NEC Trustee Wendy Shattuck ’75, “Beyond Passionate about the Arts,” Honored at Fifth Annual Leadership Dinner
Alumna Has Endowed Presidential Scholarship for Vocal Studies and Faculty Chair in Voice
Wendy Shattuck, who graduated from New England Conservatory in 1975 with a degree in vocal performance and went on to become one of NEC’s most devoted and energetic patrons, was honored May 6 at the Conservatory’s Fifth Annual Leadership Dinner. More than 100 family members, friends, faculty, students, and staff turned out to hear speeches and performances that paid tribute to Shattuck’s hard work, generosity, creativity, and advocacy. (In photo: Shattuck with NEC President Tony Woodcock.)
An active alumna since 1980, Shattuck has been a Trustee of NEC since 2002. She has been a member of the Nominating Committee since 2003, was a Co-Chair of the Feast of Music gala in 2002 and 2004 and remains on the committee to the present day. She is a mentor in the Board’s Student Mentor program, a member of the Opera Planning Task Force and a member of the Opera Committee. In 1992, she co-chaired Stars from the Source, celebrating NEC’s 125th anniversary.
With her husband, Sam Plimpton, a former NEC Overseer himself, Shattuck has endowed both The Wendy Shattuck ’75 Presidential Scholarship for Vocal Studies (with recipient including Ji Young Yang, Melanie Campbell and, currently, Dongwon Kim) and The Wendy Shattuck Chair in Voice that is held by Carole Haber. Their support of past and current NEC projects includes Opera Studies, this year’s Jazz40 anniversary celebrations, the 2007 Presidential Inauguration, and the 2009 Piano Challenge through which the Conservatory was able to buy two new Steinway pianos. Shattuck has also been a faithful supporter of the Annual Fund every year. (In photo: Sam Plimpton, Wendy Shattuck.)
Performers at the dinner were two NEC students who have benefitted from Shattuck’s generosity and hospitality. Baritone DongWon Kim, the first Artist Diploma in Opera candidate and recipient of Shattuck’s scholarship sang Germont’s aria “Di Provenza” from Verdi’s La Traviata. Violinist Tessa Lark, who has attended Shattuck’s summer chamber music week on Cow Island, Me., played a Heifetz transcription of Manuel Ponce’s Estrellita. (In photo: DongWon Kim, Shattuck, Tess Lark.)
Speakers for the evening included NEC President Tony Woodcock who emceed the program; Board Chair Stephen Friedlaender, Trustee Suki de Bragança, Life Trustee David Scudder, violin faculty Miriam Fried, and Shattuck herself. A surprise speaker was Shattuck's husband, who described his wife as “beyond passionate about the arts” and someone who “gives ferocious attention to details” in her work.
Friedlaender praised Shattuck as “the squeaky wheel who advocates for the students’ needs” and NEC’s “institutional conscience.” De Bragança called attention to the honoree’s arts patronage throughout the Boston community. “I have elevated Wendy on a pedestal and aspire to become like her. Wendy’s existence is an art form,” she said. Scudder pointed out three words that define Shattuck’s support: “Mentor,” “Advocate,” and “Challenger.” Fried, who accompanied the chamber music players to Shattuck’s Hog Island home, recalled that the musical appreciation, fun, hospitality, good food, and beautiful surroundings prompted one young musician to ask Shattuck to adopt him.
Shattuck had the last, modest, word: Supporting NEC has “fulfilled my dreams,” she said. But “this is a team effort and I’m just part of the crew.”
ABOUT NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY
Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world. Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide. Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.
The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions. On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors. Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.
NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 106-year old, beautifully restored concert hall. These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes. Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.
NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.
Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115