NEC Philharmonia + Hugh Wolff: Revueltas, Barber, Montgomery, Ravel

NEC: Jordan Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

NEC Philharmonia and conductor Hugh Wolff open the season with a program of Barber, Revueltas, Montgomery, and Ravel.  Geneva Lewis '20, '22 AD is the violin soloist in the Barber.

This is an in-person event with a public live stream

Watch Livestream from Jordan Hall 

View the concert program here

  • Geneva Lewis '20, '22 AD, violin
  1. Silvestre Revueltas | Ventanas (1931)


    Program note

    Mexican musician Silvestre Revueltas was an accomplished violinist and conductor and as well as composer.  While serving as assistant conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico he conducted premieres of several of his works, including his 1931 composition Ventanas.
            Like his North American contemporaries Aaron Copland and George Gershwin, Revueltas was intent on throwing off Eurocentric influences and creating a new kind of music with a strong vernacular flavor.  The folk traditions of Mexico and its pre-Columbian cultures were fertile ground for him.  This music is dark, primitive, and passionate – violent as a ritual sacrifice and intimate as a lullaby.  The gentle central oboe melody is given the unusual instruction “expressive, desolate and absurd.”  The tuba is featured prominently throughout; heavy, pulsating ostinati heighten the orgiastic mood.

  2. Samuel Barber | Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, op. 14

    Presto in moto perpetuo

    Program note

    The story of the composition of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto is full of surprises and changes of course.  A wealthy Philadelphia businessman commissioned the 29 year-old Barber to write a violin concerto for his son who, like Barber, was a graduate of the Curtis Institute.  The first movement, lyric and melancholy, was deemed not flashy enough so Barber wrote a virtuoso, perpetual-motion finale.  This in turn was pronounced unplayable.  When at a private concert this was shown to be false, the composer and commissioner agreed to part ways.  Fortunately, Eugene Ormandy heard a student performance of the work (including, of course, the “unplayable” finale) and programmed it with the Philadelphia Orchestra and violinist Albert Spaulding in 1941.  Thankfully, the work has now found its way into the standard repertoire and is among the most performed of 20th century violin concertos.

    Geneva Lewis

    American/New Zealand violinist Geneva Lewis has forged a reputation as a musician of consummate artistry whose performances speak from and to the heart. Lauded for remarkable mastery of her instrument” (CVNC) and hailed as clearly one to watch” (Musical America), Geneva is the recipient of a 2022 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant and Grand Prize winner of the 2020 Concert Artists Guild Competition. Additional accolades include Kronberg Academys Prince of Hesse Prize, being named a Performance Today Young Artist in Residence, and Musical Americas New Artist of the Month. Most recently, Geneva was named one of BBC Radio 3's New Generation Artists.
            Since her solo debut at age 11 with the Pasadena POPS, Geneva has gone on to perform with orchestras including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Pensacola Symphony and Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and with conductors including Nicholas McGegan, Edwin Outwater, Michael Feinstein, Sameer Patel, Peter Rubardt, and Dirk Meyer. The 2022-23 season includes performances with the Auckland Philharmonia, North Carolina Symphony, Augusta Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Austin Symphony and Arkansas Symphony. In recital, recent and upcoming highlights include performances at Wigmore Hall, Tippet Rise, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Washington Performing Arts, Merkin Hall, and the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts.

            Deeply passionate about collaboration, Geneva has had the pleasure of performing with such prominent musicians as Jonathan Biss, Glenn Dicterow, Miriam Fried, Kim Kashkashian, Gidon Kremer, Marcy Rosen, Sir András Schiff, and Mitsuko Uchida, among others. She is also a founding member of the Callisto Trio, Artist-in-Residence at the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles. Callisto received the Bronze Medal at the Fischoff Competition as the youngest group to ever compete in the senior division finals. They were recently invited on the Masters on Tour series of the International Holland Music Sessions and performed at the celebrated Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
            An advocate of community engagement and music education, Geneva was selected for New England Conservatorys Community Performances and Partnerships Programs Ensemble Fellowship, through which her string quartet created interactive educational programs for audiences throughout Boston. Her quartet was also chosen for the Virginia Arts Festival Residency, during which they performed and presented masterclasses in elementary, middle, and high schools.
            Geneva received her Artist Diploma and Bachelor of Music degrees as the recipient of the Charlotte F. Rabb Presidential Scholarship at New England Conservatory, studying with Miriam Fried. Prior to that, she studied with Aimée Kreston at the Colburn School of Performing Arts. She is currently studying at Kronberg Academy with Professor Mihaela Martin. Past summers have taken her to the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Perlman Music Programs Chamber Workshop, International Holland Music Sessions, Taos School of Music, and the Heifetz International Music Institute.
            Geneva is currently performing on a violin by Zosimo Bergonzi of Cremona, c. 1770 courtesy of Guarneri Hall NFP and Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins, Chicago. 

    • Geneva Lewis '22 AD, violin

  4. Jessie Montgomery | Caught by the Wind (2016)


    Program note

    Jessie Montgomery is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation and Sphinx Medal of Excellence, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, poetry, and social consciousness, making her an acute interpreter of 21st century American sound and experience. Her profoundly felt works have been described as “turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (The Washington Post).
            She writes this about her 2016 orchestral work Caught by the Wind:

    Caught by the Wind has two main sources of inspiration: first, my brother’s environmental activist bicycle band tour, The Pleasant Revolution, where he and his disciples traveled thousands of miles promoting awareness of environmental issues, self powering their shows with bicycle generators…The journey of pedaling from country to country by bicycle was a powerful and transcending experience for all band members and crew who dedicated months, even years to the tour.

          Midway through composing the piece, things took a slightly different turn: while on retreat in upstate New York, I was on a much needed head-clearing walk through the woods and found a branch that had been mangled and torn by the wind. I was fascinated by how the intricate system of stems tangled together revealing a full life cycle in its now disfigured form. The piece, in the end, is one about cycles — whether bicycles or life cycles, or wind cycles — it spins, journeys and winds, gets caught and ultimately comes to its end. (The Pleasant Revolution bike tour, incidentally, is still going in 2016.)

  5. Marice Ravel | Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2

    Lever de jour
    Danse générale


    Program note

    Maurice Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloéwas commissioned by Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes and written in 1909 in collaboration with choreographer Michael Fokine.  It was premiered in Paris with conductor Pierre Monteux in June 1912, less than a year before the same company and conductor premiered Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The story is based on the Greek erotic novel of Longus probably written in the second century.  Daphnis and Chloé are foundlings raised by a goatherd and shepherdess respectively.  They grow up together and as young adults, they fall in love.  Their adventures as they recognize, understand, and learn to express their love are the story of the ballet.  The music of the second suite is the final sixteen minutes of the fifty-minute ballet.  Here is the scenario as printed in the score:

    No sound but the murmur of rivulets produced by the dew that trickles from the rocks.  Gradually day breaks and the songs of birds are heard (three solo violins, flute and piccolo).  Far off, a shepherd passes by with his flock (piccolo).  Another shepherd crosses in the background (E-flat clarinet).  A group of herdsmen enters looking for Daphnis and Chloé.  They discover Daphnis and wake him.  Anxiously he looks around for Chloé.  She appears at last, surrounded by shepherdesses.  They throw themselves into each other’s arms.  The old shepherd Lammon (oboe) explains that, if Pan has saved Chloé, it is in memory of the nymph Syrinx, whom the god once loved.  Daphnis and Chloé mime the tale of Pan and Syrinx.  Chloé plays the young nymph wandering in the meadow.  Daphnis as Pan appears and declares his love, but the nymph rebuffs him.  The god becomes more insistent.  She disappears into the reeds.  In despair, he picks several stalks of reed to form a flute and plays a melancholy air (central flute solo).  Chloé reappears and dances to the flute.  The dance becomes more and more animated and, in a mad whirl (piccolo, two flutes and alto flute), Chloé falls into Daphnis’ arms.  Before the altar of the nymphs, he pledges his love.  A group of girls enters dressed as bacchantes, shaking tambourines (woodwind and tambourine interruption).  Daphnis and Chloé embrace tenderly.  A group of youths rushes onstage.  Joyful commotion and general dance (fast dance in 5/4 time).


  6. Personnel

    First Violin
    Rachel Yi
    Hyeon Hong
    Angela Sin Ying Chan
    Clayton Hancock
    Thompson Wang
    Claire Thaler
    Anna Junghyun Lee
    Natalie Boberg
    Seunghee Lee

    Yixiang Wang
    Anthony Chan
    June Chung
    Claire Byeol Kim

    Second Violin
    Yebin Yoo
    Kathryn Amaral
    Felicitas Schiffner
    Jason Qiu
    Justus Ross
    Qiyan Xing
    Jeffrey Pearson
    Anatol Toth
    Passacaglia Mason
    Tsubasa Muramatsu
    Haekyung Ju
    Haeun Honney Kim
    Wangrui Xu

    Samuel M. Zacharia
    Jacqueline Armbruster
    Lydia Plaut
    Elton Tai
    Asher Boorstin
    Haoyang Shi
    Ruoran Yu
    Rituparna Mukherjee
    Wonjeong Seol
    Anna Mann
    Yi Chia Chen
    Adam Newman

    Bennet Huang
    Ga-Yeon Kim
    Isaac Berglind
    Jiho Seo
    Jonathan Salman
    Lexine Feng
    Nicholas Tsang
    Sarah Tindall
    Travis Scharer
    Claire Park

    Christopher Laven
    Gregory Miguel Padilla
    Willie Swett
    Yu-Cih Chang
    Cailin Singleton
    Shion Kim

    Chia-Fen Chang
    Jeong Won Choe
    Anna Kevelson §
    Jay Kim
    Elizabeth McCormack *
    Erika Rohrberg ‡
    Dianne Seo +

    Jeong Won Choe §
    Anna Kevelson +
    Jay Kim *
    Amelia Libbey ‡
    Dianne Seo

    Alto Flute
    Elizabeth McCormack

    Gwen Goble *
    Alexander Lenser §
    Kelley Osterberg ‡
    Nathalie Graciela Vela +

    English horn
    Gwen Goble ‡
    Kelley Osterberg +

    Thomas Acey *
    Tristen Broadfoot ‡
    Hyunwoo Chun §
    Aleksis Martin +

    E-flat Clarinet
    Hyunwoo Chun +
    Aleksis Martin ‡

    Bass Clarinet
    Thomas Acey

    Zoe Beck §
    Andrew Brooks ‡
    Matthew Heldt
    Miranda Macias *
    Erik Paul
    Julien Rollins +

    Julien Rollins

    French horn
    Logan Fischer *
    Sam Hay ‡
    Hannah Messenger +
    Tess Reagan
    Tasha Schapiro §
    Sophie Steger
    Jenna Stokes

    Daniel Barak §
    Sarah Heimberg *
    Eddy Lanois ‡
    Dimitri Raimonde
    Jon-Michael Taylor +

    Puyuan Chen ‡
    Alex Knutrud
    Noah Korenfeld +
    Quinn McGillis §

    Bass Trombone
    Roger Dahlin ‡
    Chance Gompert +§

    James Curto §
    David Stein +‡

    Ross Jarrell *‡
    Jeff Sagurton +

    Ross Jarrell
    Doyeon Kim
    Danial Kukuk §
    Stephanie Nozomi Krichena +
    Nga ieng Lai
    Mark Larrivee
    Eli Reisz
    Michael Rogers ‡
    Jeff Sagurton

    Yoonsu Cha
    Morgan Mackenzie Short ‡

    Piano, Celeste
    Jingsi Lu