On September 20, 2018, the NEC community honored Peter Row, a beloved NEC faculty member and former dean and provost who made significant impact during his decades at the Conservatory. An ethnomusicologist and sitar virtuoso, Peter also taught classes in a number of departments, include Music History, Music Theory, Contemporary Improvisation, and Liberal Arts. He passed away on April 2, 2018.
The program reflected Peter's diverse musical interests, featuring performances by sarodist George Ruckert, pianist Ran Blake, vocalist Dominique Eade, the Borromeo String Quartet, percussionist Jerry Leake, sitarist Andrew Row, and NEC alumni including Sarah Atwood, Utsav Lal, composer and jazz hornist John Clark, and Scott Halligan.
Violinist Sarah Atwood '17 MM, a recent student and trio-mate of Peter Row’s, and tabla player Jerry Leake of the NEC faculty — Peter's longtime collaborator, performed Rag Jhinjhoti in acknowledgement of Peter’s deep connection to Hindustani Classical Music.
From his earliest days at NEC, Peter was intimately involved in the Third Stream department which evolved into today’s Contemporary Improvisation program. In a darkened Jordan Hall, his longtime CI colleague, Ran Blake, performed a haunting reimagining of Silent Night.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Andrew Row performed Rag Yemen, traditionally the first raga a fledgling sitarist undertakes.
A mixed ensemble of CI faculty and alumni joined composer/French hornist John Clark for the performance of his Shooting Arrows, a nod perhaps to Peter’s love of archery.
Violist Kim Kashkashian of the faculty was one of several colleagues fondly remembering Peter and his many contributions to the NEC community through his roles as Dean, Provost and longtime member of the CI, Music History and Liberal Arts departments.
A leading light of Boston’s World Music community, sarodist George Ruckert performed Rag Bhairavi accompanied by Jerry Leake. Afterwards, the hall darkened for a gorgeous 1976 recording of Peter himself performing Rag Kammaj.
After final remarks by Peter’s widow, Heather Row, flutist Linda Chase, Erica Washburn, and the NEC Chamber Singers brought the evening to a gentle close with a moving invocation of Bill Douglas’ Deep Peace.