Welcome from NEC Interim President,
Provost and Dean Thomas Novak
Whether you are a prospective or current student, an alumnus, parent, member of the NEC family, or a music lover interested in attending one of our almost one thousand annual concerts, I think you will find our site is richly informative and inviting. What's more, you can get a taste of our musicians' superlative artistry by exploring the embedded videos and audio recordings scattered throughout the site.
NEC is a wonderful place. An intimate school, we offer training to 720 outstanding undergraduate and graduate students in a nurturing atmosphere that allows their individual artistry to blossom. Our faculty of 225 is composed of extraordinary teaching artists and scholars who bring to their studios and classrooms the knowledge, experience, and wisdom burnished in impressive careers.
Besides working with such exceptional faculty, our students benefit from playing in extraordinary ensembles from orchestras to opera productions to jazz groups to string quartets to piano trios. And they have right at their doorstep the fantastic City of Boston, which, while a manageable, livable, and walkable size, boasts world class music, art and theatre. When our students graduate, they are prepared to make gratifying musical lives for themselves, whether playing in orchestras, chamber music or solo gigs, teaching, composing, arranging, performing in jazz clubs, or working in recording studios and arts management positions worldwide. We're particularly proud of our ongoing relationship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra of which nearly half of the players are NEC trained musicians or faculty.
The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjée. Our curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions. On the college level, we offer training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. In our Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education, we provide training and performance opportunities for 1600 children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors. Through our Community Performances & Partnerships program, we give our young musicians the opportunity 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 almost one thousand free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall—a national historic landmark that is admired the world over. 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," the weekly NPR radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States. The Conservatory also delights in partnerships with groups as diverse as Boston's Handel and Haydn Society, Harvard University, Tufts University, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Children's Chorus, A Far Cry chamber orchestra and many others.
Although you will find the answers to most of your questions here on our website, I urge you to come to NEC—for a concert, a campus tour, and, of course, for your musical training. I think you will find—as most of us who spend our days here—that the Conservatory is a place where the musical art is in very good hands, whether it's preserving the best of the past or creating the music of the future.