2006 ICMEC Grand Prize Jury panel
Mr. Laurence Lesser
Mr. Laurence Lesser, President Emeritus of New England Conservatory, has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as concert artist, teacher and arts administrator. Mr. Lesser was a
top prize winner in the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and a participant in the historic Heifetz-Piatigorsky concerts and recordings. Mr. Lesser has been soloist
with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the New Japan Philharmonic and other orchestras worldwide. He has performed under the batons of
Ozawa, Rostropovich and Tilson Thomas, among others. As a chamber musician he has participated at the Casals, Marlboro, Spoleto and Santa Fe festivals. He has served as jury member for numerous international competitions and in 1994 was chairman of the Tchaikovsky Competition (cello) in Moscow. Mr. Laurence Lesser, was President of NEC from 1983-1996, during which period America’s oldest independent school of music enjoyed an impressive rise in reputation. A high point during his tenure was the complete restoration in 1995 of the 1000-seat Jordan Hall, one of the world’s greatest
acoustical spaces. Mr. Lesser came to NEC in 1974 as a member of the faculty, a position
he still holds. He also teaches an international class of highly gifted cellists. Mr. Lesser
plays a 1622 cello made by the brothers Amati in Cremona, Italy.
Mr. Bruce Brubaker, the Chair of the New England Conservatory Piano Department, has earned Bachelor of Music (1982), Master of Music (1983), and Doctor of Musical Arts
(1992) degrees at The Juilliard School of Music. His doctoral document, “Pianist’s Life,” was a study of the social and cultural implications of the position of the concert pianist
in contemporary America. As a concert pianist, Mr. Brubaker performed with orchestras in Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, Atlanta,
Seattle, and New York, and toured England, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Latin America, and Asia. Mr. Brubaker has premiered music by John Cage, Mark-Anthony
Turnage, Jonathan Lloyd and gave fi rst performances of Glass’s Six Etudes in London, Boston, and Manila. He made the world premiere recording of Edward Steuermann’s
Piano Sonata for Vital Music (partnering it with music by Wagner and Brahms). Brubaker has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s, at Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, at Tanglewood, Antwerp’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, and at Finland’s Kuhmo Festival. Mr. Brubaker is the Artistic Director of SummerMusic, an annual chamber music festival in
Iowa that he founded in 1994.
Mr. Gabor Viragh
Mr. Gabor Viragh is a graduate of the Liszt Academy of Music Teacher Training Institute and the Bela Bartok Conservatory of Music in Budapest, Hungary. He also completed studies at Berklee College of Music on a professional scholarship and attended the Academie Musicale Ottorino Respighi Festival in Assisi, Italy. Mr. Viragh is a frequent guest clinician and lecturer at numerous colleges, universities and school systems throughout the United States. He has performed with numerous jazz artists such as Phil Wilson, Luis Bellson, Bob Berg, Joe Wilder, Claudio Roditi, Igor Buttman. Founder of the Hartt Jazz Trumpet Ensemble, Mr. Viragh actively performs throughout New England in various ensembles including the Steve Lord Big Band and the New England Jazz Orchestra. Mr. Viragh is an Associate Professor of Theory and Jazz Trumpet at The
Hartt School of Music Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT.