First Monday at Jordan Hall: Stravinsky!

NEC: Jordan Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

Join us as we celebrate 37 years of First Mondays: 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 fall’s concerts curated by Artistic Director Laurence Lesser highlight works by Josquin des Prez, Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, and Igor Stravinsky. Drawing on the talent of NEC’s piano and keyboard community, the concerts weave a thread throughout the centuries—all anchored in extraordinary music for keyboard. Tonight's concert is an all-Stravinsky program.

This performance was open to in-person audiences, and was also viewable via livestream.
 

VIEW VIDEO STREAM OF FULL CONCERT, WITH LAURENCE LESSER'S PROGRAM NOTES:

WATCH LAURENCE LESSER'S PROGRAM NOTES:

  1. Three Pieces for String Quartet

    Danse
    Excentrique
    Cantique 

     
    Artists
    • Tiffany Chang *, violin
    • Momo Wong *, violin
    • Nicholas Cords, viola
    • Claire Deokyong Kim *, cello
  2. Octet (1923)

    Sinfonia: Lento - Allegro moderato
    Tema con variazioni: Andantino
    Finale:
    Sempre ♩=116, Tempo giusto

     
    Artists
  3. "Vivo" from Pulcinella (arr. Ian Wiese*)

    Artists
  4. Ragtime (1918)

    Artists
  5. Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)

    Part One
         The Kiss of the Earth: Introduction
         Augurs of Spring (Dances of the Young Girls
         Game of Abduction
         Spring Rounds
         Game of the Two Rival Tribes
         Procession of the Oldest and Wisest One
         The Kiss of the Earth
         Dancing Out of the Earth
    Part Two
         The Great Sacrifice: Introduction
         Mystic Circle of the Young Girls
         Glorification of the Chosen One
         Evocation of the Ancestors
         Ritual Action of the Ancestors
         Sacrificial Dance

    Artists

    Marc-André Hamelin, piano primo
    Gloria Chien, piano secondo
     

    Artist biographies

    William Amsel is the principal clarinetist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Before joining the BPO, he was second and E-flat clarinetist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he has performed with many orchestras across the country, including as guest principal with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Oregon Symphony. He has performed as a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Rochester Philharmonic and as a chamber musician has appeared with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Buffalo Chamber Players, Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, Marlboro Music Festival, and the Borromeo String Quartet, among others.
            Amsel grew up in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. He is a graduate of New England Conservatory and received a master’s degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. His primary teachers were Ricardo Morales, Thomas Martin, and Ilya Shterenberg. He spent two summers as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was awarded the Gino B. Cioffi Memorial Prize, and was also a fellow at the Pacific Music Festival (Japan) and Aspen Music Festival. He is currently on faculty at SUNY Buffalo State College and, in addition to teaching privately, has given masterclasses throughout western New York, the US, and internationally. He lives in North Buffalo with his wife, bassoonist Rose Vrbsky, and their two daughters.


    Hailing from Winter Springs, Florida, Jensen Bocco began fostering a love for the bassoon early on. After attending the Interlochen Arts Academy, Jensen completed his Bachelor of Music degree at New England Conservatory where he studied with the Boston Symphony’s Richard Ranti. While At NEC, Jensen was a member of the Boreas Quintet, which was selected as an NEC Honors woodwind quintet during the 2018-2019 school year. Currently, Jensen is based in New York where he is continuing his studies at the Manhattan School of Music with William Short of the Metropolitan Opera.

    Born in Arizona, Tiffany Chang began playing the violin at the age of three and has studied under Miriam Fried, Chun-Yi Lu, Lan Qiu, the late William Magers, and Jing Zeng. Tiffany is a prize winner of various state and national competitions, including the Brevard Concerto Competition, Interlochen Concerto Competition, and the 2017 Dorothy Bates Violin Competition in which she was awarded a Guarnerius violin (1716) and Benoit Rolland bow for a year. Tiffany served as concertmaster of  New England Conservatory’s Philharmonia and Symphony under Maestro Hugh Wolff. An avid chamber musician, Tiffany has performed at summer chamber festivals across the country such as the Taos School of Music and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival where she worked with members of the Brentano, Miro, Emerson, and Borromeo quartets. She is a member of Trio Rai, a piano trio formed at NEC which won the bronze medal award at this year’s Fischoff Chamber Competition. In addition to her playing career, Tiffany regularly teaches at NEC’s Preparatory School as a violin coach. Tiffany is in her first year of the master’s program at NEC studying with Miriam Fried. She plays on a Testore violin made available by the Ravinia Steans Music Institute.

