First Monday at Jordan Hall: Ockeghem, Ligeti
Join us as we celebrate 38 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.
The Spring 2023 season of First Monday in Jordan Hall marks the 100th birth year of György Ligeti.
This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here: https://necmusic.edu/live
Johannes Ockeghem | Kyrie from Missa Prolationem
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.Ensembles
- NEC Chamber Singers
- Erica J. Washburn, conductor
György Ligeti | Ramifications for 12 Solo String Players (1968)
Yoonhee Lee *, Tiffany Chang ’23 MM, Caroline Smoak ‘25, Mitsuru Yonezaki ’24 GD, violin
Aadam Ibrahim ’23 MM, viola
Jing Li *, cello
Hannah Goldstick ’24 MM, Masha Lakisova ‘24, Kristy Chen ‘24, violin
Corley Friesen-Johnson ’24 MM, viola
Shannon Ross ’24 MM, cello
Edward Kass *, double bass
* NEC alumArtists
- Donald Palma, conductor
ÉjszakaMár üti- üti már!
Rengeteg tövis csönd!
Én csöndem szivem dobogása …
Már üti- üti már!
a torony a hajnalban üti már.
Az I-döt bemeszeli
A korai kikeriki
Thorny huge jungles, (infinite wilderness) still!
Beats of my heart in endless silence …
Ring, tick-tock, bell!
Ring, tick-tock, bell!
and the clock ticks wishing well, tick-tock bell.
In the dawn, cock-a-doodle-doo,
the cock cries and the duck too!
It is morning!
Translation by György LigetiEnsembles
- NEC Chamber Singers
- Erica J. Washburn, conductor
György Ligeti | Aventures (1962) and Nouvelles Aventures (1966)
Nina Guo *, soprano
Thea Lobo *, mezzo-soprano
Corey Gaudreau *, baritone
Anne Chao ‘23, flute
Sarah Sutherland *, French horn
Jing Li *, cello
Edward Kass *, double bass
Mike Williams, percussion
Yukiko Takagi, piano
Christina Wright-Ivanova *, harpsichord
* NEC alumArtists
- Stephen Drury, conductor
Pianist and conductor Stephen Drury has performed throughout the world with a repertoire that stretches from Bach to Liszt to the music of today. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Barbican Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus. A champion of contemporary music, he has taken the sound of dissonance into remote corners of Pakistan, Greenland and Montana. Drury has worked closely with many of the leading composers of our time, including Cage, Ligeti, Rzewski, Reich, Messiaen, Zorn, Berio, Lachenmann, Wolff, Harvey, Finnissy, and Hyla. Drury has recorded the music of Cage, Carter, Ives, Stockhausen, Zorn and Rzewski, as well as works of Liszt and Beethoven. He is a member of the NEC piano faculty where he is artistic director of the Callithumpian Consort, and he directs the Summer Institutefor Contemporary Performance Practice, now at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Baritone Corey Gaudreau is a singer and teacher who is frequently praised for his mastery of language and style, especially in French and German song. He is a member of the voice faculty of New England Conservatory Preparatory School where he also teaches language diction classes.
Performing with opera companies throughout the United States, Gaudreau has sung and understudied a variety of leading and comprimario roles including Sid in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, Fiorello and Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Aeneas in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Billy Bigelow in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, Yamadori in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Masetto and Don Giovanni in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Alvaro in Daniel Catàn’s Florencia en el Amazonas, and Hannah before in the Florida premiere of Laura Kaminsky and Mark Campbell’s As One.
Gaudreau was a Bonfils-Stanton Studio Artist and Apprentice Artist in two seasons with Central City Opera and Artist-in-Residence with Pensacola Opera and Opera on the James. A versatile singer with flexibility in various styles, he excels not only in opera, art song, and oratorio, but new music, jazz and musical theatre as well. He recently sang a program of the Great American Songbook at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. He performs prolifically as a song recitalist and continues to be invited as a guest artist for NEC engagements. He sang Schumann’s Spanische Liebeslieder in the First Monday Concert Series and recorded Pavel Haas’ Four Songs on Chinese Poetry for an NEC Liederabend.
