Did you miss this concert? Were you there and would like to hear it again—because once is not enough? You're in luck—NEC has made it available at InstantEncore. To play or download the performances, click here—there are no fees involved. You will need to have or create an account to complete the process. Your account will also allow you to receive notifications of future concerts.
Their program includes a new work, Will Myers's Bright Shadows, which was selected as the winning work in NEC's first Orchestral Composition Competition, which will place a work by an NEC student composer on an orchestral concert each year. The judges for the competition were David Rakowski (Brandeis University), Richard Cornell (Boston University) and Robert Aldridge (Rutgers University).
Will Myers: Bright Shadows
Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet
selections from Suites 1 & 2
conducted by Lio Kuokman
Dvorak: Symphony No. 5
conducted by Hugh Wolff
Program Note on Bright Shadows
"I began writing Bright Shadows in the late autumn of 2011. My inspiration, reflected in the title, was the concept of pitch complements, which the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu calls "shadows." When a collection of pitches forms a harmony or melody, the remaining pitches of the twelve-note chromatic scale form that collection's pitch complement (at least in our well-tempered, twelve-note pitch space). I originally used these complements very strictly, ensuring that each melody or harmony was balanced by its complement in short order, but while there were some pleasant moments, I was finding the result to be more cold and impersonal than I wanted. So I completely started over in April of last year, taking the sound world I had found in the early sketches' best moments and expanding them freely. Immediately I felt liberated, and much of the piece as you hear it today fell into place in a few weeks. The piece, my first for a full-sized orchestra, inhabits a calm, contemplative space for most of its seven minutes, although it opens up as it nears the end. Apart from a few notable solos, most of the piece's gestures fan out throughout the entire orchestra, unfolding in the foreground before settling into the background to allow more material to become the point of focus.
I am incredibly honored to have Bright Shadows performed by the NEC Symphony tonight, and I heartily appreciate the effort put in by the players and by the extremely talented Lio Kuokman. Thanks are also due to my composition teachers Kati Agócs, John Heiss, Robert Beaser, and John McDonald, all of whom contributed their advice to me about this piece." –Will Myers
Will Myers, composer
Will Myers is in his fifth and final year of the Tufts/New England Conservatory Dual-Degree program, through which he will receive a B.M. in Composition and Music Theory from NEC and a B.S. in Cognitive and Brain Sciences at Tufts. He has pursued composition studies with Kati Agócs, John Heiss and Robert Beaser, as well as John McDonald at Tufts, and theory studies with Efstratios Minakakis. During his time at NEC, he has twice been an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award finalist (2011, 2012), attended Atlantic Music Festival (2011) in Waterville, Maine, had his music performed by the Tufts Symphony Orchestra, participated in masterclasses with William Bolcom and George Tsontakis, and won the NEC Honors Ensemble Composition Competition (2012) for his work, Passages, for string quartet. He is writing a senior theory thesis on the notion of paradox in the music of György Ligeti, focusing on the piano étude Touches Bloquées, and a cognitive science thesis on the effects of harmonic and subharmonic tones on the dissonance of chords. This premiere of Bright Shadows marks the first time his orchestral work has been performed at NEC. Will grew up in Los Angeles, California, and now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when not attending school.