April 13, 2010

New England Conservatory and Northeastern University to Present Musical Diplomacy:
A Concert and Discussion on Race and Culture in the Age of Obama, May 14

NEC Student Conductors Brian Kaufman ’10 M.M., Michael Reichman ’10 M.M. Mastermind Event that Illuminates Music in a Social Context

Emmy-nominated Composer Daniel Bernard Roumain Conducts a Premiere of His Own Work

Panel Discussion Includes Speakers from Fields of Race Relations, Sociology, and Music

New England Conservatory and Northeastern University (NEU) will present Musical Diplomacy: A Concert and Discussion on Race and Culture in the Age of Obama, Friday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. in NEU’s Fenway Center. Created and performed entirely by students, it is part of an ongoing project that brings together leading policymakers, teachers, musicians, and concerned citizens for an evening concert and discussion of important social issues.

Last year’s concert focused on individual rights and responsibilities during wartime. This year’s event will examine how the election of President Barack Obama affects America's perception of race and culture. ”We feel this event serves as an opportunity for community members to discuss, within the context of music, racial and cultural issues in America,” said Michael Reichman and Brian Kaufman, the artistic directors. “Our hope is to challenge audience members and participants by presenting music and social issues in an innovative and illuminating context.”
Kaufman (NEC M.M. ’10) will conduct Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story; Reichman (NEC M.M. ’10) will conduct the world premiere of Concerto for Improvisers and Orchestra by Jason Belcher (NEC B.M. ’10) and RADIO by Caroline Park (NEC M.M. ’10). Emmy-nominated composer Daniel Bernard Roumain will conduct the Boston premiere of his Symphony for the Dance Floor.
Brian Kaufman, Michael ReichmanBrian Kaufman, Michael ReichmanFollowing the concert, a panel discussion will be moderated by Robert Gittens, Northeastern University Vice President of Public Affairs. Confirmed panelists include Gunther Schuller, former NEC president, conductor, composer, author, and historian; Dr. Jean Wu, Senior Lecturer at Tufts University’s American Studies Program; Dr. Emmett G. Price, Chair of the African American Studies Program and Associate Professor of Music at NEU; and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain.
Audience members who wish to continue the discussion, ask questions of the participants, and share their reactions are invited to a post-panel reception with refreshments.

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required as seating is limited. Tickets are available at the box office located in the lobby of NEU’s Blackman Theater in the Ell Building, 360 Huntington Ave; by calling 617-373-4700; and at the door on the night of the event. Listeners seeking tickets at the door should plan to arrive early for best availability.
Directors Reichman and Kaufman are wind players majoring in Conducting under the direction of Charles Peltz, NEC Director of Wind Ensemble Activities.   Reichman, a flutist, comes from Overland Park, Kansas; Kaufman, a tubist, comes from Cary, North Carolina. Composer Caroline Park, a second year master’s student studying with John Mallia and Malcolm Peyton, grew up in Los Angeles, California. Composer Jason Belcher, a senior studying with Frank Carlberg, hails from East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. 
Support for this project comes from New England Conservatory, Northeastern University, The Stony Brook Initiative, individual donors, and From the Top's Margaret Stewart Lindsay Arts Leadership Award, a grant that provides training and support to high school and college musicians who want to use music to make an impact on their communities.

NEU’s Fenway Center is located at 77 St. Stephen St., at the corner of Gainsborough St.

For further information, check the NEC Website at: necmusic.edu/concerts


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 750 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, 100-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