NEC Violin Faculty Donald Weilerstein Honored with Artist Teacher Award at ASTA National Conference
Donald Weilerstein, Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin at NEC, has been honored with the Artist Teacher Award at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Conference in Kansas City. Over 60 years old, ASTA is dedicated to excellence in string and orchestra teaching and playing through festivals, competitions, conferences, instrument outreach, awards, a quarterly magazine, and a variety of services to its members. Its Artist Teacher Award is given to an artist/pedagogue of renowned stature from within North America. Among the high profile string players who have been so honored are Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky, Joseph Szigeti, Efrem Zimbalist, Dorothy Delay, Karen Tuttle, Robert Mann, William Preucil, and NEC’s Paul Katz.
Weilerstein, a member of the NEC faculty since 2002, received the award Thursday night during a performance by the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Orchestra.
Founding first violinist of the Cleveland Quartet with which he performed for 20 years (1969—1989), Weilerstein has concertized extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the world. He studied at the Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian, Dorothy Delay, and members of the Juilliard String Quartet, and was honored at graduation by the National Foundation of the Arts as an outstanding graduate of the school. He was a member of Young Concert Artists and a participant in the Marlboro Music Festival, performing on several Music from Marlboro Tours. Early in his career he won the Munich International Competition for violin and piano duo. As a member of the Cleveland Quartet, he performed on recordings that can be heard on the RCA, Telarc, CBS, Phillips, and Pro Arte labels. These recordings have earned seven Grammy nominations and won Best of the Year awards from Time and Stereo Review.
Weilerstein has taught and performed at such major American and European music festivals as Caramoor, Tanglewood, Aspen, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Salzburg, Luzern, Verbier, Ishikawa , Keshet Eilon, “Chamber Music Encounters” sponsored by La Cite de la Musique and the Paris Conservatory and many more, including teaching in China and in Venezuela through El Sistema. He regularly teaches and performs at the Steans Institute in Ravinia, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, the Banff Music Centre, and at the Perlman Music Program. Weilerstein is very active as a member—along with his wife Vivian Hornik Weilerstein and daughter Alisa Weilerstein, of the acclaimed Weilerstein Trio which is in residence at NEC. The Trio’s highly regarded CD, featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered”, was released in January ’06 featuring music of Dvořák on the Koch label. Their newest release for the Koch label includes music of Schumann and Janacek.
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Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory 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 Collaboration Programs, 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 and jazz.
NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 106-year old, beautifully restored concert hall. These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes. Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic 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.
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