First Monday at Jordan Hall: Mozart, Shostakovich

NEC: Jordan Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

Join us as we celebrate 39 years of First Mondays, curated by Artistic Director Laurence Lesser. Programs feature well-loved classics and new compositions, performed by some of the finest chamber musicians in the world, free and open to all. First Mondays are fresh and full of imaginative pairings of well-loved classics and new works, performed in one of the finest places on the planet to hear music of this caliber: NEC’s own Jordan Hall.

This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here:

  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | String Quintet in C Minor, K. 406

    Menuetto in Canone


  3. Dmitri Shostakovich | Symphony No. 15 in A Major, op. 141

    arranged for chamber ensemble by Viktor Derevianko

    Adagio - Largo - Adagio - Largo
    Adagio - Allegretto - Adagio - Allegretto

  4. Artist biographies

    Korbinian Altenberger was born in Munich and studied with Charles André Linale in Cologne and Donald Weilerstein at NEC in Boston. In 2009, he received a post-graduate degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he was a Dorothy Richard Starling Scholar and a student of Midori.
            Korbinian Altenberger has received a number of awards and prizes from international competitions such as the ARD Music Competition, the Postacchini Competition, the Michael Hill Violin Competition, the Concours Tibor Várga and the Montréal International Music Competition.
            At the age of twelve, he made his debut at the Salzburg Festival, and since then he can be heard regularly as a soloist and chamber musician. He has played with the Munich Philharmonic, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Orchestra National de France, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Göttingen Symphony, as well as the Saarland and South-West German radio orchestras. He has performed in North and South America with such ensembles as the Winnipeg Symphony, the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra and the Iris Orchestra as well as the National Orchestra of Costa Rica. In the past years he has accepted invitations to such countries as Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, the United States, New Zealand, Israel along with European countries like Great Britain, Austria, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Slovakia.
            He has received special musical impulses from his collaborations with such artists as Shmuel Askenasi, Gerhard Schulz, Leon Fleisher and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard and Cleveland Quartets. His enthusiasm for chamber music has been fostered by frequent invitations to a wide variety of festivals in the United States such as Ravinia, Caramoor and Marlboro as ones in Europe like Prussia Cove in Great Britain, Verbier in Switzerland, the Moritzburg Festival and also to the Israel Chamber Project.            
             After holding a position as principal concertmaster in the Symphony Orchestra of the WDR in Cologne, Korbinian Altenberger has been a concertmaster in the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks since 2011 under Mariss Jansons and Sir Simon Rattle. Also in 2011 he was invited by Claudio Abbado to join the Lucerne Festival Orchestra as one of its leaders.
             Korbinian Altenberger has been a guest concertmaster with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Bavarian State Opera.  In 2018 he was appointed as a professor of violin at the University of Music in Würzburg/Germany.   

    Daniel Bauch serves as the Assistant Principal Timpanist and Section Percussionist with the Boston Symphony. Previously, he held the same position with the Detroit Symphony where he co-founded New Music Detroit, a contemporary chamber group comprised of Detroit Symphony players.
            Bauch has also appeared as a guest performer with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Ballet, and Marlboro Festival Orchestra. While studying in New York, he performed in concert with pianist Mauricio Poulini, as part of a Carnegie Hall Perspectives Series, premiered a new work by Osvaldo Golijov, with Dawn Upshaw and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, and recorded a CD with the New York New Music Ensemble released on Albany Records.
           Bauch has given masterclasses in both the U.S. and Canada, and currently serves during the summer as a percussion faculty member for the Boston UniversityTanglewood Institute.