Corey Gaudreau has studied with Michael Meraw at NEC, Jason Ferrante, and Laura Mashburn. He has coached with Tanya Blaich, Cameron Stowe, Michael Baitzer, Warren Jones, Robert Tweten, and Kamel Boutros. Gaudreau attended the New England Conservatory where he received his Bachelor of Music degree and returned for the Master of Music program.
Nina Guo is a high soprano currently based in Berlin. She is interested in the sounds &music of recent & ongoing times, and her performance practice includes interpreting notated music, improvising, and collaborating on interdisciplinary projects. Radio and humor play large roles in her work. Recently, she has premiered new works with Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), Ensemble Mosaik (Berlin), and Decoder Ensemble (Hamburg). Nina’s own projects include several duo collaborations. Departure Duo, a contemporary music soprano+double bass duo with Edward Kass, released its debut album Immensity Of on New Focus Recordings (NYC). Nina&Augustė, her improvisation duo with sound artist Augustė Vickunaitė, created a 22 hour radio piece for Radio Art Zone. In collaboration with artist Leonie Brandner, Nina made MOSSOPERA, a long duration installation opera for two voices, dictaphones, and ceramic resonators. www.facesound.org
A graduate of the San Jose Unified public school system, bassistEdward Kass has performed around the world as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, and soloist. Since 2016, he has performed with soprano Nina Guo as Departure Duo, a duo committed to performing, commissioning and researching music written for soprano and double bass. Recent duo performances include recitals at Spoleto Festival USA, Yellow Barn, Omaha Under the Radar, the Santa Cruz Museum and Art and History, and KM28 (Berlin). Their commissioning work has been recognized by Chamber Music America and NEC’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department. Their debut album, Immensity Of, was released in October 2022 on New Focus Recordings. With Departure Duo, Kass has held teaching residencies at UC Santa Barbara, Brandeis University, and University of Georgia. Kass helped create the inaugural Lucerne Festival Forward in November 2021 and continues to serve as a Lucerne Festival Contemporary Leader, a role that includes artistic curation, performance, and the creation of new works, in addition to teaching at the Lucerne Festival Academy. He performs frequently with new music groups such as Ensemble Dal Niente and Callithumpian Consort. Additional festival appearances include Tanglewood Music Center, Pacific Music Festival, and Spoleto Festival USA. Kass completed his graduate and undergraduate studies at New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Todd Seeber and Lawrence Wolfe. In 2015, Kass received the New England Conservatory John Cage Award for Outstanding Contribution to Contemporary Music Performance.
Yoonhee Lee is a Korean-American violinist. She is based in Boston and performs around the world. Her biggest influences are the late Masuko Ushioda, Vera Beths, and the late Anner Bijlsma.
Lee has premiered and recorded numerous works by composers such as Rebecca Saunders, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Richard Barrett, and Nina Young. Other composers with whom she has worked closely include Enno Poppe, Georg Friedrich Haas, Kaija Saariaho, Beat Furrer, Jörg Widmann, Lei Liang, and Shiuan Chang. She is the dedicatee of a solo violin piece by composer Simone Cardini, titled Ramificazioni d'indistinto (2018). In 2023 she travels to the Blasket Islands of Ireland for a new chamber opera production by composer Seán Ó Dálaigh and director Espen Hjort.
Notable solo and ensemble appearances include Berliner Philharmonie, St. Eustache in Paris, WDR Funkhaus Wallrafplatz Köln, Huddersfield Town Hall, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Concertgebouw, Musiikkitalo, Concertgebouw Brugge, Royal Albert Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Jordan Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Fraser Performance Studio at WGBH Boston, Carnegie Hall, Shostakovich Hall, and Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires. Lee has held two major concert tours in China.
Born in Seoul, Lee began the piano at the age of three and violin at five. She and her family immigrated to Boston just before her tenth birthday. For years, music became her means of communication as well as refuge. Early experiences of navigating between languages and cultures remain a strong part of her identity; as an artist she is interested in fluidity and fragility of genres and boundaries, and she seeks innovation and experimentation in all her endeavors.
Lee plays on a 2015 Andrew Ryan violin and a Joseph Henry bow circa 1860, previously owned by the late Masuko Ushioda. She is the recipient of bachelor’s (’11) and master’s (’13) degrees from NEC.
