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Maxwell Davies + Prep

NEC Preparatory School students focus on the works of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

NEC Preparatory Students to Work with Composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies During Residency, Jan. 30—31

Maxwell Davies Will Coach Young Composers and Ensembles Performing his Music in Annual Today’s Youth Perform Today’s Music Festival

(John Batten Photo)Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (John Batten photo)Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, one of England's foremost composers who celebrated his 75th birthday last September, will coach New England Conservatory Preparatory School students during a two-day residency, Jan. 30—31  The composer's visit marks the 19th year of the Prep’s Today’s Youth Perform Today’s Music festival, curated by Prep composition chair Rodney Lister.  Among high profile composers who have been featured are William Bolcom, Milton Babbitt, Chen Yi, Lee Hyla, and Michael Gandolfi.
Maxwell Davies, who.has written a number of works specifically for children, will be on campus for two days working with students from elementary to high school age.  On Saturday, Jan. 30, he will conduct a composition masterclass for young composers in the morning and coach performances of his pieces by ensembles during the afternoon.  On Sunday, Jan .31, he will attend performances of and conduct his music at 10:00, 1:00, 2:30 and 4 p.m.
Among the Maxwell Davies works to be played are the American premieres of Sonata for Cello and Piano and A Little Trowie Music as well as his popular Orkney Wedding and Sunrise, which was composed for the Boston Pops. Also planned are choral works, songs, and pieces for solo instruments.  See attached schedule for complete events and times. All events are free and open to the public.
The composer lives in the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland where he writes most of his music. He has written across the widest gamut of musical genre, and in many styles. The power to communicate forcefully and directly with his audiences manifests itself whether it be in his profoundly argued symphonic works, the delightful music-theatre works written to be performed by non-specialist children or his sometimes outrageous witty light orchestral works. His major theatrical works include the operas Taverner, Resurrection, The Lighthouse and The Doctor of Myddfai; the full-length ballets Salome and Caroline Mathilde, and the music-theatre works Eight Songs for a Mad King and Miss Donnithorne's Maggot. His huge output of orchestral works, which dates from Prolation (1958) and the First Fantasia on an ‘In Nomine’ of John Taverner (1962), includes eight symphonies.  These were hailed by The Times of London as being "the most important symphonic cycle since Shostakovich." He has also composed fourteen concertos; several light orchestral works, including Orkney Wedding and Mavis in Las Vegas; and five large-scale works for chorus, including the oratorio Job.

Maxwell Davies is also active as a conductor and recently completed ten years as Conductor/Composer of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.  He held the position of Composer/Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester until 2000, and is the Composer Laureate of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He was knighted in 1987 and appointed Master of the Queen's Music in 2004, in which role he seeks to raise the profile of music in Great Britain, as well as writing many works for Her Majesty the Queen and for royal occasions.

For further information, check the NEC Calendar or call the NEC Concert Line at 617-585-1122.  NEC’s Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, Williams Hall and the Keller Room are located at 30 Gainsborough St., corner of Huntington Ave. St. Botolph Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.


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.

Schedule of Events

Today's Youth Play Today's Music
January 30—31, 2010
New England Conservatory

Saturday, January 30:

9:00-11:45 KELLER ROOM
Composition Masterclass:  composition students of the Preparatory School with Peter Maxwell Davies

12:00 Concert  BROWN HALL 

Peter Maxwell Davies:  Six Sanday Tunes
String Training Orchestra, Peter Jarvis, conductor

Peter Maxwell Davies:  Start Point
Junior Repertory Orchestra, Adam Grossman, conductor

from Songs of Hoy
Children's Chorus, Jamie Kirch, condctor
with young instrumentalists prepared by Ginny Latts

Jeremiah Klarman:  Symphony
Peter Maxwell Davies:  Orkney Wedding and Sunrise
Youth Symphony, Steven Karidoyanes, conductor

1:00-3:00 open rehearsals/coachings of works of Peter Maxwell Davies with Peter Maxwell Davies location TBA

3:00  Piano Performance Seminars    KELLER ROOM
Piano pieces by Peter Maxwell Davies and Larry Bell

5:00 concert by students in the improvisation classes, led by Matti Kovler, and or works by students in the composition seminar, led by Rodney Lister

Sunday, January 31:

Concerts at 10:00am, 1:00, 2:30, 4:00pm  BROWN HALL
by students of the Preparatory School

works of Peter Maxwell Davies, including:

Sonata for 'cello and piano (American premiere)
A Little Trowie Music (American premiere)
Seven In Nomine (conducted by Jonathan Cohler)
The Pole Star (conducter by Eli Epstein)
Birthday Music for Prince Charles (the String Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Peter Jarvis)
Little Quartet No. 1
movements of Naxos Quartet #10
movements of Piano Quartet
Scottish Renaissance Dances (conducted by Peter Maxwell Davies)
The Door of the Sun
Dances from the Two Fiddlers

also including works by NEC College student composers  Andrew Watts, Juhye Lee, Nell Cohen, Katherine Balch, and Randal Despommier; and works by NEC Preparatory school student composers.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory