Frank Battisti, Veronica Jochum, John Moriarty, and Gregory Smith will be honored as Faculty Emeriti at Commencement 2019.
New England Conservatory is pleased to announce the establishment of an Emeriti program to honor designated faculty members for their many years of dedicated service and significant contributions to the Conservatory. The first four honorees are Frank L. Battisti, Veronica Jochum, John Moriarty, and Gregory E. Smith. They will receive their Emerita/Emeritus status at NEC's 148th Commencement ceremony on May 19, 2019.
The bestowal of Emerita/Emeritus status is an honor awarded to individuals who have achieved a career of professional accomplishment and provided distinguished service to NEC, the local community, and their professional discipline or profession. NEC desires to retain the knowledge and wisdom of its most experienced and valued teachers, even after their regular appointment. In bestowing this emeritus status, NEC will enable a faculty member so elected, honored, and titled, to continue to share his/her life’s work and knowledge with the NEC community.
About Frank L. Battisti
President Gunther Schuller brought Frank L. Battisti to New England Conservatory in 1969 with the goal of creating a wind ensemble program on the model of the seminal work done by Frederick Fennell at Eastman. During his time at NEC, Battisti cemented his reputation as one of the most respected champions of music for winds in America, and the NEC Wind Ensemble amassed a sizable portfolio of premiere performances and recordings. Battisti's inventory of recordings with NECWE has continued to appear on CD since his retirement in 2000. In 2001, NEC hosted an international symposium, "Wind Music across the Century," in Battisti's honor.
About Veronica Jochum
The daughter of eminent conductor Eugen Jochum (1902-87), German-born pianist Veronica Jochum has been associated with musical greatness since her early childhood. A former student of Josef Benvenuti, Edwin Fischer, and Rudolf Serkin, her illustrious career spans five decades and includes performances in more than 50 countries in collaboration with many of the world's premier orchestras, conductors, and musicians. Her legacy as an educator at NEC includes co-founding the weekly Fall Semester Piano Performance Seminar in 1988, bringing numerous prominent guests to perform and speak to students, and a list of noteworthy former students including composer Richard Danielpour, David Deveau, Cathy Fuller, Randall Hodgkinson, and David Watkins among many others.
About John Moriarty
John Moriarty studied at New England Conservatory through 1952 and was an important figure in American opera thereafter. His involvement with opera performance at NEC carried over many decades in various guises, including a joint performance program with the Boston Conservatory in the 1980s and a fully fledged program based exclusively at NEC that he led from 1989 to 2001. Moriarty then continued to serve as a core member of the vocal coaching faculty through his retirement in 2015.
About Gregory E. Smith
Gregory E. Smith, a member of the New England Conservatory faculty since 1978, retired from the College faculty at the end of the 2014/2015 academic year. Smith wrote his doctoral thesis on improvisation in the music of jazz pianist Bill Evans. His master’s thesis, written under the direction of Paul Pisk, was on vocal music of Johannes Brahms. He has contributed articles to The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, World of Music, and Sonus, read papers at national meetings of the American Musicological Society, and has given preconcert lectures on Beethoven and Schubert for the WBUR–Bank of Boston Celebrity Series at Symphony Hall.