May 21, 2013

Conservatory’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor Hugh Wolff to Tour Argentina, June 17—25, 2013

Performances at Buenos Aires’ Teatro Gran Rex, Teatro el Círculo de Rosario, Chascomus Stadium

Free Kickoff Concert May 25, 8 pm in NEC’s Jordan Hall with works of Wagner, Berlioz, Golijov

New England Conservatory’s acclaimed Youth Philharmonic Orchestra will cap off its 2012-13 season with a tour of Argentina June 17--25 under the direction of Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras Hugh Wolff.  Leading a YPO tour for the first time, Wolff will conduct concerts at Buenos Aires’ Art Deco-style Teatro Gran Rex, the Teatro el Círculo de Rosario, and Chascomus Stadium, as well as the Law School Auditorium at the University of Buenos Aires. The concert in Chascomus will take place under the auspices of Fundación Sistema de Orquestas Infantiles y Juveniles de Argentina (SOIJAR), the El Sistema-inspired program for social development through music.

In anticipation of their tour, Wolff and the YPO will perform a free send-off concert, May 25 at 8 p.m. in NEC’s Jordan Hall.  The program will include two sound spectaculars, the Act III Suite from Wagner’s Die Meistersinger and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. The concert opens with a nod toward Argentina’s national dance, Osvaldo Golijov’s tango-infused, Astor Piazzolla homage Last Round (1996).

Founded in 1962, the YPO is the senior-most orchestra in NEC’s Preparatory School. It is comprised of 80 gifted young musicians aged 12—18 who are selected annually from over 400 applicants. It is widely recognized as one of the finest youth orchestras in the world and enjoys an unusual and rich artistic partnership with the College Conservatory through the leadership of Wolff and David Loebel, NEC’s Associate Director of Orchestras.  The YPO regularly tours internationally and in recent years has traveled to Europe, China, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, and Cuba, performing in such prestigious concert halls as Vienna’s Musikverein, Prague’s Rudolfinum, Chile’s Teatro Municipal, and the Teatros Municipal of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Praising “the highly talented teenagers who fill the ranks of the YPO,” and their “expressively charged and technically accomplished performances,” Boston Globe music critic Jeremy Eichler has written: “One of the special pleasures of hearing a youth orchestra comes from knowing that many of its members have been encountering the music, even a cornerstone of the repertory like the Brahms [Fourth Symphony], for the very first time. As a result, the playing can sometimes brim with the visceral thrill of discovery. That was the case here.”

Hugh Wolff, who joined the Conservatory faculty in 2008, has appeared with all the major American orchestras, including those of Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Cleveland. He is much in demand in Europe, where he has conducted the London Symphony, the Philharmonia, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Czech Philharmonic, Bavarian and Berlin Radio Orchestras, and Munich Philharmonic. He is a regular guest conductor with orchestras in Japan, Scandinavia, and Australia. He is also a frequent conductor at summer music festivals from Aspen and Tanglewood to Ravinia and Wolf Trap.

Wolff was principal conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra (1997–2006), and maintains a close relationship with that ensemble. He has led that orchestra on tour in Europe, Japan, and China, and appeared at the Salzburg, Rheingau, and Mozart Würzburg Festivals. Wolff was also principal conductor and then music director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (1988–2000), with which he recorded twenty discs and toured the United States, Europe, and Japan. Of this partnership, the New York Times wrote: “the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Hugh Wolff, has developed an effortlessly polished sound … Wolff shapes his interpretations with impeccable taste.”

The schedule for the YPO tour performances is:
June 19, 2013 - Mozarteum Conciertos del Mediodia, Buenos Aires, Teatro Grand Rex
June 20, 2013 - Teatro el Circulo de Rosario
June 22, 2013 - Facultad de Derecho de Buenos Aires
June 23, 2013 - Chascomus in the Stadium

Program Note on Last Round
by Osvaldo Golijov
“…The title is borrowed from a short story on boxing by Julio Cortázar, the metaphor for an imaginary chance for Piazzolla's spirit to fight one more time (he used to get into fistfights throughout his life). The piece is conceived as an idealized bandoneon. The first movement represents the act of a violent compression of the instrument and the second a final, seemingly endless opening sigh (it is actually a fantasy over the refrain of the song My Beloved Buenos Aires, composed by the legendary Carlos Gardel in the 1930s). But Last Round is also a sublimated tango dance. Two quartets confront each other, separated by the focal bass, with violins and violas standing up as in the traditional tango orchestras. The bows fly in the air as inverted legs in crisscrossed choreography, always attracting and repelling each other, always in danger of clashing, always avoiding it with the immutability that can only be acquired by transforming hot passion into pure pattern.”

For further information, check the NEC Website or call the NEC Concert Line at 617-585-1122.  NEC’s Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, Williams Hall and the Keller Room are located at 30 Gainsborough St., corner of Huntington Ave. St. Botolph Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory in Boston, MA offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 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 Programs and Partnerships Program, 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, jazz, and contemporary improvisation.

NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, century-old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz, contemporary improvisation, and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre or Paramount 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
Senior Communications Specialist
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115