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.
"Her music breathes coolly, calmly and intelligently with a clarity of tonal language that positively invites you in."
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.
video: excerpts from Judith Weir's children's opera The Black Spider include "The Green Hunter," "The Wedding," and "Count Henry - Polish drinking song"
photo of Judith Weir by Chris Christodoulou
Are you an NEC faculty member or student who is giving a school concert? Submit your artist and repertoire information now!