Hailed as “an outstanding instrumentalist and musician” with “exceptional musicality, integrity, and polish,” cellist Jing Li has performed around the world as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She is a member of the Portland Piano Trio and has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Miriam Fried, Donald Weilerstein, Lawrence Wolfe, and the Borromeo String Quartet, as well as participating in internationally renowned festivals including the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Piatigorsky Seminar for Cellists.
Born in Beijing, China, Ms. Li immigrated to the United States at a young age and received her first cello lessons from her father, Tien Sheng Li. She continued her studies with János Starker and with Paul Katz and Laurence Lesser at NEC. Currently based in Boston and New York City, she can be heard performing with A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, Boston Ballet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), and Odyssey Opera in Boston, as well as with the New York Philharmonic and on various Broadway shows. As a dedicated teacher, she works with musicians of all ages and levels and was recently appointed Resident Cellist and an Artistic Director with 240 Strings, an organization based in Portland, Maine, that provides free musical education to students unable to afford instruction.
Hailed as "excellent", "impeccable", "limpidly beautiful", "impressive", "stunning", and "Boston's best", Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo's upcoming and recent engagements include performances with The Spectrum Singers, EnsembleNew SRQ, DeSota Baroque, Great Music in a Great Space Series, True Concord, Choral Artists of Sarasota, Opera Huntsville, and more. Ms. Lobo has previously appeared under conductors Gunther Schuller, Harry Christophers, Stephen Stubbs, Joshua Rifkin, and Andris Nelsons, and has been featured by the Firebird Ensemble, Boston Baroque, Naples Philharmonic, Boston Early Music Festival, Artist Series of Sarasota, Carmel Bach Festival, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart. In addition to her performing career, Thea Lobo serves as artistic and executive director of the initiative Indictus Project (www.indictus.org), which amplifies the overlooked classical art music of underrepresented and marginalized composers throughout history.
Donald Palma has an active career as double bassist, conductor, and educator. A native New Yorker, Don attended at the Juilliard School and at the age of nineteen joined Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra. As a member of the newly formed contemporary music ensemble, Speculum Musicae, he went on to win the Naumburg Competition and secure management with Young Concert Artists. A founding member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Don has toured the globe and recorded over fifty compact discs for Deutsche Grammophone, including the Grammy Award winning Stravinsky CD, Shadow Dances. Don has also been a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and played Principal Bass in the National Arts Centre Orchestra under Trevor Pinnock. He played principal bass for Leonard Bernstein on his recording of West Side Story and was a featured artist on Kathleen Battle’s recording, Grace. As a performer devoted to contemporary music, he has played and conducted dozens of premieres and recordings of important works. Elliott Carter’s Figment III, Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronism No. 11, and Charles Wuorinen’s Spin-Off are among the many works composed for him. He has conducted three critically acclaimed CDs of American music with the Odense Symphony in Denmark. Don has conducted the Xalapa Symphony, the Bridgeport Symphony, at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. He recorded Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat with Rogers Waters narrating which was released by SONY in 2018. Don also appears with Orpheus on Wayne Shorter’s Emanon, which won a 2018 Grammy. He frequently performs with Mistral, the Walden Chamber Players, at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, the White Mountains Festival and is Music Director of the Symphony-by-the-Sea in Beverly, MA.
Sarah Sutherland is a Boston-based musician who performs and teaches throughout the Northeast. She is currently the third horn in the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, hornist in the Back Bay Brass quintet, and the Finance Officer for the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MOSSO). Ms. Sutherland has performed and recorded with many ensembles, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, and was a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow for two summers. She teaches students privately at Powers Music School in Belmont and at Wellesley Public Schools. Ms. Sutherland graduated from Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, and New England Conservatory, where she studied with James Sommerville and Jason Snider. She holds degrees in music, mathematics, and statistics and sits on the board of AFM Local 171.
Yukiko Takagi received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from New England Conservatory where she studied with Veronica Jochum and Stephen Drury. While a student at the Conservatory she was selected to perform in several Honors programs and appeared regularly with the NEC Contemporary Ensemble. Ms. Takagi has performed with the orchestra of the Bologna Teatro Musicale, the John Zorn Ensemble, the Auros Group for New Music, Santa Cruz New Music Works, the Harvard Group for New Music and the Chameleon Arts Ensemble.
