New Year News

We begin the new year by celebrating job successes, awards, and more from the NEC community.

Composer Lei Liang ’96, ‘98 MM was interviewed in the New York Times about his composition “A Thousand Mountains, a Million Streams.”

The piece addresses the destruction—or preservation—”of both natural landscapes and cultural ecosystems”, and recently won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award.

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Wenhong Luo headshot

DMA student and violist Wenhong Luo ’16 MM was appointed to the teaching faculty at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in Australia. At NEC, Wenhong studies with Kim Kashkashian.

“Melbourne has a lot going on musically and culturally, so I can’t wait to be part of the musical and art scene here … and I’m really looking forward to working with all my amazing colleagues and students at the Conservatorium,” Wenhong said.

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Rafael Popper-Keizer

Rafael Popper-Keizer ’98 MM was named artistic director at Monadnock Music in Peterborough, New Hampshire. 

Rafael studied with Laurence Lesser, and is also principal cellist of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Emmanuel Music, and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a member of Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Winsor Music, and A Far Cry. 

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Jeff vom Saal at the Fox Theatre in Spokane

Jeff vom Saal ’01 was featured in the Spokesman Review discussing his work as executive director of the Spokane Symphony aimed at embedding the symphony within the Spokane community. 

“The more accessibility and impact we have into this community, the more we are doing our job as an organization,” said vom Saal.

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Tessa Lark and Stella Chen

Violinists Tessa Lark ’10, ’12 MM and Stella Chen ’16 MM Harvard/NEC have been honored with 2020 Lincoln Center Awards for Emerging Artists. At NEC, Chen studied with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried, and Lark studied with Miriam Fried and Lucy Chapman.

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Alex LoRe with saxophone

Saxophonist Alex LoRe ’09 was announced as a Vandoren artist and discusses his new CD and reflections on staying true to your craft in this Q&A.

”Sometimes what’s best for you is not what’s best for other people, and that’s totally all right. Being honest with yourself about your needs and goals and being consistent in your work are two of the most important things you can do for yourself,” said Alex.

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Ronell Warmuth

Ronell Warmuth ’23, a first year baritone studying with Jane Eaglen, has been named a 2020 National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) Finalist in Classical Vocal Performance, the organization’s highest honor. Ronell will receive a cash prize and will perform this week as part of in National YoungArts Week in Miami.

“I feel blessed and humbled to be selected as a YoungArts winner in vocal performance.  I look forward to working with these world class mentors and getting to know other artists that are as passionate about music as I am,” Warmuth says.

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Samantha Frenduto

Samantha Frenduto ’19 MM has won a position as a clarinetist in The United States Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”) .

Sam will begin her new role in early 2020.


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