Abreu Fellows 2010-11 Take Up Posts

See where the Abreu Fellows 2010-11 are going!

NEC’s Abreu Fellows Class of 2010-11 Creating, Working in Nucleos in US

Graduates of Second Year Taking Up Posts in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Berkshires, Texas

NEC is delighted to announce that six of the Abreu Fellows Class of 2010-11, who graduated from their training program earlier this month, have positions leading or working in El Sistema-inspired music education programs throughout the country.  The four others are currently negotiating positions with a variety of organizations.

The second class enrolled in the Abreu Fellows Program at New England Conservatory, the Fellows recently completed a five-week residency in Venezuela where they observed and worked with children in the renowned music education program founded by Dr. José Antonio Abreu. Upon returning to Boston, they received graduate certificates in an NEC ceremony where they played chamber music together and gave presentations on their experiences in Venezuela.

Founded in 2009, the Abreu Fellows program was created to fulfill the TED “Wish to Change the World” made by Dr. Abreu when he was awarded the prestigious TED Prize.  The goal is to recruit and train 10 post-graduate musicians, “passionate about music and social development,” to become leaders of US music programs modeled after the Venezuelan program. Each class spends a year at NEC in a combination of seminar work and experiential programs in the field. Besides the Venezuelan residency, the Fellows also visited and participated in internships at the OrchKids project in Baltimore and the YOLA youth orchestra program pioneered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The third class of Fellows will begin their training at NEC in early September.

Duly prepared “to change the world,” the Fellows will take on the following assignments:

David Gracia is currently in conversation with the Principal of a New York City public school, PS 366 - Washington Heights Academy, where he plans to launch an El Sistema-inspired program in collaboration with a local community services organization.

Laura Jekel is in the advanced planning stages of forming MYCincinnati, an El Sistema-inspired program in Price Hill, Cincinnati. She will be working with various local partners.

Marie Racine Montilla will become Program Director for El Sistema at Berkshire Children and Families in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Liz Schurgin is building a summer camp for El Sistema participants nationwide based at Rockport Music for 2012.
Patrick Slevin will become the Program Director of El Sistema Austin in collaboration with the Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts and the University of Texas at Austin.

Isabel Trautwein joins with the Rainey Institute in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood, one of the nation's poorest, to launch El Sistema@Rainey and resumes her position as violinist in The Cleveland Orchestra. Generous grants from individuals, the Gund Foundation and Cleveland Foundation demonstrate vibrant community support.  Additionally, instruments for the children will be donated by The Cleveland Orchestra.

Graciela Briceno, Steven Liu, Andrea Profili and Adrienne Taylor are currently in conversation with a variety of organizations throughout the U.S. and their respective post-fellowship positions have yet to be finalized.

For further information, check the NEC Website. 


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