News from the NEC Community: Spring-Summer 2022
News from NEC students, alumni, and faculty members including Jaewon Wee, Alexander Hersh, Thomas Wilkins, Matthew Duveneck, Ashleigh Gordon, Kati Agócs and James Sommerville, Tristan Rais-Sherman, Ran Blake, Michael Rau, and Morgan Short, plus other recent events and wins.
Violinist Jaewon Wee ’23 GD won second prize in California Music Center’s 37th Irving M. Klein Competition, after being named a semifinalist in the first round of competition; additionally, she won the Weiss Prize for Best Performance of the Commissioned Work. The prize comes with $6,300 and includes performance contracts with the San Jose Orchestra, among others. The competition highlights promising young musicians who are ages 15-23.
Jaewon Wee also won First Prize, the Eleanor Woods Memorial Award, and Audience Prize, the Viola Musher and Amelia Stieglitz Wishner Award, in the 2022 Washington International Competition in May.
Cellist Alexander Hersh '15, MM '17 won the 2022 Pro Musicis International Award. The prize includes a debut concert in Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall, recording time, $4,000 for a social outreach project, additional performances, and membership in the family of Pro Musicis artists.
Conductor and NEC Trustee Thomas Wilkins '82 MM received the Gold Baton from the League of American Orchestras at the closing session of the League’s 2022 Conference on June 3. The Gold Baton recognizes individuals and institutions that champion and advance the cause of orchestras and symphonic music throughout the country.
Liberal Arts faculty member Matthew Duveneck, PhD, is one of three scientists who have been awarded fellowships to conduct research in Acadia National Park as part of Second Century Stewardship, an initiative of the National Park Service, Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park and the National Park Foundation. Duveneck will use a recent model of forest change and refine it to 30-meter resolution to reduce uncertainties about how climate change, insects, land use, and other disturbances will interact and shape Acadia’s future forests.
Violist Ashleigh Gordon '08 MM, co-founder of Castle of Our Skins, a Boston-based group celebrating Black artistry through classical concert series, educational programming, and more, was interviewed by The Boston Globe.
Composition faculty member Kati Agócs was featured in The Boston Musical Intelligencer in a wonderful concert review and interview about her new Horn Concerto, which was written for faculty member James Sommerville, principal horn in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and recently performed by Sommerville with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in Winnipeg.
Conductor Tristan Rais-Sherman ’21 AD was awarded a Career Assistance Grant from the Solti Foundation.
Pianist, longtime faculty member and co-founder of the Contemporary Improvisation department at NEC, Ran Blake ‘06 Hon. DM, will be honored by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation during the 2022 Louis Armstrong International Continuum Virtual Symposium at the Columbia University Center for Jazz Studies. Blake will be awarded the 2022 Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation “SATCHMO” Award and interviewed by David Chevan, Professor of Music at Southern Connecticut State University.
Violinist Michael Rau ’14 has won a position in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Harpist Morgan Short ‘22 MM was named a 2022 winner of the Anne Adams Awards from the American Harp Society Foundation. The prize includes $3,000, a gift certificate sponsored by Lyon & Healy Harps, and a permanent honoree plaque in the Lyon & Healy showroom.
NEC has recently shared other exciting wins for members of the NEC community, and celebrated the conclusion of another successful school year. Recent highlights include alumnus Inmo Yang ‘18, ‘19 AD winning the 2022 International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition; the NEC community coming together in person to celebrate our graduates after a challenging few years, with keynote speaker James Taylor and other honorees; renowned pianist Evgeny Kissin performing at NEC to raise funds for Ukraine relief; and the NEC “Happening” Scholarship Gala raising $1.2 million dollars to further NEC’s educational mission and support talented and committed musicians.