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NEC Wind Ensemble + Peltz: The NEC Legacy
Boston, Massachusetts
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 - 7:30 PM
Conductor: Charles Peltz
Charles Peltz conducts music by Chadwick, Hovhaness, and other composers from NEC's orbit.

Peltz completed his Master of Music degree in wind ensemble conducting at NEC in 1985, studying with Frank Battisti. He returned to take the baton from Battisi as head of NEC's wind ensemble program in 2000.

From the ceremonial fanfares of the Renaissance to the firebrand composers of today, wind ensemble concerts can blow through the centuries in a single evening.

Tonight's program takes a look at NEC's musical legacy through the prism of music for winds and brass.

George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931) was an early alumnus of New England Conservatory who returned to teach in 1882, and ultimately served as director of the school from 1897 to 1930. Chadwick was the moving force that brought New England Conservatory to its present location on Huntington Avenue, and it was during his tenure that Jordan Hall was conceived and built.

Alan Hovhaness '36 (1911-2000) was an Arlington High School graduate—now commemorated by a monument in Arlington Center—who came to NEC to study composition with Frederick Converse and won a school competition for his Sunset Symphony. He went on to be one of the 20th century's most prolific composers, with hundreds of opus numbers and 67 numbered symphonies. The portrait bust on this page is currently housed in NEC's new Blumenthal Family Library.

While it is unlikely that Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) ever visited NEC, his music is inextricably woven into our musical fabric. Lorna Cooke DeVaron led a rare performance of Schoenberg's Moses und Aaron, and at the end of his presidency Gunther Schuller memorably put NEC forces behind the Boston premiere of Gurrelieder. And for many years, John Heiss's Schoenberg course and NEC Contemporary Ensemble performances of the Schoenberg catalog have been lodestones of an NEC education.

At Heiss's urging, Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006) visited NEC for a teaching residency in 1993. His wanderings on campus generated a quote with which we would still all agree: "I have never found (in the whole world) a better place FULL OF NOISES, SOUNDS AND SWEET AIRS than the NEC in Boston. I can feel here the sweat and the joy of making music."

Welcome to NEC at 150! Every generation of musicians remake and change New England Conservatory. Some, like Gunther Schuller, continue to influence our music beyond their lifetimes. Others contribute for decades, pushing the sense of what's possible by their own examples. The entire season is stuffed with chances to see the NEC legacy in exceptional, infectious, passionate action. Don't miss them!
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