    Paul Biss studied at Indiana University and at the Juilliard School of Music.  He was a student of Josef Gingold and Ivan Galamian.  His chamber music teachers included Walter Trampler, Claus Adam, János Starker, and William Primrose.
            Paul Biss was Professor of Music at Indiana University from 1979 until 2008 where he taught violin and chamber music, and conducted all the school orchestras 
    in more than 100 performances of symphonic music.  He also conducted thirteen operas with the Indiana University Opera Theater.
            As a violinist Paul Biss has appeared in recital, with orchestra, and in chamber music performances throughout North America, Mexico, Europe, Israel, and Korea, and has collaborated in concert with many guest artists including Pinchas Zukerman, Gidon Kremer, Michael Tree, Gary Hoffman, David Geringas, Christoph Eschenbach, Menahem Pressler, and Leon Fleisher.  He has participated in numerous festivals as
      a violinist and as a violist.  He was a member of the Berkshire Quartet, and was a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival for six summers.  He has also appeared at other festivals, such as the Ravinia, La Jolla, Lockenhaus, Casals, Naantali, and the Ysaÿe at Wigmore Hall.
            He has conducted in Mexico, Finland, Brazil, and Israel where he received the Ministry of Culture prize for the best performance of the year for a contemporary composition and was principal conductor of Kaprizma, a contemporary ensemble, for four years.  Recently, he conducted the Bahian Symphony in a series of concerts in Brazil and conducted the Seoul Classical Players in an all-Beethoven concert in Korea.  He served as Interim Music Director of the MIT Orchestra during 2006-2007.  He has been a faculty member at the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival
    since 1994.

            Recent concerts and masterclasses have taken him to Ireland, England, Finland, and Israel.  His students have won top prizes, including several first prizes in major international and national competitions and appear as soloists and members of chamber ensembles.  Many hold positions in leading orchestras in America and Europe.
            In September 2006, Paul Biss joined the faculty at New England Conservatory where he is a member of the violin and chamber music faculty.

    For more than two decades, omnivorous violist Nicholas Cords has been on the front line of a unique constellation of projects as performer, educator, and cultural advocate, with a signature passion for the cross-section between the long tradition of classical music and the wide range of music being created today.
            Nicholas served for twenty years as violist of the Silkroad Ensemble, a musical collective founded by Yo-Yo Ma in 2000 with the belief that cross-cultural collaboration leads to a more hopeful world. This mission was poignantly explored by the recent Oscar-nominated documentary by Morgan Neville, The Music Of Strangers, which makes a case for why culture matters. In addition, Nicholas served from 2017-2020 as a Co-Artistic Director for Silkroad, and previously as Silkroad’s Programming Chair. He appears on all of the Silkroad Ensemble’s albums including Sing Me Home (Sony Music), which received a 2017 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.
           Another key aspect of Nicholas’ musical life is as founding member of Brooklyn Rider, an intrepid group which NPR credits with "recreating the 300-year-old form of the string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble.” Highly committed to collaborative ventures, the group has worked with Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman, ballerina Wendy Whelan, Persian kemancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, Mexican singer Magos Herrera, and banjoist Béla Fleck, to name a few. Their most recent recording Healing Modes was lauded by the New York Times and received a 2021 Grammy Nomination.
           His acclaimed 2020 solo recording Touch Harmonious (In a Circle Records) is a reflection on the arc of tradition spanning from the baroque to today, featuring multiple premieres. A dedicated teacher, Nicholas currently serves on the viola and chamber music faculty of New England Conservatory.

