New England Conservatory (NEC) and Phoenix embark on a new collaboration anchored by the many ties between the conservatory and the orchestra. The partnership marks a number of firsts: the orchestra’s first performance at Jordan Hall on March 27th marks the debut of the music director and NEC alumnus Joshua Weilersteinand the beginning of administrative and compositional fellowships between NEC and the Orchestra.
“For me and for so many other members of Phoenix, NEC feels like home, so it’s thrilling to announce this new artistic partnership with NEC, a partnership that carries our shared mission of bringing music, education and joy immeasurably.” will expand. to the city of Boston. The fact that the first concert of this new partnership is my very first concert with Phoenix as Music Director is just the icing on the cake.” Joshua Weilerstein, Music Director.
The partnership’s administrative scholarship will provide paid opportunities for current NEC students to gain real-world experience with an organization that has become a fixture on the Boston music scene, while the composition scholarship awards a commission each year that gives an NEC composer the opportunity to have his work performed and recorded by Phoenix.
Benjamin Sosland, Provost and Dean of Faculty, comments: “When Phoenix returns to perform here at NEC – the place where it all began for them – it feels like a real homecoming. And the fact that they have chosen to pay for this by offering important fellowship opportunities for our aspiring composers and aspiring arts administrators reinforces our goal of educating the whole musician by delivering real-world experiences. Congratulations to Joshua on his appointment as music director and look forward to working with Phoenix to ensure a vibrant future for music in Boston.”
Phoenix was founded in 2014 by a group of NEC alumni with a mission to expand the reach of classical music by presenting concerts in a social and accessible atmosphere. CRB’s Brian McCreath hailed Weilerstein’s appointment as music director as “bringing together an international conductor with local roots and one of Boston’s most dynamic ensembles.” This new partnership establishes a symbiotic relationship between artistic and administrative collaboration and embraces the deep bonds between Phoenix and NEC.
Christina Dioguardi, General Manager and Solo Bassoon of Phoenix, says: “It is truly a coming full circle moment as we return to the place where Phoenix was born while most of our founding members were students at NEC. We can’t wait to work alongside the next generation of NEC students as we embark on this very exciting new chapter for the organisation.”
Phoenix’ performance on March 27 at Jordan Hall contains folk-inspired music by Béla Bartók, Gabriela Lena Frank, Osvaldo Golijov and Florentine Prize as well as Ludwig van Beethoven‘s jubilant 7th symphony.
Performance information as of March 27th
phoenix @ Jordan Hall
Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 3:00 p.m
Béla Bartók, Romanian folk dances
Osvaldo Golijov, The Night of the Flying Horses
Florentine PrizeDrink to me with just your eyes
Gabriela Lena Frank, “Coqueteos” from Leyendas: A tour of the Andes
Ludwig van Beethoven Arr. Gerber / Weilerstein, save me from the grave and sage
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
Phoenix is an award-winning chamber orchestra that presents music in an accessible and social atmosphere for all listeners. Known for its unique approach to audience interaction, the orchestra places a high value on creating genuine relationships with everyone who comes to its shows. Phoenix welcomes Joshua Weilerstein as Music Director from 2021, opening the next chapter in the orchestra’s history.
Since its inception in 2014, when it was dubbed “eminently worthy of your attention” (The Boston Globe), Phoenix has delighted classical music lovers and beginners alike with its energetic playing, eclectic programming and individualistic approach to larger orchestral repertoire. At the core of its mission, Phoenix is committed to programming and nurturing composers from groups that traditionally struggle to have their voices heard in the orchestral world, including composers who identify as women and BIPOC. The orchestra attracted early attention, winning the 2017 Improper Bostonian’s Boston’s Best Classical Ensemble.
Coupled with its mission to reach new audiences of all backgrounds, Phoenix is proud to have performed at a variety of venues in the greater Boston area including OBERON, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Center for Arts at the Armory (Somerville, MA), the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, Bully Boy Distillers, District Hall and Aeronaut Brewing Company. Additionally, Phoenix became the Aeronaut Brewing Company’s first Ensemble in Residence in Somerville (2017-2020). The residency was the first between an orchestra and a brewery in the United States, and was a direct result of both Phoenix’s drive to bring classical music to a wider audience and Aeronaut’s investment in culture and events. During his residency at Aeronaut, Phoenix was a key part of the brewery’s Pindrop Sessions, a series in partnership with GBH and 99.5 CRB.
Phoenix is committed to expanding orchestral and chamber music repertoire and has worked with composers Jonathan Bailey Holland, Jeffrey Mumford, Maria Finkelmeier, Alice Jones, Cody Forrest and Mary Bichner on new works. The orchestra collaborated on a commissioned cello concerto by Jeffrey Mumford for cellist Deborah Pae, supported by a grant from the Cricket Foundation. In May 2019, Phoenix gave the world premiere of Mumfords of radiances blooming in expanding air… with Ms. Pae. In September 2019, Phoenix gave the world premiere of Jonathan Bailey Holland’s El Jaleo, commissioned and presented by Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. In addition, Phoenix has collaborated with drummer and composer Maria Finkelmeier, flutist Paula Robison, soprano Margot Rood, mezzo-soprano Britt Brown, tenor Omar Najmi and actor Will Lymancomposer Marti Epistein and author Jen Deadrick.
When season six was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Phoenix immediately turned to engage with audiences via a virtual platform. In Fall 2020, Phoenix launched The Chronophone, an episodic series that travels through musical time from 1685 to the present day. In each of the episodes, Phoenix presents chamber music performances of music both familiar and unfamiliar to classical audiences, and contextualizes the music within the historical space. The Chronophone and Phoenix are recipients of the 2021 Boston Cultural Council Grant. phoenixorch.org
About the New England Conservatory (NEC)
Founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjée in Boston, Massachusetts, the New England Conservatory (NEC) represents a new music school model that combines the best of European tradition with American innovation. The school is at the center of Boston’s rich cultural history and musical life, presenting concerts in prestigious venues Jordan Hall. Fueled by profound artistry, bold creativity and deep compassion, NEC seeks to amplify the influence of musicians in advancing our common humanity, and empowers students to face today’s changing world head-on, equipped with the tools and confidence to be a multidimensional life of artistic depth and depth to forge relevance.
As an independent, not-for-profit institution that educates and educates musicians of all ages from around the world, NEC is internationally recognized as a leader among music schools. It nurtures a diverse, dynamic community that offers music students from more than 40 countries performance opportunities and quality training from 225 internationally renowned artistic teachers and scholars. NEC is pushing the boundaries of music making and teaching through college-level education in classical, jazz and contemporary improvisation. Through unique interdisciplinary programs such as Entrepreneurial Musicianship and Community Performances & Partnerships, it empowers students to create their own musical opportunities. As part of NEC’s mission to make lifelong music education accessible to all, the Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education provide training and performing opportunities for children, pre-college students and adults.