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Tom Novak Appointed Provost

Dean of the College Gets a New Title

NEC Announces Promotion of Thomas Novak to Position of Provost 

Dean of the College Since 2007, Novak Oversees Faculty, Curriculum, Performance, Admissions, Financial Aid, Conservatory Relations

NEC President Tony Woodcock announced today the promotion of Thomas Novak as Provost, a new title he will add to his current one as Dean of the College. Novak will continue to oversee Conservatory faculty, curriculum, admissions, financial aid, student services, entrepreneurship, community performances and partnerships, and relationships with performing groups and other conservatories in the U.S. and abroad. He works with a talented and devoted staff, including Richard Feit, who recently joined the NEC administration as Dean of Performance Studies. The promotion takes effect immediately.

“It gives me great pleasure to promote Tom to the position of Provost and Dean of the College,” President Woodcock said. “This is a testament to Tom’s tremendous commitment and significant contributions to NEC over the past ten years. Tom is an admired and respected leader and an indispensable member of my team. I look forward to his continued work and involvement in the school.”

In making the appointment, Woodcock noted several of Novak’s signal accomplishments in recent years. These include:
     • Leading NEC through a recent reaccreditation process with the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
     • Enhancing the faculty through appointment of outstanding artist teachers in Voice, Opera, Chorus, Collaborative Piano, Contemporary Improvisation, Composition, Music Theory, Music History, Liberal Arts, Woodwinds, Brass and Jazz.
     • Overseeing an outstanding Admissions staff and process that has resulted in record numbers of highly talented applicants.
     • Overseeing a comprehensive review of the Master of Music curriculum which will be implemented in 2012-13.
     • Directing the NEC component of the joint degree program with Harvard University
     • Developing/maintaining relationships with other conservatories and music schools

A member of the NEC administration since 2001, Thomas Novak was hired as Performance Outreach Manager, but within a month, was appointed Acting Director of Admissions and, later that same year, Director of Admissions. In January 2003, his role was expanded to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid and Assistant Provost. Shortly after President Woodcock joined NEC in 2007, Novak was appointed to the position of Dean of the College. He has also continued to coach chamber music, often guiding NEC honors ensembles such as Quintet Royale.

A bassoonist who studied at Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music, the Yale School of Music, and Juilliard, Novak was an active chamber and freelance musician in New York for 10 years. He was a founding member of the Amerigo Ensemble, which performed at Wichita State University and on the Evergreen House Concert Series in Baltimore, as well as presented educational programs under the auspices of the New York Philharmonic and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  Novak is a former member of Quintet of the Americas, with which he made his Carnegie Hall debut, performing in Canada, Bermuda, Venezuela, Colombia, and throughout the United States, including a residency at Northwestern University’s School of Music.  Furthermore, Novak has appeared with Philharmonia Virtuosi, New Haven Symphony, Bethlehem Bach Choir, and participated in the Tanglewood Festival, and, for three consecutive summers, the Pacific Music Festival.

Novak continues to coach chamber music and to perform—which he did as recently as this past Monday night, when he played on Kim Kashkashian’s Music for Food series to benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank.

For further information, check the NEC Website


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory in Boston, MA offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world.  Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars.  Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.  Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions.  On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, contemporary improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Programs and Partnerships Program, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors.  Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music, jazz, and contemporary improvisation.

NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, century-old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz, contemporary improvisation, and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre or Paramount Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115