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NEC Presents Schuller Salute

NEC Presents The Many Sides of Gunther Schuller, an 85th Birthday Salute, Nov. 16

NEC Presents The Many Sides of Gunther Schuller, an 85th Birthday Salute, Nov. 16

Programmed by John Heiss, Concert Features Schuller Rareties

Gunther SchullerCelebrating the 85th Birthday of Gunther Schuller, New England Conservatory Contemporary Ensemble will honor the composer, conductor, author and historian with a free concert of his music, November 16 at 8 p.m. in NEC’s Jordan Hall. The program, curated by John Heiss, will feature rarely performed Schuller works that reflect the composer’s fascination with and deep understanding of the most important musical styles of the 20th Century. From jazz and ragtime to 12-tone serialism, the piece’s often blends popular and classical idioms in the kind of Third Stream amalgam that Schuller postulated as a new direction in music. The music will be performed by students and faculty, some of whom—like Heiss—have taught at the Conservatory since Schuller’s time as President.

The concert will be preceded at 7 p.m. by a lecture given by Schuller.

The program includes:
Jumpin' in the Future (1946), one of the first atonal pieces written in the jazz spectrum, will be performed by the NEC Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Ken Schaphorst.
Aphorisms (1967), an atonal work in five movements, features Elizabeth Erenberg, flute, Miki-Sophia Cloud, violin, Sam Gold, viola, and Emileigh Vandiver, cello.
Symbiosis (1957) features Emilia Burlingham, violin, Christopher Lim, piano, and Victoria Aschheim, percussion.
The "Magic" Tone Row is an improvisational piano piece based on Schuller's compositional exploration of the twelve-tone technique. Written in 1967, the improvisational contribution of the performer automatically "updates" the work to the present moment. This performance is by Ran Blake, who created NEC's Contemporary Improvisation program in the 1970s at Schuller's invitation (it was then called “Third Stream”).
Sand Point Rag (1998), Schuller's homage to Brahms and ragtime, featuring pianist Veronica Jochum, evokes Schuller's contribution to the ragtime revival that earned NEC a Grammy award in 1973.
Five Moods for Tuba Quartet (1973) can perhaps only be heard at a school with a vigorous orchestra program—where else will you find four tuba players under a single roof?

For further information, check the NEC Website 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. Pierce 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.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115