s World Music Days). Conducted by Gil Rose, the Jordan Hall concert takes place April 14 at 8 p.m. Also on the program is the New England premiere of The Nature of Light by NEC Composition Chair Michael Gandolfi and the Ginastera Harp Concerto with Krysten Keches ’14 M.M.,winner of the 2012-13 BMOP/NEC Concerto Competition. The NEC honorary doctorate will be bestowed on Knussen at the start of the concert, with the composer introduced by NEC composition faculty Kati Agócs and the degree presented by President Tony Woodcock.

Since 1997, BMOP and the NEC have had an evolving relationship built on a mutual commitment to give Boston-based composers and performers a platform to present new music. “BMOP has been delighting audiences every year with our annual ‘ConNECtion’ concert,” says Gil Rose, Artistic Director and Conductor of BMOP. “We’re honored to give NEC student soloists this opportunity to showcase their talents on a major stage. We’re blessed to have found such an enthusiastic partner in NEC. Together, we will continue to foster enthusiasm amongst the younger generation for many more years to come.”
Admission to the April 14 concert is free, but reserved seats are required. For tickets, email or call 617-585-1260.

Knussen Events at NEC

[nec shivaree] will perform Knussen’s Hums and Songs of Winnie the Pooh on April 3 at 8 p.m. in Brown Hall. The concert also features John Cage’s Cartridge Music and Atlas Eclipticalis, and Christian Wolff’s For One, Two or Three People. Free and open to the public.

Knussen will lead two masterclasses with NEC composition students, on April 8 at 1 p.m. in Williams Hall and April 9 at 10 am in Williams Hall. These events are free and open to the public.

Knussen's lecture will take place April 8 at 4:30 p.m. in Williams Hall. It is free and open to the public.

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.

ABOUT NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY

Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory in Boston, MA offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world.  Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars.  Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.  Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions.  On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, contemporary improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Programs and Partnerships Program, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors.  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.

NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, century-old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to 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 Theatre in Boston.

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
617-585-1143
Ellen.pfeifer@necmusic.edu


IT'S LIKE AN ACT OF MURDER; YOU PLAY WITH INTENT TO COMMIT SOMETHING. DUKE ELLINGTON