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Evan Harlan

  • Contemporary Improvisation

Evan Harlan (accordionist, pianist, composer, and music director) was a member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band beginning in 1982, and taught as a member of New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation faculty through his death in 2014.

Harlan recorded and performed internationally with several jazz and world music ensembles, including Dave Douglas, the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and the Von Trapp Singers. His own quartet, Andromeda, played original music with the flavors of Americana, tango, gypsy, and other passionate traditions. In addition to concerts in the New England area, they were the house band for the American Repertory Theatre's production of Snowin June in 2003. From 1995–2000, Harlan's group Excelsior played unorthodox arrangements of 20th-century composers' works. Their CD, Declassified, was featured on WGBH radio's internationally distributed "Art of the States," WGBH/BBC's "The World," WBUR's "The Connection" and "Here and Now."

Harlan was the recipient of a 2001 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant in music composition; he also scored numerous works for film, dance, and theater. In addition, he played on the soundtracks of Sidney Lumet's A Stranger Among Us, and John Sayles's Lone Star. In 2001, he performed in the orchestra with Luciano Pavarotti at the Fleet Center in Boston, and has been featured in Hovanhess's Rubaiyat and Hindemith's Kammermusik 1.

As a conductor of musical theater, he led Snow in June and Shlemiel the First at the American Repertory Theatre, and Fiorello at Brandeis University.

B.A., University of California; M.M., NEC.

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