    Taiwanese-born pianist Gloria Chien has one of the most diverse musical lives as a noted performer, concert presenter, and educator. She was selected by the Boston Globe as one of its Superior Pianists of the year, "… who appears to excel in everything."  She made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard, and performed again with the BSO under Keith Lockhart. In recent seasons she has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician at Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection, the Kissingen Sommer festival, the Dresden Chamber Music Festival, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. A former member of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), she performs frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2009 she launched String Theory, a chamber music series at the Hunter Museum of American Art in downtown Chattanooga, that has become one of Tennessee's premier classical music presenters. The following year she was appointed Director of the Chamber Music Institute at the Music@Menlo festival by Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, a position she held for the next decade. In 2017, she joined her husband, violinist Soovin Kim, as Artistic Directors of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont. The duo became Artistic Directors at Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, OR in 2020. Ms. Chien
    received her B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees from New England Conservatory as a student of Russell Sherman and Wha Kyung Byun. She holds the position of artist-in-residence at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. She is a Steinway Artist.

    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 serves currently 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 is poignantly explored by the recent Oscar-nominated documentary by Morgan Neville, The Music Of Strangers, which makes a case for why culture matters in today’s world. Nicholas 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 form the baroque to today, featuring multiple premieres. A committed teacher, Nicholas currently serves on the viola and chamber music faculty of New England Conservatory.

    Michael Dobrinski joined the New England Conservatory trumpet faculty in the fall of 2018, and the Brevard Music Center trumpet faculty in the summer of 2021. Michael is currently 2nd Trumpet with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and performs regularly with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. Michael was previously the Principal Trumpet of the Sarasota Orchestra, and appeared as guest Principal Trumpet with the Fort Worth Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and the Boston Pops. He has also performed with the Naples Philharmonic, Florida Orchestra, and the New World Symphony for the grand opening of the New World Center in Miami, Florida. While he was a student, Michael won first prizes in the National Trumpet Competition and the National Brass Symposium Orchestral Excerpt Competition. 

    Alexei Doohovskoy teaches trombone and chamber music at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.  He also serves on the faculty at Rhode Island
    College and Brown University.  He has toured and recorded with numerous ensembles including the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Empire Brass, and the Boston Pops.  He is currently a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Orchestra of Indian Hill.

    Kathryn Driscoll graduated from New England Conservatory with a Bachelor of Music degree and a Graduate Diploma in music performance. She was a student of Tom Rolfs, Mike Martin, and Ben Wright of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, Kathryn earned a fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center. As a coach and player with the Boston Youth Philharmonic orchestra, she traveled extensively throughout Europe and has spent time in Japan teaching and mentoring young performers. Kathryn has a special interest in working with children and has been teaching private lessons for the past few years. She remains an active freelance performer and has worked with groups such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Boston Philharmonic, Sarasota Orchestra and the Discovery Ensemble.

    “A performer of near-superhuman technical prowess” (The New York Times), pianist Marc-André Hamelin is known worldwide for his unrivaled blend of consummate musicianship and brilliant technique in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the rarities of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries – in concert and on disc – earning his place as a true icon of the piano.  He regularly concertizes around the globe with the leadings orchestras and conductors of our time and performs recitals for the leading concert venues and festivals worldwide.
            An exclusive recording artist for Hyperion Records, his discography includes more than 70 albums, with notable recordings of a broad range of repertoire. In 2020, Hyperion released two acclaimed albums by Mr. Hamelin – one a solo disc of Liszt and Thalberg opera transcriptions, and the other piano sonatas of composer/pianist Samuil Feinberg with his next disc to be released is a two-disc set of CPE Bach Sonatas & Rondos in January 2022.     
            Mr. Hamelin has composed music throughout his career, with nearly 30 compositions to his name. The majority of those works – including the Études and Toccata on L’Homme armé, commissioned by the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition – are published by Edition Peters.  His other most recent work, Suite à l’ancienne (Suite in the old style), was premiered in February 2021 by pianist Rachel Naomi Kudo with funding from her Gilmore Young Artist Award.
            Mr. Hamelin makes his home in the Boston area with his wife, Cathy Fuller, a producer and host at Classical WCRB. Born in Montreal, he is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the German Record Critics’ Association and has received seven Juno Awards and eleven GRAMMY nominations, the 2018 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance awarded by Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and in December 2020 was awarded the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Keyboard Artistry from the Ontario Arts Foundation. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de
    l’Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.
            Mr. Hamelin joins the NEC piano faculty for a one-year appointment for the 2021-22 academic year.

    South Korean cellist Claire Deokyong Kim earned her Bachelor of Music degree at NEC in the studio of Lluís Claret and has now entered the master’s program as a student of Laurence Lesser. Kim has won numerous competitions in Korea, including the grand prize at the Seoul Arts Center Musical Prodigy Competition, the Strad Competition, the Yejin Artist Music Competition, and the Eumyeon Competition. She was the youngest competitor to win the Boroondara Eisteddfod Australia String Solo. In her first undergraduate year at New England Conservatory, she won the NEC Tecchler-Forster Cello Competition and the NEC Lower String Competition andwas selected to perform with the NEC Philharmonia Orchestra under Hugh Wolff at Jordan Hall.
            As a soloist, Kim has performed many concerts, including her debut in the Kumho Foundation Prodigy Solo Concert in South Korea and Rising Start Concert at Great Mountains Music Festival. She also performed with numerous orchestras, including NEC Philharmonia, Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, Gangnam Orchestra, and Korean Symphony Orchestra. 
            In addition to her appearances as soloist, she has performed piano trio, string quartet, and 12 Cellos at the Kumho Art Hall. As a chamber musician, Kim was a cellist in the string quartet ‘Quartet Primo,’ which won first place in the Seoul Young Adult Chamber Music Competition. Her string quartets were selected as Honors Ensembles at New England Conservatory in 2018-2019 and 2021-2022.

    Stephanie Krichena has recently graduated from Oklahoma City University with degrees in Percussion Performance and Instrumental Music Education. She is currently pursuing the master’s program in Percussion Performance at New England Conservatory. Stephanie has various experience in both education and performance, such as teaching the Boston University marching band for the fall 2021 season and teaching for the Oklahoma City Performing Arts Academy, and she has recently accepted a position at the North End Music end Performing Arts Center. Stephanie has played percussion for the Painted Sky Opera Company, the New England Philharmonic, and plays drums for various bands.

    James Markey joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2012, following a 15-year tenure as a member of the New York Philharmonic.  He joined the faculty of New England Conservatory in 2012 and was appointed Chair of Brass and Percussion in 2018. 
            Mr. Markey is an active soloist and recitalist, having presented concerts around the world.  He has produced four solo recordings of music for tenor and bass trombone.  A leading figure in trombone pedagogy, he has recently become a certified Suzuki teacher in trombone.


    Cynthia Meyers joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as the piccolo player in the autumn of 2006, occupying the Evelyn and C. Charles Marran Chair. She joined the flute faculty at New England Conservatory in 2014.  Before coming to Boston she served as principal piccolo of the Houston Symphony for nine years under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach and Hans Graf. She is the former principal flutist of the Omaha Symphony, a post she held for nine seasons, during which time she was a featured soloist with the orchestra on numerous occasions.
                A native of Somerset, Pennsylvania, Ms. Meyers began playing the piano at age three. Currently a faculty member at the New England Conservatory, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Carnegie Mellon University and completed her Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Jeffrey Khaner, principal flutist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She took an interest in playing the piccolo while in Cleveland and continued study specifically on that instrument with William Hebert of the Cleveland Orchestra. Besides playing with the BSO, Ms. Meyers has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and at the Grand Teton Music Festival.

    Nicholas Tolle is one of America's premiere cimbalom artists. In 2019 he won 3rd prize in the Budapest Music Center International Cimbalom Competition. He has performed as soloist in Pierre Boulez’ Repons with the composer conducting at the Lucerne Festival in 2009, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal with Péter Eötvös in 2012, and with Steven Schick at UC San Diego in 2017. Based in Boston, MA, he plays regularly with such groups as the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Emmanuel Music, and Sound Icon, and with his own group, the Ludovico Ensemble. He has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, New York Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and Ensemble Signal. He is featured performing Boulez’s Repons in the EuroArts documentary Inheriting the Future of Music: Pierre Boulez and the Lucerne Festival Academy, and in Kurtág's music for cimbalom and voice on soprano Susan Narucki's 2019 album The Edge of Silence, which was nominated for a 2020 Grammy award. His recording of Kurtág’s Seven Songs from The Edge of Silence was named one of the best classical tracks of 2019 by the New York Times.

    Natalya Rose Vrbsky, bassoon, regularly performs across the east coast and western New York in a variety of musical settings.  A frequent substitute with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, she has appeared as guest principal with the symphony orchestras of Oregon, Vermont, Delaware, Knoxville, ProMusica Chamber and performed regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Ballet. She previously held the principal bassoon chair in the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, was a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and served as acting principal bassoon of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as well as second bassoon/contrabassoon with the Rochester Philharmonic
    Orchestra. As a chamber musician, she has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and appeared as a guest artist with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Saratoga Chamber Players, Bay Chamber Concerts, Astral Artists Concerts, the Knights, Orchestra 2001, A Far Cry, and is currently a member of the woodwind quintet Antara Winds.  She attended the Tanglewood Music Center, Pacific Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and participated for four summers at the Marlboro Music Festival. Rose received a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory studying with Richard Ranti, followed by a master’s degree from Temple University and a diploma from the Curtis Institute, where she studied with Daniel Matsukawa. In addition to her work as a bassoonist, she has more recently pursued training in various movement modalities, receiving her yoga teaching certification in 2018, and is currently completing a certification in the Feldenkrais Method. A native of Vermont, she lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband, clarinetist Will Amsel and their two children. 

    Helen Wargelin is a Boston-based classically trained horn player. She is a substitute player with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony and was an associate member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in their 2019-20 season. An adept soloist, she won the Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition in 2021 and has placed in numerous others, including at Northwestern University and the Brevard Music Festival. She holds a Bachelor of Music, magna cum laude, in Horn Performance from Northwestern University, along with a minor in Musicology. Her principal teachers include Gus Sebring, Gail Williams, and Jonathan Boen. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at New England Conservatory as an Edward Hyde Cox Presidential Scholar.

    Lawrence Wolfe is assistant principal bass of the BSO and principal bass of the Boston Pops. At the BSO he occupies the Maria Nistazos Stata chair. At New England Conservatory, in addition to serving as studio faculty in the Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education, Wolfe leads the Prep's String Repertory Orchestra beginning Fall 2012.

            Wolfe has appeared as a soloist in Carnegie Recital Hall and Jordan Hall and with the BSO and Boston Pops. His CD Lawrence Wolfe, Double Bass is released on the Titanic label. His compositions have been performed by the BSO and Pops as well as BSO bass trombonist and fellow NEC faculty Douglas Yeo on several of his CDs.

    Momo Wong’s recent concert highlights include Kaija Saariaho’s Graal Théâtre violin concerto at Tanglewood’s Koussevitzky Music Shed, the world premiere of the Lebetkin Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, US premiere of Sebastian Currier’s Links, solo performances in Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Studies, Consulate General of Germany in New York City, Ruïnekerk in the Netherlands and Hitachi Systems Hall in Japan. She has competed in numerous major violin competitions including the Queen Elisabeth Competition, 54th Premio Paganini Competition, Michael Hill International Violin Competition, and the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover. Momo has also been featured on a variety of platforms such as WGBH radio and Bach to Bock podcasts. As a chamber musician, she is a member of the Altezza Piano Trio who made their recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in 2016. Raised in Boston, Momo studied at The Juilliard School and New England Conservatory where she served as concertmaster in their respective orchestras. Her major teachers are Tamara Smirnova, Lewis Kaplan, and Donald Weilerstein.

     


    * NEC alumni