She performs regularly with the Eliza Miller Dance Company and the Ruth Birnberg Dance Company and gives frequent duo-piano concerts with Stephen Drury. Ms. Takagi is a featured performer with the Callithumpian Consort. Her recording of Colin McPhee’s Balinese Cerimonial Dances was released by MusicMasters. At New England Conservatory Yukiko Takagi has appeared on the First Monday series at Jordan Hall, and is a teacher and guest artist for NEC’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance.
Conductor and mezzo-soprano Erica J. Washburn has been Director of Choral Activities at New England Conservatory since 2009. Known for her student-centric approach to classroom and rehearsal instruction, and commitment to the performance of new music, she is the recipient of several outstanding alumni awards, including the distinguished honor of induction to the Westminster Choir College Music Education Hall of Fame.
As a conductor, Washburn has worked with Kansas City, MO based Cardinalis, the Yale Schola Cantorum, the East Carolina University Women’s Chorale, and the Eastman Women’s Chorus. She is a sought-after guest clinician who frequently leads state and regional festival choruses, and spent five summers as a conductor and voice faculty member for the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Choral Studies.
Under her direction, the NEC choirs have been featured on several live and pre-recorded broadcasts, including the North Carolina based station WCPE Great Sacred Music, WICN Public Radio, and WGBH Boston. The choirs can also be heard in collaboration with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project on the BMOP/Sound recording Paul Moravec:The Blizzard Voices.
Washburn’s stage credits include appearances as Madame Lidoine in Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Rebecca Nurse in Robert Ward’s The Crucible, Mother/Allison in the premiere of Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking and others. Her recital and orchestral solo credits are numerous, and her live premiere from Jordan Hall of the late Richard Toensing’s Night Songs and Evening Prayers with the New England Conservatory Symphonic Winds can be heard on Albany Records.
Hailed by The BostonGlobe as “one of the city's best percussionists,” Mike Williams has performed throughout North America and Europe and is an active performer in Boston. An advocate for contemporary music, he is a founding member and ensemble director of Guerilla Opera, serving as its artistic director for eleven seasons. Williams has worked with many of the leading composers of our time including Pierluigi Billone, Michael Finnissy, Philippe Leroux, Salvatore Sciarrino, Gunther Schuller, and Roger Reynolds among many others. He was a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center and has performed at festivals including the Festival de Mexico, Gaudeamus Music Week, the Internacional Cervantino Festival, Monadnock Music, the Gaida Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania, and SICPP at New England Conservatory.
Williams studied at Boston Conservatory, winning top prize in the concerto competition, and the Amsterdam Conservatory during which time he regularly performed with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra under Peter Eötvös. Williams serves on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music.
Pianist, vocal coach, and chamber musician Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova is hailed by critics as “a brilliant pianist” (Wiener Zeitung, Vienna) with a “warm and reassuring sound” (Boston Intelligencer). She is an Associate Professor of Music and the Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Keene State College where she has also served as the Executive Artistic Director for the Redfern Performing Arts Center. For the past nine years, she is the Artistic Director for the North End Music & Performing Arts ‘Winter Concert Series’ and spends her summers on faculty at the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, now housed in Colorado Springs.
As an advocate of new music, she has premiered hundreds of works by living composers in venues such as NYC’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Opera America, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Berklee School of Music, MIT, The Harvard Club, and Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall. Recent international concert performances have been at the Berlin Art Song Festival, Teatro Sociale in Como, Reaktorhalle (Munich), Humboldt University, École Normale Supérieure Lyon, Joanneumsviertel Museum, Amici della Musica Paisello Concert Hall (Italy), and Schloss Frohnburg (Salzburg).
As a chamber musician, she has been heard in over 25 countries throughout North & South America, UK, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and enjoys frequent performances with musicians from leading orchestras in the US. She has worked with singers from several international houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Greek National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Lithuanian National Opera, Calgary Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and more, and has served as the official pianist for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. With her ‘duo au courant’ Art Song partner, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Weiss, she tours regularly and present master classes, lectures, performances, and engagements with a focus on issues of immigration, social justice, and peace.