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Tony Woodcock
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Trained as a violinist, British-born Tony Woodcock came to New England Conservatory as its President in June 2007 after a career as an orchestra manager. Widely respected for revitalizing the financial performance and artistic leadership of symphony orchestras in England and the United States, he switched gears to take his first higher education position with NEC.

From the earliest days of his tenure, he set in motion an ambitious program, including: creating a new Strategic Plan, successfully completing a $100 million capital campaign with a final total of $115 million, initiating a $20 million deferred maintenance construction program, developing a transformative campus redevelopment plan which received City zoning approval in July 2012, introducing cutting edge programs like Entrepreneurial Musicianship and the Sistema Fellows program, and reinvigorating the Orchestra, Opera, and Artist Diploma programs. In recognition of his accomplishments and wide-ranging progressive program, the NEC Board of Trustees voted in April 2012 to extend his contract for an additional five years.

Entries by Tony Woodcock

The Struggle of Harmony and Invention

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 5:36 PM

Timed for Halloween, with its period instrument musicians sporting masks and witches hats, and a program featuring Tartini's Devil's Trill, the Handel and Haydn Society (known affectionately as H+H) kicked off its Bicentennial season with great festivity last week. The undisputed star of the evening was the amazing violinist Aisslinn...

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What It Means to be an Artist

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 2:46 PM

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One of my great discoveries this past summer was a debut novel by a young writer from Bangladesh, Zia Haider Rahman, called In The Light of What We Know. I adore first novels as they are often an...

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How to Be Successful Using Great Communication Skills

(1) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 11:44 AM

2014-10-16-lorrieheagykiddrum.jpgI have often found it's the small asides at meetings, gatherings, or discussions that contain some of the richest nuggets of information. It's rather like footnotes in a novel that take the reader exploring some new pathway of thoughts. Just a few...

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The Baton and the Jackboot - Then and Now

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 2:09 PM

Have you ever played that game about which famous characters you would love to be seated next to at a dinner party? For some, it might be Homer or Shakespeare or Abe Lincoln. My choice has varied over the years. Sometimes it's historical -- Brutus, for instance; other times, it's...

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Who Do We Perform For?

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 1:02 AM

Every September at New England Conservatory, we kick off the new academic year with an all-school assembly we call "Convocation." This week, in my brief cheerleading moment, I counseled our young musicians to not only delve deeper internally--that is, into music's expressive world and their own creative response to it,...

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Musicians in Flight

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 9:10 AM

New England Conservatory's Entrepreneurial Musicianship department is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they will need to create gratifying musical (and non-musical) lives for themselves in the professional world. Students have the opportunity to create and execute new projects through the EM Grant program--a funding pool for...

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The Ever-present Past

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 3:05 PM

"The past is never dead. It's not even past." -- William Faulkner

2014-04-23-William_Faulkner200px.jpgFaulkner's truism from his strange novel/play, Requiem for a Nun, is one of my favorite lines and has been much quoted. Presidential candidate Barack Obama used a paraphrase of it...

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Musical Treasures of D.C.

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 1:32 PM

The cultural riches of Washington D.C. have been a recent discovery for my family and me despite having visited the Capital on numerous occasions. My past trips have always been in a rush, either on a major orchestral tour, or on other business, and, for some reason, always centered on...

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Truth to Power

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 6:38 PM

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The other night I heard a work that I had not come across for many years. It was a big symphonic piece that lasts about 30 minutes by the German composer Paul Hindemith called Mathias the Painter. (David Loebel conducting the...

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Count to 9

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 3:09 PM

2014-02-26-Beethoven9Hugh.jpgHave you ever been knocked sideways by a performance of a work that you know really well? In fact, so well, that you have approached past performances more as duty rather than a pleasure. It happened to me recently with the Beethoven...

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Times Three

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 11:01 AM

Note: In recent weeks, I've been blown away by three new recordings. Two are by alumni of New England Conservatory, the third is by an old colleague and friend, a great orchestral conductor who shares with listeners his extracurricular passion for jazz.

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How to Choose Your First Orchestral Concert

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 2:52 PM

For listeners who may never have attended a symphony orchestra concert, there are numerous entry points by which you can satisfy your curiosity without feeling intimidated or making a large cash investment. Here I offer some suggestions that should smooth your way and maximize your pleasure in the experience.

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20 Top Picks

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 2:02 PM

I found 2013 to be a great year for discovery and experience in the arts, from theatre and music to television, film, and books. So, like many other writers, I have compiled a top 20 list of my favorites, with the hope that they might resonate with readers and perhaps...

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Being in Tune

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 12:26 PM

2013-12-03-Guildhalllargeagain300px.jpgThe Guildhall School of Music & Drama, housed at the Barbican in London, is an extraordinary cauldron of invention. It teaches some of the finest young musicians and actors, has community partnerships across the whole of London, and promotes vigorous and highly...

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Well... I Won't Be Welcome There

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 1:12 PM

Do people find opera intimidating? That strange, complex, extravagant, beautiful art form?Since its creation around 1600 it has always been associated with the wealthy and the privileged, kings, and courtiers, money and furs parading in glorious citadels (see Opera Garnier Paris in photo) dedicated to the protection of its elite...

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Elvis van Beethoven

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 2:55 PM

Since childhood, I had always been afraid of the water. Thrown into the deep end and expected to swim, I never learned and remained terrified... until my young son Thomas began taking lessons. He loved swimming and gradually I began to catch on and to enjoy moving through the warm...

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Intimidation

(3) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 1:27 PM

2013-10-21-RomanVirgilFolio001rEclogue.jpgWhat's the most intimidating experience you have ever had? A one-on-one with an aggressively demanding boss? An IRS audit? Being pulled over by a traffic cop? A friend of mine recently shared such a daunting experience. Starting a brand new job heading up...

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What's in a Fludde?

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 11:20 AM

2013-10-08-MoonriseKingdom200px.jpgOne of the most creative and inventive films I've seen recently was Wes Anderson's 2012 Moonrise Kingdom, with all the strange oddities of style, camera angles, and storyline that make this director's work so compelling and so memorable. Apart from the charming story...

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Music, Marilyn Monroe and the Upside Down World of Piccolos

(1) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 11:14 AM

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Last April, I was honored to be invited as one of the speakers in the inaugural TEDx Fenway event. Organized by the Fenway Cultural Alliance, the program celebrated the first anniversary of the official designation of the Fenway Cultural...

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Why Time Lords Are Absolutely Essential

(21) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 11:27 AM

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The iconic Police Box

It was the talk of my school. The date was Saturday, November 23, 1963, and children's T.V. would never be the same again. Children's T.V., as it was called, was a slot of time on Saturday...

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