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
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.
In 2005, Lesser was named a "Chevalier du Violoncelle" by the
Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at Indiana University, awarded
for distinguished achievements and contributions to the world of
cello playing and teaching.
Laurence Lesser occupies a teaching chair endowed by the estate
of Walter W. Naumburg.
cum laude, Phi Beta
Kappa, Harvard College. Studies with Gregor Piatigorsky at the
University of Southern California. Fulbright Scholar with Gaspar
Cassadó in Köln, Germany. Recordings on Columbia, RCA, Melodiya,
Desto. Former faculty of Peabody Institute, University of
Southern California, Banff Centre for the Arts, Toho Gakuen
School of Music.