NEC Musicians Sweep Avery Fisher Awards

Dimitri Murrath, Charlie Albright and two members of Calder String Quartet are honored

NEC-trained Musicians Sweep 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grants in 40th Anniversary of the Program

Violist Dimitri Murrath and Pianist Charlie Albright Take Two of the Three Awards

Two Prep School Alumni, Violinist Andrew Bulbrook and Violist Jonathan Moerschel, are Winners of Third Award as Members of Calder Quartet

Murrath, an Artist Diploma Recipient, Former Student of Kim Kashkashian, Now on NEC Faculty

Albright an Alumnus of Prestigious NEC-Harvard Joint Degree Program and a Gilmore Young Artist Awardee Studied with Wha Kyung Byun

New England Conservatory alumni swept the 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grants, winning two of the three individual awards and, as members of the Calder Quartet, winning  the third award. Celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, the grants were presented at a ceremony in Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, March 18, 2014. Violist Dimitri Murrath (in photo right), an NEC Artist Diploma recipient, former student of Kim Kashkashian and a member of faculty; and pianist Charlie Albright, former student of Wha Kyung Byun, an alumnus of the NEC-Harvard joint degree program and a Gilmore Young Artist shared the honors with the Calder Quartet, of which two members, violinist Andrew Bulbrook and violist Jonathan Moerschel, are NEC Prep alumni. (In photo l to r: Avery Fisher Artist Program Chairman Nathan Leventhal; violist Dimitri Murrath; pianist Charlie Albright; Nancy Fisher; Calder Quartet violinist Andrew Bulbrook; violist Jonathan Moerschel; cellist Eric Byers; violinist Benjamin Jacobson, and Charles Avery Fisher. Photo credit: © 2014 Steve J. Sherman.)

Announcement of the grants was made by the Program’s Chairman, Nathan Leventhal, along with Charles Avery Fisher and Nancy Fisher. This was followed by performances by the Career Grant recipients. Those performances were recorded for rebroadcast by Classical 105.9 FM ~ WQXR, with host Robert Sherman, to be aired on Wednesday, April 2, from 9 - 10 pm.

Avery Fisher Career Grants of the Avery Fisher Artist Program are designed to give professional assistance and recognition to talented instrumentalists, as well as chamber ensembles, who the Recommendation Board and Executive Committee of the Avery Fisher Artist Program believe to have great potential for major careers. Each recipient receives an award stipend of $25,000, to be used for specific needs in furthering a career. Recognizing the need for video in a young career, the Avery Fisher Artist Program provides recipients with a professionally videotaped, unrestricted DVD of the day’s performance to aid them in publicizing their work. These videos are also posted on the Program’s website.

Up to five Avery Fisher Career Grants may be given each year and recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents. Recipients are nominated by the Program's Recommendation Board, made up of nationally known instrumentalists, conductors, composers, music educators, managers and presenters. Final selections are made by the Program’s Executive Committee.

Recipient biographies
Born in Brussels, Belgian violist Dimitri Murrath ’08 A.D. has made his mark as a soloist on the international scene, performing regularly in venues including Jordan Hall, Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall (London), Kioi Hall (Tokyo), the National Auditorium (Madrid), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), and Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels).

A first prize winner at the Primrose International Viola Competition, Murrath has won numerous awards, including second prize at the First Tokyo International Viola Competition, the special prize for contemporary work at the ARD Munich Competition, Verbier Festival Academy's Viola Prize, and a fellowship from the Belgian American Educational Foundation. In 2012, he was named laureate of the Juventus Festival, an award recognizing young European soloists.

With repertoire extending from Bach to contemporary music by Ligeti, Kurtág and Sciarrino, Murrath is particularly keen on performing new works. He has taken part in the Park Lane Group New Year Series in London to great critical acclaim, as well as commissioned, given the world premieres, and recorded several solo works.

An avid chamber musician, Murrath has collaborated with Miriam Fried, Pamela Frank, Richard Goode, Gidon Kremer, Menahem Pressler, Radovan Vlatkovic, Mitsuko Uchida and members of the Mendelssohn, Takács, Guarneri, Cleveland, Jerusalem, and Juilliard String Quartets.Festivals include IMS Prussia Cove, Ravinia's Steans Institute for Young Artists, Verbier Festival, Caramoor Rising Stars, Chamberfest Cleveland, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Juventus Festival, and Marlboro Music Festival.

Murrath has performed concertos with orchestras including Orchestre National de Lille, Toho Gakuen Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Brussels Philharmonic and London Mozart Players.

Murrath began his musical education at the Yehudi Menuhin School studying with Natalia Boyarsky, and went on to work in London with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before coming to NEC where he graduated with an Artist Diploma as a student of Kim Kashkashian.

