NEC honors the legacy of Marylou Speaker Churchill with annual award in her name

NEC honors the legacy of Marylou Speaker Churchill with a first-ever award in her name. Churchill served on the faculty of NEC's College and Preparatory programs for 28 years and was the principal second violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.


The Marylou Speaker Churchill Award

The Marylou Speaker Churchill Award recognizes an instrument teacher and orchestral figure who reflects Marylou Speaker Churchill's qualities as a human being, educator, and musician.

Selected by a special committee led by NEC's Provost and Dean of the Faculty, the Marylou Speaker Churchill Award recipient is invited to campus to present a master class, lecture, or performance. 

2023 marks the first year this award will be bestowed, and it is our honor to announce that the inaugural recipient is Maestro José Francisco Del Castillo. Maestro Castillo will come to campus on Saturday, April 1, to receive the inaugural award. As part of his visit, he will meet with faculty, conduct a masterclass with Prep students and sit in on a rehearsal of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. View event info here.

Maestro José Francisco Del Castillo

Jose Francisco Del Castillo

José Francisco del Castillo began his musical studies in his hometown of Caracas, Venezuela. Later he traveled to Brussels and entered the Royal Conservatory under the tutelage of Maestros Carlo Van Neste and André Gertler, where he obtained his first prizes for violin and chamber music. Del Castillo also attended three years of summer courses that Maestro Gertler dictated at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Later he moved to New York City, where he continued his studies for three years under the guidance of the renowned Maestro Iván Galamian and attended the summer courses that Maestro Galamian taught in Meadowmount, NY.

Del Castillo has performed in important Latin American and European cities and the former Soviet Union, always obtaining the warmest welcome from the public and critics. He has been invited to give classes in several important foreign conservatories and music schools. In Venezuela, he has developed, for many years, a gigantic pedagogical work in many institutions and universities all around the country. He has trained several generations of violinists as director of the Latin American Violin Academy, an entity attached to the National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras of Venezuela. He has been recognized with many awards in Venezuelan and some foreign Institutions and universities and has participated as a jury in various International Competitions. He is also the author of the book "Basic principles for the Study of the Violin."

Marylou Speaker Churchill with Maestro José Francisco Del Castillo
Marylou Speaker Churchill with Maestro José Francisco Del Castillo.

Marylou Speaker Churchill

Known for her generosity of spirit, Marylou Speaker Churchill taught on NEC's College and Preparatory School faculties for 28 years. She was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where she served as Second Principal Violinist for 23 years of her 30-year tenure with the orchestra.

Marylou served as Chair of the Prep String Department for ten years before joining the College faculty in the 1990s. She was a devoted teacher deeply committed to her students' growth, artistic excellence, and well-being. In 2006, she received the Louis and Adrienne Krasner Teaching Award for her extraordinary work with students.

The Marylou Speaker Churchill Award honors her commitment to teaching and artistic excellence by celebrating an instrument teacher or orchestral figure who reflects her qualities as an educator, musician, and human being.