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The Boston Conservatory Orchestra, Bruce Hangen Conductor, Performs in Cambridge September 25, 2011

Program features World Premiere of New Work Based on Letters of John and Abigial Adams; and Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony, featuring Alumna Wendy Bryn Harmer with 

Narration by Robert Brustein

(BOSTON—November 11, 2011) The Boston Conservatory Orchestra, Bruce Hangen conductor, opens its season with a program featuring renowned special guests and an exciting world premiere. The concert takes place Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, at 4 p.m. at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students and seniors. Box Office: (617) 496-2222. For more information call The Boston Conservatory event line at (617) 912-9240 or visit Prior to the concert, Dr. Elizabeth Seitz of The Boston Conservatory music history faculty will present a 30-minute lecture about the work to be performed. The lecture begins at 3 p.m.



  • New England Triptych


  • My Dearest Friend (WORLD PREMIERE)
  • Wendy Bryn Harmer '03, soprano
  • Jonathan Beyer, baritone 


  • Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”)
  • Wendy Bryn Harmer '03, soprano
  • Robert Brustein, narrator
  • New World Chorale (Holly Krafka, director)
  • Boston Children’s Chorus (Anthony Trecet-King, director)

Patricia Leonard’s song cycle My Dearest Friend will be sung by Boston Conservatory alumna and Metropolitan opera singer Wendy Bryn Harmer. The work is based on the beloved and illuminating letters of Quincy, Massachusetts’ most famous couple, John and Abigail Adams. Harmer will also be the featured soloist in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (“The Kaddish”), which will be narrated by Robert Brustein, the founding director of both Yale Repertory Theatre and American Repertory Theater. 

A native of Boston, Patricia Leonard’s early musical training began with piano studies, followed by composition studies at The New England Conservatory. She received a B.M. in Composition from The Boston Conservatory, and later went to New York to study composition with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici. Leonard’s music is performed frequently in the U.S. and in Europe and has enjoyed premieres at venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, The Stella Adler Theater, and Symphony Space; Colorado's Crested Butte Summer Music Festival, Boston’s Tsai Performance Center, Edward Pickman Hall, The Boston Conservatory and New England Conservatory, to name a few. 

Wendy Bryn Harmer is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Grant in 2010. She has appeared in numerous productions at the Met, and returned in the 10/11 season as Freia in Das Rheingold, Ortlinde in Die Walküre  and First Lady in The Magic Flute. She has also performed with Opera Boston several times. She graduated from The Boston Conservatory in 2003.

Jonathan Beyer is a baritone who has performed with several opera companies including Pittsburgh Opera, Dallas Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Austin Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Hong Kong Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Grand Rapids, Knoxville Opera, The Chautauqua Institution, Tanglewood Music Center, 

Robert Brustein is an American theatrical critic, producer, playwright and educator.  He founded both Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut and the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has been the theater critic for The New Republic since 1959.  He comments on politics for the Huffington Post and is a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University.

Bruce Hangen serves as the principal conductor of The Boston Conservatory orchestra and chairs the Conservatory’s orchestral conducting program. He serves as music director of the Indian Hill Symphony. Hangen conducted many of the country’s leading orchestras and spent eight years as artistic and general director of the Portland (Maine) Opera Repertory Theatre, a company he founded. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as music director of the Portland (Maine) Symphony. He formerly served as principal guest conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. 

About The Boston Conservatory

The Boston Conservatory trains exceptional young performing artists for careers that enrich and transform the human experience. Known for its intimate and supportive multidisciplinary environment, the Conservatory offers fully accredited graduate and undergraduate programs in music, dance and theater and presents more than 200 performances each year by students, faculty and guest artists. Since its founding in 1867, The Boston Conservatory has shared its talent and creativity with the city of Boston, the region and the nation, and continues to grow today as a vibrant community of artists and educators. For more information, visit

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