NEC Philharmonia + Earl Lee: Wang, Mahler

NEC: Jordan Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

Guest conductor and NEC alumnus Earl Lee (’15 GD) leads the NEC Philharmonia in a performance of The Labyrinth of Light by fellow NEC alumnus Erqing Wang ('20) and Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D Major ("Titan").

View the concert program in light mode & dark mode, recommended for in-person audiences.


About Earl Lee

Winner of the 2022 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Earl Lee is a renowned Korean-Canadian conductor who has captivated audiences worldwide. Currently Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra his appearances in the 21/22 season included leading the San Francisco Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and Ann Arbor Symphony in subscription; the New York Philharmonic in its annual Lunar New Year Gala; debuts with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, and with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam as a participant in the Ammodo masterclasses led by Fabio Luisi. This season includes a return to the San Francisco Symphony and his Boston Symphony subscription debut.
        Beginning with the 22-23 season, Earl joins the Ann Arbor Symphony as Music Director.

        Earl recently concluded his position as the Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony where he led various concerts and its programming. He also served as the Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony from 2015 to 2018.
        In all of his professional activities, Earl seeks ways to connect with fellow musicians and audiences on a personal level. His concerts to date in Canada, the U.S., China and South Korea have often been accompanied by outreach events beyond the concert hall in the community at large. He has taken great pleasure in mentoring young musicians as former Artistic Director and Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and is a regular guest conductor with the orchestras of North America’s top music schools such as Manhattan School of Music and the New England, San Francisco, and Royal Conservatories.
        As a cellist, Earl has performed at festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Caramoor Rising Stars, and Ravinia’s Steans Institute and has  toured as a member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), with Musicians from Marlboro, with and Gary Burton & Chick Corea as a guest member of the Harlem String Quartet.
        Earl has degrees in cello from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School and in conducting from Manhattan School of Music and New England Conservatory. He was the recipient of the 50th Anniversary Heinz Unger Award from the Ontario Arts Council in 2018, of a Solti Career Assistance Award in 2021 and has been awarded a Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Scholarship by Kurt Masur and the Ansbacher Fellowship by the American Austrian Foundation and members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He lives in New York City with his wife and their daughter.

This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here

  1. Erqing Wang '20 | The Labyrinth of Light: Cityscape for Orchestra (2019)


    Program note

    Wang     The Labyrinth of Light: A Program Note (3 years later)
    When I wrote The Labyrinth of Light in the fall of 2019—retrospectively a rather nostalgic period, a fragilely peaceful time right before the outbreak of a brewing chaos—I gave it the subtitle “An Elegy of Birds” and wrote a short program note describing the composition as a bio-sociological comment on the deaths of birds triggered by urban light pollution.  Looking back, I see a naïve composer who was eagerly trying to use the medium of music to take part in the debates of sociological topics.
            Three years later, I have removed that program note, disillusioned now by the powerlessness of Art when functioning as social critique, by its impotence and its opportunistic hypocrisy when superficially dealing with tragedies, be they of humans or animals.  That note now seems to me to be almost unbearably redundant, even comically superfluous.  I have given the piece a new subtitle, “Cityscape for Orchestra”, an image that is open to more multifaceted interpretations of the composition’s flourishing virtuosity, its polyphonic denseness depicting crowds and its outbursts of metallic colors. These reflect my very personal, therefore sincere and deeply-felt, perceptions after having lived in several of the world’s massive metropoles.
            I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the composition and orchestral departments of NEC, for their efforts to let the composition make its way onto the stage, despite its occasionally unreasonable difficulties resulting from my clumsy handling of orchestral instruments, more or less inevitable for such a début.
            Last, but not least, I would like to dedicate the present composition to  Mr. Stratis Minakakis, with whom I studied from 2018 to 2020 at NEC, and under whose guidance I was able to absorb a considerable amount of compositional knowledge, much of it displayed in The Labyrinth of Light.                                              
    – Erqing Wang

    Erqing Wang is currently pursuing his master’s degree at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz with Beat Furrer. He studied at the Middle School of Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and subsequently at New England Conservatory, under the guidance of Wenchen Qin, Kati Agócs and Stratis Minakakis.


  2. Gustav Mahler | Symphony No. 1 in D Major "Titan"

    Langsam, schleppend - Immer sehr gemächlich
    Kräftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell - Recht gemächlich
    Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
    Stürmisch bewegt - Energisch

  3. Personnel

    First Violin
    Yiliang Jiang
    Minami Yoshida
    Joshua Brown

    Tsubasa Muramatsu
    Haekyung Ju
    Claire Byeol Kim
    Evelyn Song

    Kathryn Amaral
    Haeun Honney Kim
    Passacaglia Mason
    Qiyan Xing
    Dorson Chang
    Jason Qiu
    Tiffany Chang

    Second Violin
    Claire Thaler
    June Chung
    Natalie Boberg
    Thompson Wang
    Caroline Jesalva

    Jeffrey Pearson
    Nozomi Murayama
    Anthony Chan
    Angela Sin Ying Chan
    Yilei Yin
    Yixiang Wang
    Rachel Yi
    Ian Hsu


    Elton Tai
    Ruoran Yu
    Haelim Kong
    Asher Boorstin
    Wonjeong Seol
    Yi Chia Chen
    Chiau-Rung Chen
    Rituparna Mukherjee
    Jacqueline Armbruster
    Njord Fossnes
    John Harry Clark
    Samuel M. Zacharia


    Macintyre Taback
    Anthony Choi
    Lily Uijin Gwak
    Josephina YK Kim
    Yi-l Stephanie Yang
    Heechan Ku
    Barna Zsolt Károly
    Jeremy Tai
    Aixin Vicky Cheng
    Hechen Sun
    Trés Foster

    Gregory Padilla
    Cailin Singleton
    Alyssa Peterson
    Daniel Slatch
    Shion Kim
    Minyi Wang

    Javier Castro *
    Anna Kevelson
    Jay Kim
    Yang Liu
    Elizabeth McCormack § 
    Dianne Seo

    Jeong Won Choe *
    Anna Kevelson §  
    Jay Kim
    Dianne Seo

    Dane Bennett
    Donovan Bown §
    Kian Hirayama *
    Sojeong Kim
    Kelley Osterberg
    Sam Rockwood

    English horn
    Kelley Osterberg

    Thomas Acey §
    Tyler J. Bourque
    Tristen Broadfoot
    Chenrui Lin
    Soyeon Park *

    E-flat Clarinet
    Tyler J. Bourque *§
    Chenrui Lin

    Bass Clarinet
    Chenrui Lin

    Zoe Beck
    Andrew Flurer §
    Matthew Heldt *
    Evan Judson
    Richard Vculek

    Adam Chen *
    Evan Judson §

    French horn
    Logan Fischer
    Sam Hay
    Karlee Kamminga
    Xiang Li **
    Hannah Messenger
    Yeonjo Oh
    Willow Otten *
    Paolo Rosselli §
    Tasha Schapiro
    Sophie Steger

    Jake Baldwin
    Daniel Barak
    Reynolds Martin §
    Nelson Martinez *
    David O’Neill **
    Alex Prokop
    Dimitri Raimonde

    Eli Canales *
    Zachary Johnson
    Noah Korenfeld **
    Jianlin Sha §

    Bass Trombone
    Chance Gompert
    Luke Sieve

    James Curto §
    David Stein *

    Eli Geruschat
    Ariel Pei Hsien Lu §
    Parker Olson *

    Eli Geruschat
    Ross Jarrell
    Ariel Pei Hsien Lu *
    Jeff Sagurton
    Hayoung Song
    Zesen Wei §
    Yiming Yao

    Yoonsu Cha *
    Yvonne Cox §

    Piano, Celeste
    Sung Ho Yoo


    Principal players
    **Wang offstage