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Since the 1970s, the NEC Honors Ensemble program has offered a springboard for student groups to become a permanent, professional ensemble—with a showcase performance in NEC's Jordan Hall—one of the world's top concert halls. (Until 1983, Honors Ensembles were called "Scholarship Ensembles" to indicate the stipend they receive for their service to NEC.)

Information about past Honors Ensembles are archived to these pages. Find information about the current Honors Ensembles here.

2017-2018 Ensembles

Honors Ensemble: Escargot

Eric Stilwell, trombone
Robert Murphy, bass
Andres Abenante, guitar
Rubin Hohlbein, trumpet
Taichiro Ei, drums


Honors Ensemble: Highland Street

Paul Biss, faculty coach

Greta Myatieva, violin
Victoria Pan, violin
Mira Williams, viola
Sophie Applbaum, cello


Honors Ensemble: Honors Jazz Ensemble (tbd)

Bobby Lane, trumpet
Nathan Reising, alto saxophone
Andrew Boudreau, piano
James Dale, bass
Avery Logan, drums


Honors Ensemble: Les Six

John Heiss, faculty coach

Adam Floyd, clarient
Linda Edsinga, piano
Jessie Boyd, horn
Emily Prather, bassoon
Luis Diaz, flute
Andrew Port, oboe


Les Six was founded on the impetus of the group’s pianist, Linda Edsinga, in an effort to devise a chamber group to be coached by the legendary John Heiss. With no time to spare, Linda assembled a group of five other musicians, including Jessie Boyd, Emily Prather, Andrew Port, Luis Diaz and Adam Floyd. As rehearsals began and John Heiss provided his guidance, the six musicians brought together found themselves easily capable of playing with one another and playing through repertoire at a rapid rate. Although they had never worked together before, they quickly developed a rapport as friends and colleagues, as well as a cohesive sound that stunned listeners. The decision to compete for the Conservatory’s Honors Competition was made early, and the group worked with determination to meet the deadline of the audition. With the payoff of a successful audition in hand, the sextet now set out to perform a harder task: Picking a name. Careful consideration was given to several possibilities, but they soon decided on Les Six (The Six), in honor of Francis Poulenc, the composer of the very first piece they performed. 

Since then, Les Six has enjoyed learning a variety of repertoire for their ensemble, reveling in the unique opportunities presented for such a dynamic instrumentation, and looks forward to a long future of music making together.


Honors Ensemble: OWL Riot

Mai Motobuchi, faculty coach

Bo Lee, flute
Hope Wilk, harp
Daniel Orsen, violin


Daniel Orsen, Hope Wilk, and Bo Lee were first brought together by John Heiss in the winter of 2017 to perform Sofia Gubaidulina's "Garden of Joy and Sorrow," and had the great fortune of working with the composer in preparation for the concert.The trio reassembled in the fall with Mai Motobuchi as coach, and were selected as one of New England Conservatory’s 2017-2018 Honors Ensembles. Thus, they were faced with their most daunting task of choosing a name. For a few weeks the trio had settled in with the working name of "Pink Shark," inspired by an awesome shirt that Dan wears on festive occasions. Unfortunately, after several weeks of running the name by people, it was recognized by one single person as a naughty euphemism (but truly, isn't one of the glories of the English language that anything can be a euphemism if one wants it to be?). OWL Riot was eventually alighted upon because they are a hoot. The trio is in their second year of graduate studies at NEC. Their individual accomplishments and activities include; prizes at the Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition, South Carolina Flute Society's Young Artist Competition, and ASTA National Solo Competition; festival appearances at Ravinia, Sick Puppy, and Bang on a Can; and occasional subbing with the Philadelphia Orchestra and dabbling in the Dark Arts/CI Ensembles.

Stylized portrait of the Tempest Quartet leaning against a wall with their instruments

Honors Ensemble: Tempest String Quartet

Leonard Fu, violin
Yiliang Jiang, violin
Freya Irani, viola
Annabel Hauk, cello


The Tempest String Quartet is composed of Leonard Fu and Yiliang Jiang, violins, Freya Irani, viola, and Annabel Hauk, cello.

Natives of China, Germany, and the United States, the members of the Tempest Quartet all currently study at the New England Conservatory, where their teachers include Donald Weilerstein, Dimitri Murrath, and Laurence Lesser. The name “Tempest” was chosen because of the stormy and tumultuous nature of the pieces that first brought them together, Haydn’s Divertimento in f minor, Op. 20 No. 5 and Mendelssohn’s Op. 13 String Quartet in a minor. Formed in September 2017, the ensemble has already received instruction from prominent chamber musicians such as Merry Peckham, Donald Weilerstein, Ayano Ninomiya, and Joel Krosnick

Members of the quartet are prizewinners of the Fischoff and M-Prize chamber music competitions as well as laureates of solo competitions located in Guangzhou, Hamburg, Fermo, and Gorizia. They have also appeared at distinguished festivals such as Aspen Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Kronberg Academy Masterclasses, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, Pyeongchang Festival, and Rheingau Music Festival. The Tempest String Quartet strongly believes in the idea of using chamber music as a force to connect with and empower individuals.

