NEC says "Thank you, Boston" all year with its "NEC Prep Presents" concerts. Free admission to these concerts by senior Prep ensembles marks our gratitude for the support of the City of Boston and the parents, siblings, schools, and music teachers who make our work possible.
**** Due to the forecast storm tonight's concert has been moved to 3:00pm *****
The perfect program for Valentine's Weekend! Hugh Wolff, NEC's Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras, lead the NEC Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (YPO) in music that celebrates those two most famous young lovers, Romeo and Juliet, plus the first movement of the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1.
The brilliant YPO, the Preparatory School's senior-most orchestra, will demonstrate its virtuosity in selections from Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette Symphony, a work inspired by the composer's white hot passion for Harriet Smithson. The actress had portrayed Juliet in a production of the Shakespeare play that enthralled Berlioz who described its effect on him in his memoirs:
... to steep myself in the fiery sun and balmy nights of Italy, to witness the drama of that passion swift as thought, burning as lava, radiantly pure as an angel's glance, imperious, irresistible, the raging vendettas, the desperate kisses, the frantic strife of love and death, was more than I could bear. By the third act, scarcely able to breathe—it was as though an iron hand had gripped me by the heart—I knew that I was lost. I may add that at the time I did not know a word of English; I could only glimpse Shakespeare darkly through the mists of Letourneur's translation; the splendour of the poetry which gives a whole new glowing dimension to his glorious works was lost on me. ... But the power of the acting, especially that of Juliet herself, the rapid flow of the scenes, the play of expression and voice and gesture, told me more and gave me a far richer awareness of the ideas and passions of the original than the words of my pale and garbled translation could do.
The YPO also performs excerpts from Prokofiev's popular ballet, Romeo and Juliet, music that vividly illustrates the drama and characters of the story.
Berlioz Roméo et Juliette
Romeo Alone- Great Festivities in Capulet’s Palace
Chopin Allegro maestoso from Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11
Phuong Nghi Pham, piano
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet, excerpts from Suites 1 and 2
In the Chopin, the soloist will be Prep student Phuong Nghi Pham, who won the Prep School's concerto competition. Phuong Nghi Pham is a receipient of the Ambassador Award of the Max Reger Foundation of America. She began piano lessons at the age of five in Vietnam, where she won many prizes, including First Prize in the Yamaha Cup 2004. She moved to the United States with her parents in 2004. Phuong Nghi has been enrolled in the full Certificate program at the Prep School since September 2006, where she is currently studying with Heng-Jin Park. She appeared on From the Top in 2010 and is a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist recipient as well as a JKC Young Scholar recipient. In 2011, she received the Seth Kimmelman Award from the Prep School. Phuong Nghi is a two-time Prizewinner of the Fidelity Investments Young Artists Competition and performed with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall in 2011 and 2012. She recently performed at Weill Recital Hall as a First Place winner in the International Crescendo Competition in Jan 2013. In May 2013, she received Second Prize in the Steinway Society Piano Competition for Division 5.
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Doors open 30 minutes prior to the concert's start time.