What's New: November 2021

News from NEC alumni, students, and faculty members including Darynn Dean, Michael Mizrahi, Ester Wiesnerová, Anthony León, Célina Béthoux, Marc-André Hamelin, Douglas Williams, Tyler Martin, Geneva Lewis, Alexander Hersh, Adam Levin, and Yevgeny Kutik.

Darynn Dean at Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Studies

Vocalist Darynn Dean '19 was selected to join the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA, class of 2023. 

The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance is a tuition-free two-year program that accepts one ensemble of musicians for each class. All of the students receive full scholarships, as well as stipends to cover their monthly living expenses. The students study both individually and as a small group, receiving personal mentoring, ensemble coaching, and lectures on the jazz tradition. They are also encouraged to experiment in expanding jazz in new directions through their compositions and performances. 

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Michael Mizrahi - Pianist

Pianist Michael Mizrahi '09 GD released a new album, Before and After, with his chamber quintet NOW Ensemble on November 12, and performed the Florence Price (1906 NEC alumna) Piano Concerto with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra on November 13, with more than 60 Lawrence students and Maestro Mark Dupere.

Watch the performance





Ester Wiesnerová

Ester Wiesnerová '20 MM performed songs from her upcoming album Blue Journal on the Slovak version of NPR's Tiny Desk Concert, "In Between Books."

Watch the performance 






Anthony Leon Tenor - Wins Sullivan Foundation Grant

Tenor Anthony León '21 MM, '23 AD won a Career Development Grant from the Sullivan Foundation, which supports opera singers who are in the early stages of their careers. 

Learn more about the Sullivan Foundation Awards and Grants






Celina Bethoux

First-year violinist Célina Béthoux '25 was recently featured on the From the Top Virtual “Live” Concert series, and on From The Top's radio program with guest host pianist Orli Shaham; together they performed a touching rendition of “Peace” by American composer Jessie Montgomery.

Watch the performance




Marc-Andre Hamelin

Pianist Marc-André Hamelin, who is a member of NEC's faculty for the 2021–22 academic year, had an interview in Maestroarts: "As a youngster, I was attracted more to the physical side of piano playing, but in time, I’ve become much more of a searching musician. At the beginning, I was perhaps doing it for myself. Now, I always think of the audience, first and foremost. The most important thing is what they come away with. A concert is an offering."

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Douglas Williams

Bass-baritone Douglas Williams '04 recently performed with the ensemble Ars Lyrica in what the Texas Classical Review praised as “one of Houston’s most riveting operatic portrayals in recent years”. The performance was a showcase of The Other Euridice by Jonathan Dove, a contemporary operatic work that combines baroque instrumentation with modern techniques. In a lengthy and passionate review, staff writer Stephen Brown had nothing but great things to say about Williams.

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Tyler Martin '19 MM was appointed second flute and piccolo with the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra

Violinist Geneva Lewis '20, performing with cellist Alexander Hersh '15,'17 MM, among others, made her debut in Chicago's Guarneri Hall on November 19

Guitarist Adam Levin '08 MM's most recent two albums, Music from the Promised Land, and 21st Century Spanish Guitar, Volume 4, were just released

Violinist Yevgeny Kutik '09 MM, '10 GD's new album The Death of Juliet and Other Tales, an in-depth look at the music of Sergei Prokofiev featuring new arrangements by composition faculty Kati Agócs, composition chair Michael Gandolfi, and Yevgeny, was released on November 26