The Arts Maven: A selective guide to free events in Greater Boston

By David Fillingham

New England Conservatory: Free Concerts
Date: December 1, 2011- 6:30 PM
Price: Free
Location: Williams Hall
Here’s more than a bunch of symphonies and songs. Even those are not what you think. And although the music stopped with his death in 1911—100 years later, his time is now. During four months of concerts, jam sessions, conversation, and film, free your mind about what Mahler really means.
Collaborative piano faculty Cameron Stowe and Tanya Blaich gather NEC singers and pianists for a Liederabend devoted to songs by Gustav Mahler, Alma Mahler, and Alexander Zemlinsky.

NEC Master Class
Date: December 2, 2011 – 10:00AM
Price: Free
Location: Williams Hall

New England Conservatory piano chair Bruce Brubaker invites the public to join NEC students in exploring the challenges and complexities that pianists face in the world today, through presentations and masterclasses by guest artists and NEC faculty.

Musicology the word is used in narrow, broad and intermediate senses. In the narrow sense, musicology is confined to the music history of Western culture. In the intermediate sense, it includes all relevant cultures and a range of musical forms, styles, genres and traditions. In the broad sense, it includes all musically relevant disciplines and all manifestations of music in all cultures. Rebecca Cypess from NEC’s Music History faculty leads today’s seminar exploring connections between performance and musicology and why those links matter.

Music of Ken Schaphorst
8:00 PM
Location: NEC’s Jordan Hall
Price: Free
Ken Schaphorst conducts the NEC Jazz Orchestra in a program of his own music.

Chamber Music Recital
Date: December 3, 2011- 8:00PM
Location: Pierce Hall
NEC’s chamber music students perform.

NEC Concerts
Katherine Althen and Kyle Ruggles
8:00 PM
Location: Brown Hall

NEC student flute recital
Mollie Tucker
8:00 PM
Location: Williams Hall

Mahler: Our Contemporary
Date: December 4, 2011-2:00 PM
Location: Pierce Hall

Symposium on issues at the forefront of modern consciousness, presaged by Mahler.
Here’s more than a bunch of symphonies and songs. Even those are not what you think. And although the music stopped with his death in 1911—100 years later, his time is now. During four months of concerts, jam sessions, conversation, and film, free your mind about what Mahler really means.
Today’s symposium, moderated by NEC music history chair Katrina Markovic, brings together experts on the issues that connect Mahler’s concerns with our own time: Stephan Dowden from Brandeis University, Sander Gilman from Emory University, Vera Micznik from University of British Columbia, and Matthias Theodor Vogt from Goerlitz University, Germany.

Russell Sherman
8:00 PM
Location: NEC’s Jordan Hall

Recital by NEC’s Distinguished Artist In Residence
Beethoven: “Pathetique” Sonata
Beethoven: “Waldstein” Sonata
Liszt: Berceuse
Liszt: Sonata in B minor
The grand old man of piano in Boston

Date: December 5, 2011 – 6:00 PM
Price: Free
Location: Pierce Hall
Donor generosity has allowed NEC to transform a neglected recital hall in NEC’s St. Botolph building into Pierce Hall: a new, state-of-the-art performance space. What better place to trumpet the innovative sounds of NEC’s student jazz ensembles? In November, December, April and May, there are dozens of nights when you can make visits to this jazz club, where there’s never a cover charge.
6:00 p.m. set
coached by Frank Carlberg.
7:00 p.m. set
coached by Dominique Eade.
8:00 p.m. set
coached by Dominique Eade.
9:00 p.m. set
coached by Dominique Eade.

Date: December 5, 2011 – 8:00 PM
Price: Free
Location: NEC’s Jordan Hall

Here’s more than a bunch of symphonies and songs. Even those are not what you think. And although the music stopped with his death in 1911—100 years later, his time is now. During four months of concerts, jam sessions, conversation, and film, free your mind about what Mahler really means.
NEC faculty have always enjoyed playing chamber music together, but it was cellist Laurence Lesser —then Conservatory President— who transformed these occasional musical evenings into a stellar, regularly occurring series. This year, the thematic thread woven throughout the programs is “Brahms and Birthdays.” Tonight, as part of Mahler Unleashed, NEC faculty perform selections from Mahler’s settings of poems from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, seminally important source of inspiration for the first four symphonies and numerous vocal works.
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 6
Mai Motobuchi, Roger Tapping, viola
Mahler songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Luretta Bybee, mezzo-soprano
Michael Strauss, piano
Rheinlegendchen
Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt
Das irdische Leben
Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht?
Revelge
Brahms: Trio in A Minor, Op. 114
Roger Tapping, viola; Natasha Brofsky, cello; Bruce Brubaker, piano

