March 5, 2013

NEC Faculty Cellist Laurence Lesser and Violist Kim Kashkashian Perform in Recitals, March 26 and 28 at NEC’s Jordan Hall

Lesser Revisits Solo Literature from Bach to Crumb

Kashkashian Presents Boston Premiere of Shostakovich Preludes Transcribed for Viola

Two of New England Conservatory’s distinguished strings faculty will be heard in recitals in March.  Laurence Lesser, President emeritus and Walter W. Naumburg Chair in Music, will present a solo cello program with music ranging from Bach to George Crumb, March 26 at 8 pm in NEC’s Jordan Hall.  Violist Kim Kashkashian, recent winner of the Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, will focus on music of Shostakovich and Schumann, March 28, also at 8 pm in Jordan Hall.  Both concerts are free and open to the public.

Lesser, who is anticipating his 75th birthday later this year, will revisit unaccompanied works he has performed at various points in his career. He has chosen the following pieces: J.S. Bach: Suite 1 in G Major (BWV 1007), Paul Hindemith: Sonata Opus 25, No. 3 (1922), George Crumb: Sonata for Solo Violoncello (1955), Zoltán Kodály: Sonata Opus 8 (1915). Founder and artistic director of the popular First Monday at Jordan Hall concert series, Lesser served as NEC Artistic Director from 1982-83, NEC President from 1983-96, and NEC Interim President from 2006-07.  In 2008, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, he initiated another ambitious musical project, performing and recording all of the music by Beethoven for cello and piano with the outstanding NEC-trained, Korean pianist HaeSun Paik.

Kashkashian, who won the Grammy for her recording, Kurtág & Ligeti: Music for Viola, performs internationally and is the founder of the Boston-based Music for Food chamber music series that benefits the Greater Boston Food Bank. She will be joined by her frequent recital partner, pianist Lydia Artymiw, for selections from Shostakovich’s Bach-inspired piano works, the 24 Preludes, Opus 34;Schumann’s Fantasiestücke and Shostakovich’s Sonata for Viola and Piano, Opus 147. The Preludes will be heard for the first time in Boston in transcriptions by composer Lera Auerbach. The Sonata for Viola and Piano from 1975, is the last work composed by Shostakovich and was completed just weeks before his death. Its final meditative movement is an Adagio written to commemorate a great composer—Beethoven—and quotes from the Moonlight Sonata.

For further information, check the NEC Website here and here. 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 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