What's New: Year-End Edition

News from NEC alumni and faculty members including Luther Warren, Amir Siraj, Dominique Eade, Sarah Bernadette, Aimee Toner, Talia Rubenstein, Miranda Agnew, Anna Abondolo, Kyra Teboe, Guy Fishman, Nestor Torres, Brannon Cho, Lio Kuokman, and Claire Bourg.

Luther Warren performs violin via Zoom, while Dr. Kathy May Tran watches while wearing a medical mask.

Musicians are performing Virtual Bedside Concerts for patients at Massachusetts General Hospital, aiming to bring relief and comfort to patients during the coronavirus pandemic. Luther Warren ’18, ’20 MM spoke to Boston 25 News about his experiences as a musical volunteer:

One volunteer, Luther Warren, a Boston-based professional violinist and student at the New England Conservatory of Music, shares his love of Bach with patients.

“It’s a strange time to be a musician, and it can feel very irrelevant,” Warren said of the lack of opportunity to perform for an audience. “This was something I was thrilled to be a part of, to use my profession to connect with people in a very timely, needed way.” [...]

Dr. Kathy May Tran, who leads the Happiness Committee at MGH, helps run the program. Tran says the concerts provide a kind of therapy medicine cannot, at a time when family members often cannot visit and doctors and nurses have their faces covered by layers of protective gear.

Read & watch

Amir Siraj with Forbes 30 under 30 logo

Amir Siraj ’17 Prep, ’22 Harvard/NEC has been named to Forbes 30 Under 30.

Amir is earning degrees in astrophysics at Harvard and piano performance at NEC, where he studies with Wha Kyung Byun

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Dominique Eade closes her eyes and sings; magazine spread with photo also has the words "Jazz School" and "Singing with the Band, by Dominique Eade"

Jazz faculty member Dominique Eade published an article in Downbeat Magazine titled "Integrating Singing Into Jazz Ensembles."

In the piece, she covers common challenges and suggested approaches to working with vocal range, language and lyrics, arranging and composing, improvisation, and more.

“The human voice has been integral to jazz from its prehistory to present day. [...] In this article, I will suggest ways to expand the role of singing in ensembles in jazz education.”

Read article

The NEC Nova Fellows promote diversity and inclusion by providing a virtual platform for the cultural and artistic community at NEC. The Fellows recently made their first media releases:

  • A drawing of a bird girl with pink wings, purple braided hard, a yellow beak, and purple boots.
    a podcast, featuring Sarah Bernadette ’21 MM interviewed by Aimee Toner ’22 MM.
    Listen now
  • a mixtape, themed around Women in Jazz and featuring the work of Talia Rubenstein ’22 MM, Miranda Agnew ’21, Anna Abondolo ’22, and Kyra Teboe ’23.
    Listen or download

The Nova Fellowship is sponsored by the Entrepreneurial Musicianship (EM) department, and fellowships are awarded annually.

Handel's Messiah for our time

Chamber music faculty Guy Fishman performed with the Handel & Haydn Society for a special televised and streaming performance of Handel’s Messiah.

The collaboration displays innovative technology and the resilience of our musicians, even through a global pandemic. This is H+H’s 167th consecutive year performing Handel’s masterpiece.

Watch now

The word "Beethoven" over a black and white image of a pianist closing their eyes and seated at the piano

The Boston Globe gave a nod to the NEC Piano Department's monumental undertaking to perform all of Beethoven's piano music during his 250th year,

According to pianist Bruce Brubaker, who chairs the piano department at New England Conservatory, the school is the only institution across the globe to survey all of Beethoven’s piano music during the composer’s 250th birthday year. Approximately 75 conservatory piano students have participated, traversing this vast literature over the course of 12 recital programs. The last of the 12 took place this Tuesday, but you can find them ready for streaming on the school’s YouTube channel

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Nestor Torres smiles at the camera while posing with his flute in front of a blue background

Flutist and practicing Buddhist Nestor Torres '80 gave a recent socially distanced performance in an unusual venue—a 12th century ancient Spanish monastery located in South Florida:

“I’ve always been enchanted by the environment and the space,” said the Latin Grammy-winning flutist and composer, who first performed at the North Miami Beach landmark after moving to South Florida in the early ’80s.

“In these times that we’re living, we are in great need of sacred spaces — and not just a church or a house of worship,” he said. “For me, the significance of a sacred space is the space that we create between each other based on fundamental mutual respect and appreciation for each person.”

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