Murrath participates in Kashkashian’s Music for Food project, which raises awareness of the hunger problem faced by a large percent of the population, and gives the opportunity to experience the powerful role music can play as a catalyst for change. He is on the viola faculties of the New England Conservatory and Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Winner of the prestigious 2010 Gilmore Young Artist Award, pianist Charlie Albright ’12  A.B. M.M. NEC/Harvard made his Washington DC and New York recital debuts to critical acclaim in the Young Concert Artists Series. This season Mr. Albright appears as soloist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, in six-week and four-week tours of the Midwest through Allied Concerts; at the Vancouver Recital Society; and in Boston, continuing his three-recital series of Schubert sonatas at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Over the past three seasons, Mr. Albright has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops with conductor Keith Lockhart, the Seattle Symphony with conductor Gerard Schwarz, the Fort Smith, Hilton Head, Great Falls, Whatcom, Phoenix and Lansing Symphonies, and with Alondra de la Parra at the San Francisco Symphony, where he was re-engaged for their “Summer and the Symphony” concerts. Mr. Albright performed a recital at the Harvard Musical Society as recipient of the 2013 Arthur W. Foote Award. He has also been heard in recital at the Morgan Library & Museum, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the ShortGrass Music Festival, in Gilmore’s Rising Stars Series and at the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival.

Albright has collaborated five times with cellist Yo-Yo Ma on special occasions, including the 10th anniversary remembrance of 9/11, performing Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time; a Harvard ceremony at which Senator Ted Kennedy received an honorary degree; commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, honoring Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison; at the Aspen Institute’s “Citizen Artistry” conference at the Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York; and with The Silk Road Project.

Mr. Albright was the youngest artist-in-residence on Performance Today last season, which included a week of performances and interviews. His debut CD “Vivace” was released by CAPC Music in February 2011, featuring works by Haydn, Menotti, Schumann- Liszt, Janáček, Chopin and Albright himself.

At the 2009 Vendome Prize Piano Competition in Lisbon, Portugal, he was awarded a Vendome Virtuoso Prize. Charlie Albright’s honors also include YCA’s Paul A. Fish First Prize, the Ronald A. Asherson Prize, the Summis Auspiciis Prize, the John Browning Memorial Prize, the Sander Buchman Special Prize, the Ruth Laredo Memorial Award, and four concert prizes.

Born in Centralia, Washington, Mr. Albright earned an Associate of Science degree at Centralia College while in high school. In the Harvard College/New England Conservatory joint program, he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Pre-Med and Economics at Harvard in 2011 and a Master’s degree at the New England Conservatory in 2012 with Wha-Kyung Byun. He is currently studying with Yoheved Kaplinsky in the Artist Diploma program at The Juilliard School.

Violinist Andrew Bulbrook ’97 PREP (right top in photo) and violist Jonathan Moerschel ’97 PREP (left top in photo) both studied in the NEC Preparatory School. Bulbrook was a violin student of Sophie Vilker and the late Zinaida Gilels. Moerschel was a viola student of John Ziarko, who also studied violin with Valeria Vilker-Kuchment before switching to viola. They both played in a student chamber ensemble coached by the legendary BSO violist and member of the Kolisch Quartet Eugene Lehner. Both went to the Thornton School at the University of Southern California where the Calder Quartet was born in 1998.

For more information on the awards program, click here.

For further information, check the NEC Website at:  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.

A cultural icon approaching its 150th anniversary in 2017, New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized worldwide as a leader among music schools. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, on the Avenue of the Arts in the Fenway Cultural District, NEC offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate music students from around the world. Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide. Half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC-trained musicians and faculty.

NEC is the oldest independent school of music in the United States. Founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee, an American music educator, choral conductor and organist, its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions. On the college level, NEC features training in classical, jazz, and Contemporary Improvisation. Graduate and post-graduate programs supplement these core disciplines with orchestral conducting and professional chamber music training. Additional programs, such as the Sistema Fellows, a professional training program for top postgraduate musicians and music educators that creates careers connected to music, youth, and social change, and Entrepreneurial Musicianship, a cutting-edge program integrating professional and personal skills development into the musical training of students to better develop the skills and knowledge needed to create one’s own musical opportunities, also enhance the NEC experience.

Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Programs and Partnerships Program, the Conservatory provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, and adults. 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, jazz, and Contemporary Improvisation. Currently more than 750 young artists from 46 states and 39 foreign countries attend NEC on the college level; 1,400 young students attend on the Preparatory level; and 325 adults participate in the Continuing Education program.

The only conservatory in the United States designated a National Historic Landmark, NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year. Many of these take place in Jordan Hall (which shares National Historic Landmark status with the school), world-renowned for its superb acoustics and beautifully restored interior. In addition to Jordan Hall, more than a dozen performance spaces of various sizes and configurations are utilized to meet the requirements of the unique range of music performed at NEC, from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to big band jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, and opera scenes. Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre or Paramount Center in Boston, and a semi-staged performance in Jordan Hall. This past 2012-2013 season, the operas produced were Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, and Rossini’s La Gazzetta.

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
Senior Communications Specialist
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115