Date: December 5, 2011 – 8:00 PM
Price: Free
Location: Brown Hall
Nonce celebrates a Cage centennial
Noncensemble was born out of the successful collaboration of nine NEC musicians during the Composers Lab Ensemble workshops earlier this year. Following the workshops, nonce performed a series of seven concerts throughout the winter and spring of 2011 in Boston and New York. The 2011/2012 nonce season reflects the ensemble’s mission to process challenging music as a creative team.
The Program:
Ryan Krause Time Units / Wall Drawing
Beat Furrer Lotófagos
Cornelius Cardew Octet ’61
John Cage Atlas Eclipticalis with Winter Music and Songbooks –Jeffrey Means, conductor

Date: December 7, 2011 – 8:00 PM
Price: Free
Location: NEC’s Jordan Hall

“1909 and the Future of Symphonic Music,” David Loebel, Associate Conductor of Orchestras, and the NEC Philharmonia focus on “1909 and the Future of Symphonic Music.” Loebel asks us to ponder what Mahler might have written had he lived beyond his 51 years. He sees glimpses of the future of music in the great stacked tone clusters of the fragmentary Symphony No. 10, inclinations that might connect the dots to Schoenberg. Strauss, four years younger than Mahler, but who outlived him by nearly 30 years, followed another path.
Mahler: Adagio from Symphony No. 10
Schoenberg: Five Pieces, Op. 16
Richard Strauss: Rosenkavalier Suite

Bryan Burns
8:00 PM
Location: Williams Hall
NEC student guitar recital

Yasmine Azaiez
8:00 PM
Location: Brown Hall
NEC student violin recital.

Pierce Jazz Series
Date: December 8, 2011- 6:00 PM
Price: Free
Location: Pierce Hall
NEC student jazz ensembles coached by Jason Moran.

Steve Lacy: Vespers
8:00 PM
Location: NEC’s Jordan Hall

NEC Concerts
An Afternoon of Duo Sonatas
2:00 PM
Price: Free
Location: Williams Hall

NEC’s Advanced Collaborative Skills class performs.
The Advanced Collaborative Skills class, instructed by Pei-Shan Lee, coaches pianists and instrumentalists in the art of duo playing, exploring the rich and profound sonata repertoire. A culmination of the semester’s work, this concert includes some of the most popular duo sonatas by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Dutilleux, Glinka, Mozart, and Schubert.
Date: December 9, 2011 – 12:00 PM
Price: Free
Location: Pierce Hall

Saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón joined the New England Conservatory jazz faculty in 2009. One of the initial signings who launched Branford Marsalis’s record label in 2002, Zenón was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2008.
Zenón’s recording Alma Adentro, released this summer, is a tribute to the Puerto Rican songbook comprising work by Rafael Hernández, Pedro Flores, Sylvia Rexach, Bobby Capó, and “Tite” Curet Alonso.
In this public masterclass, Zenón will work with NEC jazz students.

Date: December 9, 2011 – 7:30 PM
Price: Free
Location: Church of the Covenant, 67 Newbury Street, Boston

Lessons and Carols
Ring in the holidays with NEC’s Chamber Singers and Concert Choir.

Director of Choral Activities Erica Washburn conducts an evening of lessons and carols at Back Bay’s Church of the Covenant. The program will include traditional carols, as well as readings in French, Hebrew, Latin, Korean and German. The Winchester (MA) High School Chamber Singers, NEC’s Thomas Handel will be featured organist, and innovative handbell ensemble Back Bay Ringers will be joining the revelry too. Founded in 2003, Back Bay Ringers are Boston based, and have performed at major city landmarks including Faneuil Hall, Symphony Hall, the Boston Children’s Museum, and the Prudential Center.
The arrangement of Gruber’s Stille Nacht is by NEC composition student Kevin Kim, who’s arrangement was selected during an NEC competition.
Please arrive early, as seating is limited and doors will close promptly at 7:30.
The Program:
Pilkington: Coventry Carol
Mathias: Sir Christemas
Walton: What Cheer?
Ives: A Christmas Carol
Eric Whitacre: Lux Aurumque
Mantyjarvi: Ave Maria
Kodaly: Ave Maria
Boulanger: Psalm 24
Sandstrom: Es ist ein ros entsprungen
Willocks: O Come All Ye Faithful
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Away In A Manger
The First Noel
Gruber: Stille Nacht (arr. Kevin Kim)
Mason: Joy To The World
Masterclasses
Date: December 9, 2011 – 10:00 AM
Price: Free
Location: Williams Hall
New England Conservatory piano chair Bruce Brubaker invites the public to join NEC students in exploring the challenges and complexities that pianists face in the world today, through presentations and masterclasses by guest artists and NEC faculty.
NEC alum Catherine Kautsky speaks about Oscar Wilde and Frederic Rzewski’s De Profundis, two deeply moving, and rawly emotional works.

NEC’s Quartet-in-Residence
Date: December 10, 2011 – 8:00 PM
Price: Free
Location: Brown Hall
Every semester, student quartets are given the opportunity to participate in an intensive seminar under the guidance of the Borromeo String Quartet, NEC’s Quartet-in-residence. Each ensemble participates in both private coachings and group masterclasses, with tonight’s performance representing the culmination of a semester’s work.

To see full listings online, go to www.sparechangenews.net

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