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NEC Celebrates the Work of Claude Debussy

While the coming of a new year offers plenty of reasons to celebrate, there is one occasion this year that might go unnoticed. 2012 marks 150 years since one of the greatest instrumental composers ever was born—Claude Debussy.

With an impressive body of work including awe-inspiring symphonic poems like Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and renowned solo/chamber works like Clair de Lune—a section of a larger piano depiction of the Paul Verlaine poem—Debussy has solidified himself as a prized and innovative fixture in late-Romantic and modernist music. And, whether you’ve heard his music live, in passing on television or performed one of his expert compositions yourself, you’re undoubtedly a Debussy fan already.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

In 2012, the New England Conservatory is taking the chance to celebrate this artist’s body of work with a slew of programs highlighting these musical gems. You’ll be able to catch everything from full performances of orchestral works like La Mer and Images, to a few performances of his Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp—the latter is an often overlooked favorite of mine. There will even be a Piano Honors competition highlighting some chamber works, with details to be announced later this year.

So, if you’re looking for an alternative to the hype of weekly BSO programs, head across the street to Jordan hall for any of these exciting programs. And the kicker is, many of them are free. So you can enjoy world-class musicians performing music by a master composer without breaking the bank. It’s really a win-win.