Laurence Lesser, Cello
President Emeritus; Walter W. Naumburg Chair in Music; Violoncello;
Chamber Music; Artistic Director, "First Monday at Jordan Hall"
A member of the New England Conservatory faculty since 1974, and president of the school from 1983 through 1996 (following a year as artistic director), Laurence Lesser teaches College and Preparatory cello students and brings unique value to the chamber music experience at NEC and in Boston through his artistic direction of the First Monday at Jordan Hall concert series since 1985.
In 2010, Bridge records issued Lesser's recording with pianist HaeSun Paik of Beethoven's complete music for cello and piano. The comprehensive documentation embraced by this three-disc collection includes two audio CDs as well as the DVD Behind the Beethoven Project with biographical material, a discussion of this repertoire, and clips from concerts held in Korea immediately following the recording sessions in NEC's Jordan Hall.
Laurence Lesser was
a top prize winner in the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow
and a guest performer in the historic Heifetz-Piatigorsky
concerts and recordings. In 1976 he gave the premiere of
Menotti’s Fantasia (written for him under a Ford Foundation
grant) with the New Japan Philharmonic under Seiji Ozawa; in
1991, he performed the New England premiere with the NEC
Symphony conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich. He has been a
soloist with the BSO, the London Philharmonic, the Los Angeles
Philharmonic, and other major orchestras. He has appeared at the
Casals, Spoleto, Marlboro, Charleston, and Santa Fe festivals as
well as London’s South Bank Summer Music Festival.