LSM Newswire

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NEC Celebrates Elliott Carter 100th Birthday: all 5 String Quartets, Music from 8 Decades

NEC Celebrates Elliott Carter’Äôs 100th Birthday with Collaborative Performances of the Five String Quartets, World Premiere of Percussion Commission

Centenary Festivities Also Include Performances of Music from Eight Decades of the Composer’Äôs Career

’ÄúOur time is so much more awesome, frightening and, certainly, energetic. Therefore, its greatest music must be and is more powerful than the classical masterpieces.’Äů’ÄîElliott Carter

New England Conservatory will celebrate the 100th birthday of the legendary’Äîand still working’Äîcomposer Elliott Carter with performances of his works from eight decades. The festival, which begins in November and extends throughout the fall, is curated by John Heiss. It will be highlighted by performances of all five String Quartets in an NEC-initiated collaboration between three Conservatory ensembles and the Pacifica and Chiara Quartets. Quartets No. 2 and 3 each won Pulitzer Prizes in 1960 and 1973 respectively.

NEC will also present the world premiere of Tintinnabulation, a new work for percussion ensemble that the Conservatory commissioned from Carter and which was completed last summer. In addition, double bassist Donald Palma will perform the solo work Figment III, written for him earlier this year and for which he remains the first and exclusive performer.

The Conservatory’Äôs events will precede the Boston Symphony Orchestra’Äôs December 4 premiere of Carter’Äôs Interventions for Piano and Orchestra, with Daniel Barenboim as soloist. The 100-year old composer, who expects to be in Boston for the BSO final rehearsals and performances, has promised to attend one or more events at NEC, his health permitting.

Masterminded by NEC faculty cellist Paul Katz, a founding member of the Cleveland Quartet, the Carter quartet retrospective will take place in several venues’ÄîNEC, the Gardner Museum, Harvard University (where the Chiaras are Blodgett Artists-in-Residence) and the Longy School of Music (where the Pacifica is in residence). The Conservatory groups include the Borromeo String Quartet, the Ariel Quartet (currently in residence in NEC’Äôs Professional String Quartet Training Program), and the Laurel Quartet (one of NEC’Äôs Honors Ensembles).

Carter’Äôs Tintinnabulation was inspired by the composer’Äôs enthusiastic response to Gunther Schuller’Äôs Grand Concerto for Percussion and Keyboards, a piece written as part of NEC’Äôs Endicott percussion commissioning project. Tintinnabulation was commissioned for the New England Conservatory Percussion Ensemble and director Frank Epstein with support from Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser and the Shrieking Meadow Foundation.
All concerts at NEC are free and open to the public. See individual listings for concerts at other venues for details on ticketing. The complete listing of programs, dates, and venues follows:

November 17, 8 pm, The Longy School of Music,
One Follen St. Cambridge. $30/ $20 students

Pacifica Quartet performs Carter's String Quartet No. 3, Beethoven’Äôs String Quartet, Op. 132, and George Crumb String Quartet No. 3

November 18, 8 pm, NEC’Äôs Jordan Hall

Pianist David Holzman performs Carter's Piano Sonata.

November 30, 1:30 pm, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Laurel Quartet performs String Quartet No. 5, as part of an all-Carter program.

December 1, 8 pm, NEC

"First Monday" concert includes Carter's String Quartet No. 1 with the Borromeo String Quartet, NEC quartet-in-residence.

December 2, 4 pm, 7 pm, and 8pm, NEC

4 pm in NEC’Äôs Williams Hall. Masterclass on Carter's Sonata for cello and piano with cellist Laurence Lesser and pianist Christopher Taylor.

7 pm in NEC’Äôs Williams Hall. Panel discussion with Elliott Carter's assistant Virgil Blackwell; John Heiss of the NEC faculty, who has coordinated these performances; and Donald Palma of the NEC faculty.

8 pm in NEC’Äôs Jordan Hall. Frank Epstein conducts NEC Percussion Ensemble in world premiere of Tintinnabulation; String Quartet No. 2 with the Ariel Quartet; Asko Concerto with the NEC Chamber Orchestra, Sonata for cello and piano, with cellist Laurence Lesser and pianist Christopher Taylor; Birthday Flourish and Woodwind Quintet, with the NEC Contemporary Ensemble; and Elegy for viola and piano, with students from NEC's Preparatory School.

December 3, 6 pm and 8 pm, NEC

6 pm in Brown Hall. Chiara String Quartet, Harvard University's Blodgett Artists-in-Residence for 2008’Äě2011, performs Carter's String Quartet No. 4.

8 pm in NEC’Äôs Jordan Hall. All-Carter program includes Double Concerto, Canonic Suite, Sonata for flute, oboe, cello, and harpsichord; Luimen, Figment III, Harmony of the Spheres, and Musicians Wrestle Everywhere.

December 4, 8 pm, Harvard University’Äôs Houghton Library
For more information:

Chiara String Quartet, Harvard University's Blodgett Artists-in-Residence for 2008’Äě2011, performs Carter's String Quartet No. 4. This concert is sold-out.

December 4’Äî9, Symphony Hall

World premiere of Carter's Interventions with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, James Levine conducting; Daniel Barenboim, piano.

For further information, check the NEC Website at: or call the NEC Concert Line at 617-585-1122. NEC’Äôs Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, Williams Hall and the Keller Room are located at 30 Gainsborough St., corner of Huntington Ave. St. Botolph Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 750 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’Äîthereby 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, 100-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’Äôs 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 ’ÄúFrom the Top,’Äů 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.



Post a Comment


Create a Link

<< Home