Honors Ensemble: Trio Mirage

Laurence Lesser, faculty coach

Alex Beyer, piano
Somin Lee, clarinet
Sasha Scolnik-Brower, cello


Trio Mirage formed in September 2017 over a mutual love of Brahms and beer. They have performed over two times at the New England Conservatory, and have played in a masterclass. They are thrilled to be working with Laurence Lesser.

2016-2017 Ensembles
2015–2016 Ensembles

Jayu Quartet (Wild Card)

Hankus Netsky, faculty coach

Wonmi Jung, voice
Do Yeon Kim, gayageum
Chris McCarthy, piano
Eli Cohen, percussion


Jordan Wind Quintet

James Sommerville, faculty coach

Minha Kim, flute
Mark Debski, oboe
Yousun Hah, clarinet
Kai Rocke, bassoon
Megan Shusta, horn


Leopold Piano Quartet

Kim Kashkashian, faculty coach

Luke Hsu, violin
Marthe Husum, viola
Ana Kim, cello
Sophie Scolnik-Brower, piano


Neruda String Quartet

Lucy Chapman, faculty coach

Eva Aronian, Brian Hong, violin
Jesse Morrison, viola
Alexander Hersh, cello


Vi Trio

Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, faculty coach

Daniel Koo, violin
Jonah Ellsworth, cello
Jung-A Bang, piano


Jazz Honors Ensemble

Dominique Eade, faculty coach

Chloe Brisson, voice
Gustavo D'Amico, saxophone
Caio Afiune, guitar
Isaac Levien, double bass
Ryan Sands, drums

2014–2015 Ensembles

Alfaia Quartet (Wild Card)

Ted Reichman, faculty coach

Henrique Eisenmann, piano
Kenan Adnawi, oud
Gustavo D'Amico, saxophone
Kirsten Lamb, double bass


Beau D'Ver (Jazz)

Ralph Alessi, faculty coach

Travis Bliss, tenor saxophone
Chris McCarthy, piano
Max Light, guitar
Isaac Levien, bass
Russell Holzman, drums


Edelweiss Piano Trio

Natasha Brofsky, faculty coach

Yun Jae Choi, violin
Ye Young Yoo, cello
Chuang-Chuang (Peter) Fang, piano


Huntington String Quartet

Kim Kashkashian, faculty coach

Daniel Koo, Hojean Yoo, violin
Marthe Husum, viola
Stella Ye Lin Cho, cello


Regulus String Quartet

Lucy Chapman, faculty coach

Zenas Hsu, Haruno Sato, violin
Jinsun Hong, viola
Daniel Mitnitsky, cello


Vasari String Quartet

Kim Kashkashian, faculty coach

Harriet Langley, Brian Hong, violin
Jing Peng, viola
Alexander Hersh, cello


Honors Woodwind Quintet

Eli Epstein, faculty coach

Caitlin Oliver, flute
Joo Bin Yi, oboe
Somin Lee, clarinet
Alex Amsel, bassoon
Jessica Appolinario, horn

2013–2014 Ensembles


Stephen Drury, faculty coach

Shaoai Zhang, Nicholas Loh, piano
Robert O’Brien, Miles Salerni, percussion


Atlas String Quartet

Laurence Lesser, faculty coach

Ariel Mitnick, Brian Hong, violin
DJ Cheek, viola
Alexander Hersh, cello


Choro Bastardo (Wild Card)

Amir Milstein, faculty coach

Ilya Portnov, harmonica
Ben Andrews, violin
Henrique Eisenmann, piano
Cristian Budu, pandero


Frost Quartet

Lucy Chapman, faculty coach

Kelsey Blumenthal, violin
Hannah Nicholas, viola
Alan Toda-Ambaras, cello
Sophie Scolnik-Brower, piano


Gioviale Quartet

Paul Biss, faculty coach, both years

Jeremias Sergiani-Velasquez, violin
Li-Mei Liang, violin (2012–2013)
I-Jung Huang, violin (2013–2014)
Ting-Ru Lai, viola
Kenny Lee, cello


Great on Paper (Jazz)

Ted Reichman, faculty coach

Kevin Sun, tenor saxophone
Isaac Wilson, piano
Simón Willson, bass
Robin Baytas, drums


Philharmonic Five

Jean Rife, faculty coach

Adrian Sanborn, flute
Timothy Feil, oboe
Hunter Bennett, clarinet
Brittney Walker, bassoon
Paige McGrath, horn

2012–2013 Ensembles

Bethe (Wild Card)

Dominique Eade, faculty coach

Abby Swidler, violin
Jacob Means, mandolin
Daniel Pencer, saxophone/clarinet
Simon Willson, bass


Full Salon (Jazz)

Frank Carlberg, faculty coach

Wyatt Palmer, saxophone
Evan Allen, piano
Henry Fraser, bass
Connor Baker, drums


Gioviale Quartet

Paul Biss, faculty coach, both years

Jeremias Sergiani-Velasquez, violin
Li-Mei Liang, violin (2012–2013)
I-Jung Huang, violin (2013–2014)
Ting-Ru Lai, viola
Kenny Lee, cello


