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New England Conservatory Announces the World Premiere Commission of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “New England Etudes” for Percussion Sextet

January 27, 2023 | By Stephanie Janes

New England Conservatory Announces the World Premiere Commission of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “New England Etudes” for Percussion Sextet

The premiere takes place on February 6 at NEC’s Jordan Hall as part of the Composers’ Series, and is free and open to the public

For Immediate Release (January 27, 2023—Boston, MA) —New England Conservatory (NEC) announces the world premiere performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “New England Etudes” for percussion sextet as part of the Composers' Series on February 6 with the NEC Percussion Ensemble. As the Malcolm Peyton Composer Artist-in-Residence, Turnage dedicates “New England Etudes” to Will Hudgins, his longtime friend and colleague who is also the recently appointed head of the percussion department at NEC and member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

With the entire program curated by Stratis Minakakis, the evening also includes contemporary works by current NEC faculty members Kati Agócs and Sid Richardson, and former faculty member Malcolm Peyton.

“Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “New England Etudes” is a six-movement work for percussion sextet receiving its world premiere at NEC,” says percussion faculty Will Hudgins. “Turnage incorporates a variety of traditional instruments throughout the work. His interest in jazz music is a consistent source of inspiration in his output and is immediately evident as this piece has a swinging lilt from the opening measures. The use of a drum set-style setup and two vibraphones also adds to his nod to the genre. Odd meters and the sharing of motives throughout the group abound. The exception to this style is the fifth etude, entitled “Bells for Ukraine,” a movement that stands apart from the others in its solemnity. This eighteen-minute work is a tremendously welcome addition to the percussion repertoire, and we are pleased to present the work with the composer in attendance.”

NEC Composers' Series Concert Program
Monday, February 6, 2023 at 7:30pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall (290 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA)
Tickets: the performance is free and open to the public with RSVP (https://necmusic.edu/events/nec-composers-series-concert-feb).

Sid Richardson

Tide Tiding Time ,1: “Shells and Stones”

Sophia Szkoloay, violin

Kati Agócs

“Division of Heaven and Earth”

Asher Severini, piano

Malcolm Peyton

“Four Songs from Shakespeare”

Chihiro Asano, mezzo soprano

Aleksis Martin and Soyeon Park, clarinets

Caroline Jesalva, violin

Bram Fisher, viola

Jonah Kernis, cello

Stratis Minakakis, conductor

Mark-Anthony Turnage, Malcolm Peyton Composer Artist-in-Residence

New England Etudes (World Premiere)

Co commissioned by the NEC Percussion Group, Will Hudgins, director

NEC Percussion Group

Michael Rogers

Jeff Sagurton

Isabella Butler

Eli Geruschat

Leigh Wilson

Ross Jarrell

Will Hudgins, conductor


About The Malcolm Peyton Composer Artist-in-Residence

The Malcolm Peyton Composer Artist-in-Residence was established in 2018 to honor Malcolm Peyton, a member of the NEC Composition faculty for over 50 years. During his remarkable tenure, Malcolm influenced the lives and careers of many students through his teaching and direction, as well as his dedication to the creation of new music at NEC. This residency was established to recognize his devotion to NEC and the continued pursuit of excellence in the Composition Department.

About “New England Etudes” Co-Commissioners

“New England Etudes” was co-commissioned by the New England Conservatory, Colin Currie Group, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Eastman School of Music, ensembleNEWSRQ, Geneva Percussion Ensemble, The Juilliard School, The New World Symphony Percussion Consort, and the Southern Methodist University. Shortly after the world premiere, ensembleNEWSRQ performs New England Etudes on March 13 in Sarasota, Florida, with additional performances to be announced in the 2023-2024 season.

About New England Conservatory (NEC)
Founded by Eben Tourjée in Boston, Massachusetts in 1867, the New England Conservatory (NEC) represents a new model of music school that combines the best of European tradition with American innovation. The school stands at the center of Boston’s rich cultural history and musical life, presenting concerts at the renowned Jordan Hall. Propelled by profound artistry, bold creativity and deep compassion, NEC seeks to amplify musicians’ impact on advancing our shared humanity, and empowers students to meet today’s changing world head-on, equipped with the tools and confidence to forge multidimensional lives of artistic depth and relevance.

As an independent, not-for-profit institution that educates and trains musicians of all ages from around the world, NEC is recognized internationally as a leader among music schools. It cultivates a diverse, dynamic community, providing music students of more than 40 countries with performance opportunities and high-caliber training from 225 internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC pushes the boundaries of music-making and teaching through college-level training 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 available to everyone, the Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education delivers training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students and adults.


Media Contact:
Stephanie Janes, (617) 419-0445, stephanie@stephaniejanespr.com




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