February 5, 2010

NEC Spotlights French Food, Wines, Music at 2010 Festin de la Musique, February 27

Annual Feast of Music Gala Seeks to Raise $500,000+ for Scholarships

Menu Designed by Three-Star Michelin Chef Guy Martin

Feast of MusicFollowing upon the extraordinary success of last year's Italian-themed gala, New England Conservatory will transform its annual Feast of Music into a celebration of all things French in a glamorous evening styled Le Festin de la musique.  The event, which The Boston Herald has called one of Boston’s “Top 10” parties, takes place February 27 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza.  This fabulous evening brings together 450 of Boston’s most prominent business leaders and cultural philanthropists to benefit New England Conservatory’s General Scholarship Fund. One of the season’s most anticipated evenings, A Feast of Music pairs sumptuous food and wine with superb performances by NEC students of jazz, opera, and classical music.

This year's benefit seeks to surpass last year's goal of $500,000. Chairs of the event are Trustee Lane Young and Overseer Debbie Smith. Sponsors include Liberty Mutual, Swiss Re, Mt Auburn Hospital, Boston Private Bank and Trust Company, and Champagne Taittinger.

Le Festin will feature everything French—from works by French composers, to food, wine, and Silent Auction treasures.  NEC has been working closely with the Consul General of France, Christophe Guilhou, to create an evening with authentic Gallic panache!

As a unique tribute to NEC, world-renowned celebrity Chef Guy Martin of Le Grand Véfour in Paris, Sensing Boston and Sensing Paris, and Le Pont du Ciel in Osaka, Japan, has agreed to create a special menu specifically for this year's gala. Martin, the chef of Grand Véfour, was 43 when he was awarded his third stars in 2000; his was the only restaurant to win three stars in the Red Michelin Guide that year.

In addition to the musical and gastronomic delights of the dinner, NEC Alum Bo Winiker and his orchestra have agreed to perform for the first time this year at the after-party. So diners who can't bear to bring the evening to a close can dance until the wee hours to big-band classics and soulful French jazz tunes.

For further information, check the NEC Website at: http://www.necmusic.edu/feastofmusic 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.


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory 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 Collaboration Programs, 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 and jazz.

NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 106-year old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic 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
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory