Musicians at Play, with the Door Open

September 23, all day and into the night during NEC Open Studios, new Student Life & Performance Center is alive with music, activities for all ages.

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New England Conservatory (NEC) is opening its doors to the community with its first-ever Open Studios in honor of its 150th anniversary. On Saturday, September 23, NEC opens the brand-new, state-of-the-art Student Life and Performance Center (SLPC) with a wide range of programs for the public including concerts, interactive workshops, and informative seminars. 

Beginning at 8 a.m. and concluding at 10 p.m., Open Studios will activate close to 50 different activities throughout NEC’s campus in Boston’s Fenway in 14 hours of programming. Musical performances of all kinds, from jazz to Brazilian to Beethoven will be staged outdoors and in NEC’s unrivaled venues, including Jordan Hall as well as the new Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre, Eben Jordan Ensemble Room, and Burnes Hall. The event will feature engaging activities for both children and adults, including face painting, crafts, workshops, lectures as well as opportunities to perform. Local food trucks will be on site throughout the day. 

Program highlights include:

An Introduction to Suzuki & Demo

Shinichi Suzuki believed that “any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue.” As one of the beginning pathways for string instruction, families are invited to join an introduction to the Suzuki method, based upon a close relationship between the child, parent, and teacher. (Intended for ages 4-10 in the Michael Rudyak Reading Room.)

The Musician's Brain

Dr. David Silbersweigh, Chairman of the Psychiatry Department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Co-Director of the Institute for Neurosciences, and Harvard Medical School Academic Dean, will share how research shows lasting benefits that music has on brain development and cognitive functions. (Intended for ages 18+ in the Ute and Patrick Prevost Instruction Room.)

NEC Story Booth

NEC invites members of the community to share and record their story about NEC as a part of the 150th celebration and for the listeners of tomorrow. (Intended for all ages in the Blumenthal Family Library Listening Room.)

Artist Diploma Performance: In Mo Yang

Violinist In Mo Yang, currently studying in NEC’s highly selective Artist Diploma program, will perform on the Joachim-Ma Stradivarius violin, on loan to him by the school. (Intended for ages 12+ in the Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre.)

Songwriting Workshop for Youth

Attendees may join NEC graduate student jazz vocalist and songwriter Amanda Ekery for a user-friendly songwriting demonstration and hands-on workshop. (Intended for ages 13-18 in the Eben Jordan Ensemble Room.)

Verona Quartet

A performance by the Verona Quartet, currently enrolled in NEC’s highly selective Professional String Quartet Training Program and hailed by The New York Times as an “outstanding ensemble of young musicians.” (Intended for ages 12+ in Burnes Hall.)

Inside the Mind of Beethoven

NEC faculty Nicholas Kitchen, first violinist of the Borromeo String Quartet, and pianist Dina Vainshtein will explore Beethoven’s genius through examination of the composer’s original manuscripts, and perform a selection of his works, including Spring Sonata. (Intended for ages 13+ in the Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre.)

Open Mic

NEC invites members of the community to bring their instrument to show off their musical talent in this informal session. (Intended for ages 13+ in the Eben Jordan Ensemble Room.)

Contemporary Rock Ensemble

NEC invites members of the community to join Lautaro Mantilla and the Contemporary Rock Ensemble for a concert unlike any other at NEC as they fill the room raw musical energy. (Intended for ages 18+ in the Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre.)

As part of Open Studios, NEC is inviting community members to explore the SLPC, a multipurpose facility that acts as a hub for both students and the public. The centrally located building houses unrivaled performance venues, state-of-the-art recording studios, multiple practice rooms, residential areas, a consolidated library and archive, and a cafeteria allowing students and community members alike to congregate, collaborate and partake in NEC’s continued legacy of musical excellence.

Kennett F. Burnes, chair of the board of trustees of New England Conservatory, said:

“Since NEC’s founding 150 years ago, we’ve been committed to expanding the music community and nurturing the next generation of musicians. NEC offers programs for people of all ages from around the world and throughout the local community to explore their passion for music. Open Studios is a celebration of that history of musical engagement and the remarkable Boston community that we call home. We hope this inaugural event will inspire musicians and non-musicians alike to experience our new facilities and fantastic programming, which features both students and professionals and offers many opportunities to interact with our renowned faculty.”

NEC is a living laboratory and part of Boston’s rich cultural history and musical life. Open Studios showcases the diverse musical offerings at NEC and demonstrates NEC’s commitment to serve the Boston community by opening its doors to the public with free concerts in unrivaled venues.

We hope this inaugural event will inspire musicians and non-musicians alike to experience our new facilities and fantastic programming.
Kennett F. BurnesChair, NEC Board of Trustees