Philharmonic Five

Jean Rife, faculty coach

Adrian Sanborn, flute
Timothy Feil, oboe
Hunter Bennett, clarinet
Brittney Walker, bassoon
Paige McGrath, horn


Spruce Quartet

Roger Tapping, faculty coach

Alexi Kenney, violin
Caroline Goulding, violin
Ji-Hee Han, viola
Tony Rymer, cello


Trio Auloi

Richard Svoboda, faculty coach

Paul Lueders, oboe
Michelle Keem, bassoon
Theresa Leung, piano


Veridis Quartet

Roger Tapping, faculty coach

Yoonhee Lee, violin
Laura Liu, violin
Steven Laraia, viola
Daniel Mitnitsky, cello

2011–2012 Ensembles

Clara Trio

Natasha Brofsky, faculty coach

Yundu Wang, piano
QuianQuian Li, violin
Christine Lamprea, cello


Couple's Therapy

Ted Reichman, faculty coach

Michael Sachs, alto saxophone
Andrew Halchak, alto saxophone
Ehud Ettun, bass
Jun Young Song, drums


Dr. Special (Wild Card)

Ted Reichman, faculty coach

Rob Flax, violin and vocals
Henrique Eisenmann, piano
Oliver Watkinson, bass
Charles Burchell, drums


Futura Quartet

Roger Tapping, faculty coach

Audrey Wright, violin
Jeffrey Dyrda, violin
Samuel Gold, viola
Andrew Larson, cello


Honors Saxophone Quartet

Kenneth Radnofsky, faculty coach

Jake Dockterman
Clayton Hamilton
Kathleen LaFleur
Alex Rezzo


Seuss Quartet

Roger Tapping, faculty coach

Alexi Kenney, violin
Kobi Malkin, violin
Emily Deans, viola
Jonathan Dorman, cello


Vitas Quartet

Roger Tapping, faculty coach

Grace Park, violin
Sungmi Park, violin
Jinsun Hong, viola
Zhou Yi, cello

2010–2011 Ensembles

Aiode Quartet

Paul Biss, faculty coach

Jung-Eun (Jenny) Ahn, violin
Hyejin Yune, violin
Grace S. Park, viola
Yina Tong, cello


Andra Winds

Richard Svoboda, faculty coach

Ridge Davis, flute
Martha Kleiner, oboe
Chris Mothersole, clarinet
Sean Maree, bassoon
Lauren Hunt, horn


Balkan Brass (Wild Card)

Robert Labaree and Ted Reichman, faculty coaches

Alex Heitlinger, trombone
Clayton DeWalt
Zoe Christiansen
Fausto Sierakowski
Peter Negroponte
Moses Eder, drums
Beth McDonald, tuba
Kai Sandoval, trumpet
Jake Baldwin, trumpet


Canoro Quartet

Roger Tapping, faculty coach

Ying Xue, violin
Semion Gavrikov, violin
Whittney Thomas, viola
Emanuel Evans, cello


Klimt Trio

Lucy Chapman, faculty coach

Robin Scott, violin
Ahrim Kim, cello
Kyu Yeon Kim, piano


Ro Sham Beaux (Jazz)

Joe Morris, faculty coach

Zac Shaiman, saxophone
Luke Marantz, piano
Oliver Watkinson, bass
Jacob Cole, drums


Ventus Quintet

John Heiss, faculty coach

Christina Hughes, flute
Zachary Boeding, oboe
Nathan Raderman, clarinet
Luke Varland, bassoon
David Vaughan, horn

2009–2010 Ensembles

Cadeaux Quartet

Roger Tapping, faculty coach

Jehye Lee, violin
Yoon Jung Yang, violin
Philip Kramp, viola
Han Bin Yoon, cello


Dikembe's Mutombo (Jazz)

George Garzone, faculty coach

Will Graefe, guitar
Elan Asch, saxophone
Moses Eder, percussion


NEC Sax Quartet

Kenneth Radnofsky, faculty coach

Benjamin Sorrell, soprano saxophone
Adam Pelandini, alto saxophone
Sean Mix, tenor saxophone
Brandon Valerino, baritone saxophone


Sail Away Ladies (Wild Card)

Hankus Netsky and Dominique Eade, faculty coaches

Mia Friedman, fiddle and vocals
Eden MacAdam-Somer, fiddle and vocals
Ariel Friedman, cello and vocals
Sarah Jarosz, banjo and vocals


Sonica Quartet

Roger Tapping, faculty coach

Tessa Lark, violin
David McCarroll, violin
Emily Deans, viola
Narek Hakhnazaryan, cello


Trio ING

Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, faculty coach

Qing Jiang, piano
Ying Xue, violin
Angela Park, cello.

Zephyrus Quintet

John Heiss, faculty coach

Christina Hughes, flute
David Vaughan, horn
Nathan Raderman, clarinet
Paul Lueders, oboe
Elizabeth Kosces, bassoon