    Strasbourg-born cellist Blaise Déjardin was appointed principal cello of the Boston Symphony Orchestra by BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons in spring 2018, having joined the BSO’s cello section in 2008. He is the 14th principal cello in the history of the orchestra. In making the appointment, Maestro Nelsons praised Déjardin as “an absolute complete musician with an exquisite breadth of tone, beautiful musical phrasing, and inspired creativity and imagination, only matched by his supreme dedication to conveying the true spirit of the music.”
           Déjardin made his highly acclaimed concerto debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons in spring 2022 in Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1. He returns as a soloist with the BSO for the 2023-2024 season with the American premiere of a new work by Elena Langer for cello solo, orchestra and chorus, under the direction of Sir Mark Elder. He has also performed as soloist with orchestra around the world with such ensembles as the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Longwood Symphony Orchestra, Cape Ann Symphony, and Melrose Symphony Orchestra. Recent solo performances featured concertos by Dvořák, Brahms, and Shostakovich.
           A dedicated chamber musician, he spent two summers at Ravinia’s Steans Institute and is since 2018 a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Previously, Déjardin was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. He was also a founding member of A Far Cry and the Boston Cello Quartet. He has arranged numerous pieces for cello ensembles, earning six ASCAP Plus Awards and receiving commissions from Yo-Yo Ma, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and A Far Cry. In 2013 he launched Opus Cello, his online sheet music publishing company.
           Déjardin made his solo debut with orchestra at age 14 performing Haydn’s C Major Concerto at the Corum in Montpellier, France. Among his numerous awards and honors, he was awarded first prize at the Maurice Gendron International Cello Competition and was also the youngest prizewinner at the 6th Adam International Cello Competition in New Zealand. In 2007 he made his Paris recital debut at Le Petit Palais as a laureate of the program Déclic supporting emerging young soloists in France.
           In 2019 Déjardin released the album MOZART New Cello Duos with cellist Kee-Hyun Kim, featuring his own transcriptions. He also appears on both Boston Cello Quartet albums Pictures and The Latin Project. His first album as principal cello of the BSO, Adès Conducts Adès, was released by Deutsche Gramophone in 2020.
            Déjardin holds a first prize in Cello with highest honors from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris, as well as a master of music degree and a graduate diploma from the New England Conservatory in Boston. His main teachers were Philippe Muller, Laurence Lesser, and Bernard Greenhouse. He serves on the cello faculty of the New England Conservatory and is regularly invited to give masterclasses in Europe, China, and North America. His instructional book Audition Day was published by Opus Cello in 2022.

    Having given his Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2022, cellist Alexander Hersh has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting and creative talents of his generation. He frequently appears as soloist with major orchestras, including the Houston Symphony and Boston POPS, and has received top prizes at competitions worldwide including the: 2022 Pro Musicis International Award, Astral Artists National Auditions, Salon de Virtuosi Career grant, New York International Artists Association Competition, and the Schadt competition.
           A passionate chamber musician, Hersh has performed on tour with Musicians from Marlboro and appeared at music festivals worldwide including: Marlboro, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, I-M-S Prussia Cove, Manchester, Perlman Music Program, Amsterdam Cello Biennale, Kneisel Hall, and Lucerne. He serves as co-Artistic Director of NEXUS Chamber Music, an artist driven collective of musicians whose mission is to make classical music culturally relevant through live concerts and multimedia content.
           Hersh released his debut album ABSINTHE in 2023. A project that marries his love of classical music with short films, comedy, and themed merchandise. The narrative based videos are available on Hersh’s YouTube channel and the album is out now on all streaming platforms.
           Raised in Chicago, Alexander Hersh began playing the cello at the age of 5. He received his B.M. and M.M. from New England Conservatory where he graduated with academic honors. Later he was a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe fund for studies in Berlin where he studied at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule for Musik Berlin. His previous teachers have included Laurence Lesser, Paul Katz, Kim Kashkashian, Nicolas Altstaedt, and Hans Jørgen Jensen. He plays a G.B. Rogeri cello, courtesy of Guarneri Hall NFP and Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins.

    Pianist Pei-Shan Lee has toured the world with concerts throughout much of Europe, Israel, Asia, and America. Major venues in the United States include the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Cleveland’s Severance Hall. Ms. Lee has also performed at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Caramoor Festival, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Bowdoin Festival, Heifetz Institute, Chautauqua Institute, and Music Academy of the West. Festivals abroad have included ProQuartet in France, Great Wall Academy in Beijing, Formosa Chamber Music Festival in Taiwan, and International Piano Festivals in Spain and Russia.
            Since coming to the United States from Taiwan, Lee has specialized in the duo repertoire for both strings and woodwinds, and collaborated with some of America’s most important musicians, including her distinguished faculty colleagues at NEC, violinists Margaret Batjer, Cathy Cho, Ryu Goto, Jacques Israelievitch, Stefan Jackiw, Ani Kavafian, Joseph Silverstein, and Ian Swensen; violists Brian Chen, James Dunham, Dmitri Murrath, and Edward Gazouleas; cellists Robert deMaine, Andres Diaz, and Pieter Wispelwey. She has appeared in concerts with the Ariel, Formosa, Harlem, Jupiter, and Szymanowski String Quartets; members of the Bavarian Radio, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, San Diego Symphony Orchestras and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
           Originally from Taiwan, Ms. Lee came to the U.S. after winning the Youth Division of Taiwan’s National Piano Competition. Since moving to Boston in 2002, she has worked with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s guest conductors and soloists, and participated in the filming of The Portrait, on violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, and in Talent Has Hunger, on cellist Paul Katz and his NEC cello studio.

            A member of NEC’s Collaborative Piano Faculty, and a passionate advocate for advancing the art of piano-instrumental collaboration, Ms. Lee previously served on the faculty of California State University Northridge where she created a new MM in Collaborative Piano. Her doctoral thesis “The Collaborative Pianist: Balancing Roles in Partnership” has become an important resource for schools wishing to begin Collaborative Piano degree programs and has been translated into Chinese. Formerly on the faculty of the Perlman Music Program, she currently directs the Collaborative Piano Fellowship program at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine in the summers. 

    Jeffrey Means is a conductor and percussionist with a special interest in modern and contemporary music. His wide-ranging career has included engagements across North America and Europe, collaborating with some of today’s leading composers and ensembles. He is artist director of the Boston-based group, Sound Icon, which has established a reputation as one of only a few ensembles bringing large-scale avant-garde works to American audiences. After studying conducting with Pierre Boulez in 2009-2011, he has maintained a close relationship with Boulez’s music, as well as music by other high modernist composers of the 20th Century. He is professor of conducting at Berklee College of Music. In addition to his performance activities, Means is an active producer and engineer of recordings of all types of classical music.

    Percussionist Robert Schulz is widely regarded as one of the finer all-around percussionists working today. With an expertise extending across a broad range of musical styles and instruments, he collaborates with an eclectic variety of artists, on local, national, and international stages. For 20 years he has served as principal percussionist for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and has managed the innumerable percussive complexities for more than 50 commercially released recordings and hundreds of concerts. He is principal percussionist for the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, and Dinosaur Annex New Music Ensemble. He is active as a timpanist in both classical and period performance styles, performing, touring, and recording with Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, Cantata Singers, Odyssey Opera, Monadnock Festival Orchestra, the Boston Chamber Music Society, and the Bach, Beethoven & Brahms Society. As a percussion soloist, he has performed concerti by Lukas Foss (multi-percussion), Tan Dun (water percussion), Eric Moe (drum set), Gail Kubik (cartoon percussion) and, most recently, Philip Glass (timpani).
           Schulz has been a featured soloist with the Boston Celebrity Series and the Boston Chamber Music Society numerous times, playing anything from dinner plates to African drums. In 2004, Schulz received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Small Ensemble Performance on Yehudi Wyner’s The Mirror (Naxos) and gave the Boston premiere of Tan Dun’s Water Concerto with BMOP. He tours nationally and internationally with pipa virtuoso Wu Man and was the featured soloist for the 2006 CrossSound Festival in Juneau, Alaska. Recent releases of Play by Andrew Norman (BMOP) and Seeing by Christopher Rouse (Albany Symphony) were nominated for Grammy Awards in 2015.

    Marcus Thompson, violist, has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and in chamber music series throughout the Americas, Europe, and the Far East. He has been a soloist with the orchestras of Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Saint Louis; The National Symphony, the Boston Pops and the Czech National Symphony in Prague. He performed Keith Jarrett’s Bridge of Light with the Atlanta Symphony, the West Coast premiere of John Harbison’s Viola Concerto with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra with the composer conducting; the Chicago premiere with the Chicago Sinfonietta, and the Boston premiere with the New England Conservatory Honors Orchestra.
           He has received critical acclaim for performances of the Penderecki Viola Concerto with the MIT Symphony Orchestra in Boston, and London, U.K., for the premiere of Elena Ruehr's viola concerto Shadow/Light with the New Orchestra of Washington, and for the premiere of Olly Wilson's Viola Concerto with the Rochester Philharmonic. He has performed Hindemith's viola d'amore concerto, Kammermusik #6, with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Saratoga, and concertos by Vivaldi at the Bravo Festival in Colorado and at Aston Magna in Great Barrington, MA.
            Mr. Thompson has been a guest of the Audubon, Borromeo, Cleveland, Da Ponte, Emerson, Fine Arts, Jupiter, Lydian, Miami, Muir, Orion, Parker, Shanghai, and Vermeer String Quartets; and a frequent participant at chamber music festivals in Anchorage, Seattle, Sitka, Los Angeles, Montreal, Edmonton, Rockport (MA and ME), Rio de Janeiro, Spoleto, Amsterdam, Dubrovnik and Okinawa. He has appeared as a frequent guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and on a Live from Lincoln Center telecast. An artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society since 1984, Thompson became BCMS's second artistic director beginning with the 2009/2010 concert season, succeeding cofounder and NEC alumnus, cellist Ronald Thomas '74.
            Born and raised in the Bronx, NYC, Mr. Thompson earned bachelor, master and doctorate degrees at The Juilliard School following viola and viola d’amore studies with Walter Trampler. His repertoire includes Boston premieres of György Ligeti’s Loop, John Harbison’s Sonata for Viola and Piano, and Harbison’s Viola Concerto, recorded with BMOP in celebration of the composer’s eightieth birthday. Mr. Thompson has also commissioned and premiered Viola Concerto by Olly Wilson with the Rochester Philharmonic. He appears on recordings of chamber works with artists for the Sitka Summer Music Festival, Stichting Reizend Muziekgezelschap, and the Boston Chamber Music Society. Other recordings include Paul Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher, Ernest Bloch’s Suite, Joseph Jongen’s Suite, Jean Francaix’s Rhapsodie, Shadow/ Light by Elena Ruehr, viola concertos by Béla Bartók and Tibor Serly, and Frank Martin’s Sonata da Chiesa for viola d’amore and strings.
           He is the founder of the MIT Chamber Music Society and of the Emerson/Harris private study program. In 2022, at its 47th International Viola Congress, Marcus Thompson was awarded the American Viola Society’s Career Achievement Award “In recognition of distinguished contributions to viola performance and viola pedagogy through his influential recordings and his celebrated tenure at the New England Conservatory of Music and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hosting the 1985 International Congress, and for advocacy and leadership on behalf of the viola.”

    Praised for her sensitive musicianship and heartfelt playing, violinist Stephanie Zyzak is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most soulful and profound musicians of her generation.
            At the age of seven, Stephanie made her first solo appearance with the Starling Chamber Orchestra at the Aspen Music School and became the youngest recipient ever to be awarded the Aspen Music School New Horizon Fellowship. The following year, she performed in Germany as an invited guest of the Internationale Kunst – Akademie Liechtenstein (IKAL). Since making her debut in 2004 with the Louisville Orchestra, Stephanie has performed as soloist throughout Germany, Russia, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Italy, France, and with orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Southeast Missouri Symphony, and the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra. Recent and upcoming season highlights include performances at Caramoor, Carnegie Hall, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert series, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Phillips Collection, among others.
           A deeply passionate chamber musician, Stephanie has had the privilege of collaborating with renowned musicians including Jonathan Biss, Kim Kashkashian, Ida Kavafian, Alice Neary, Danny Phillips, Marcy Rosen, and Mitsuko Uchida. She has also performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Caramoor, the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, as well as on tour with Musicians From Marlboro.
            Born in South Carolina, Stephanie is a graduate of New England Conservatory where she studied with Miriam Fried. Currently, she is studying at CUNY The Graduate Center with Mark Steinberg. She is also a founding member of ensemble132, a roster-based chamber music collective and was a 2020-22 Ensemble Connect fellow at Carnegie Hall.
            Stephanie performs on a 1778 Joseph and Antonio Gagliano violin, generously on loan from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and a bow by François-Nicolas Voirin.