Introducing: N E C C L E Ensemble Members

NEC CLE is pleased to announce the following performers as the core ensemble for the upcoming workshops. Each of the performers claims NEC as either their current school or their alma mater, and each has been an active performer of new music at NEC and around the world. 


IN Los Angeles Magazine writes, "The audience…jumped to their feet in a standing ovation after a performance by soprano CECEILIA ALLWEIN." Ceceilia has performed in venues ranging from Jordan Hall to Jim Henson Studios in full and partial operatic roles, including Adele in Die Fledermaus, Cunegonde in Candide, Eurydice in Orphée aux Enfers, Marie in La Fille du Régiment, and Fire/Nightingale in L'Enfant et les Sortilèges. Ceceilia is also no stranger to the performance of new and contemporary music. During the 2008/9 season she performed in over 10 premieres and gave the only recorded performance of Ricky Ian Gordon’s “Love, My Sweet Rain” with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. During the 2009/10 season she participated in pianist Stephen Drury’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice and performed György Kurtag’s Kafka-Fragmente as part of a special residency at Yellow Barn Music Festival. Ceceilia is currently a master’s student at Brooklyn College and studies privately with Claudia Waite.

DEREK BECKVOLD has made music throughout North America and Europe. He has performed many styles of music, including classical music, new music, old music, improvised music, jazz music, north indian music and west african music. He plays saxophones, clarinets and tabla. He is also a composer and conductor. He is also a very bad flute player. He is an even worse banjo player. He has worked with many internationally recognized composers, performers and ensembles. He graduated from the New England Conservatory in 2009 with a BA in saxophone, studying with Ken Radnofsky and Allan Chase, Indian music with Peter Row and Jerry Leake, and composition with Lyle Davidson, Anthony Coleman and Gunther Schuller.

Cellist TONY RYMER, at only age 21, has performed major concerti to critical acclaim with the Atlanta Symphony, Boston Pops, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Pittsburgh Symphony, among others. He was the First Prize Winner of the 2009 Sphinx Competition Senior Division and took 3rd place in the 2009 Stulberg International String Competition. A native of Boston, Tony began playing cello at age five, attended the Walnut Hill Arts School, was a Project STEP scholarship student from 1996-2007, and was awarded the prestigious Kravitz scholarship in 2007. One of the first recipients of the Jack Kent Cooke Award on the NPR national radio show From the Top, he has also been heard as soloist on WGBH Boston, WCLV Cleveland, and NPR's Performance Today.  An avid chamber musician, Tony has collaborated in concert with artists such as violinists Ani Kavafian, Miriam Fried, Itzhak Perlman, oboist Peggy Pearson, violist Barbara Westphal, and cellist Paul Katz. Tony has played privately for Yo-Yo Ma and performed in master classes for Anner Bylsma, Jaime Laredo, and Pieter Wispelwey. He attends the New England Conservatory in Boston where he studies with Paul Katz and holds the Laurence Lesser Presidential Scholarship.

CHRIS WATFORD is a diverse solo, chamber, and orchestral musician concerned with the expansion of instrumental capabilities. Written as having “raised the bar” for his instrument (Artistic Director, Boston Microtonal Society), Mr. Watford’s work frees the bassoon from convention and tradition. Previously a member of the Sirocco Winds quintet, (a New England Conservatory Honors Chamber Ensemble and NEC Community Performance and Partnership fellows), the group has been active as both recitalists and educators. In addition to their residency at the Virginia Beach Arts Festival, the group’s interest in the contemporary brought them to play for a range of composers, from Elliott Carter and John Harbison, to those new on the fringe. As a promoter of the avant garde, Mr. Watford’s performances have expanded traditional practice to include microtonality, extended techniques, and electroacoustic integration for incorporation in composition and improvisation. Recent engagements include performances with the Boston Microtonal Society’s NotaRiotous ensemble as well as solo performances in London at the UK Microtonal Festival (UKM4). In addition to his performance career, Mr. Watford holds a license from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, dedicating a portion of his day to the classroom. He is currently on faculty at the Gorman Fort Banks School in Winthrop.  Mr. Watford is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the New England Conservatory where primary teachers include Mark Popkin and Richard Svoboda.

Pianist AARON LIKNESS is an enthusiastic advocate of modern and contemporary music, an interpreter of "superb clarity and sensitivity" (CVNC) whose repertoire ranges from Bach to Boulez. He has been heard throughout the Boston area, including live broadcast performances on WGBH, in appearances with the NEC Philharmonia, [nec]shivaree, Discovery Ensemble, the Callithumpian Consort, and Boston New Music Initiative. He also works regularly with young composers in premieres and performances of new music. A native of North Carolina, Likness attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving the school's highest honors in performance and composition. He is currently pursuing a masters' degree at the New England Conservatory, where he studies with pianist Stephen Drury.

DANIEL TEMKIN is an experienced performer. He has performed in Carnegie Hall on numerous occasions with the New York Youth Symphony, and he has been hired for performances with both the Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, and the Mostly Mozart Festival's Riverside Choral Society. Daniel has performed in masterclass for many leading percussionists and he has worked under conductors David Zinman, James Conlon, Leonard Slatkin, Grant Llewellyn, Rossen Milanov, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, and Hugh Wolff. He is featured on the world premier recording of Irwin Bazelon's "Bazz Ma' Tazz" (Albany Records) and he has worked with American composers John Corigliano, Gunther Schuller, and Christopher Rouse, to prepare performances of their music. Daniel has also performed chamber music with soloists Orli Shaham and Sarah Chang. A theory instructor and composition fellow of the Brevard Music Center, he is also an alumnus of the Eastern and Aspen Music Festivals. Daniel studied percussion with Chris Deviney of the Philadelphia Orchestra and marimba virtuoso She-e Wu. He has studied composition with Charles Fussell, Kevin Puts, Robert Aldridge, and Sydney Hodkinson, and he is currently a graduate composition fellow at the New England Conservatory studying with Michael Gandolfi.

Composer and musician JOHN MEHRMANN received an MM in Composition from the New England Conservatory and a BM in Music Performance from the University of New Hampshire. His work has been commissioned or performed by organizations such as the Portland Symphony Orchestra (for its Percussion Kinderkonzert series) as well as soloists Sebastian Bäverstam, Ahrim Kim and Tony Rymer. He frequently performs as a percussionist, keyboardist and vocalist in his own works and in the works of others, and as one half of the Hodges/Mehrmann improvisation duo. As a percussionist, he has performed with the Portland Symphony, Maine State Ballet, and the Portland Ballet, among other ensembles.

Diamanda Dramm (1991) grew up in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where she began her violin studies at the age of four. She studied with Lex Korff de Gidts at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. In 2008, she began studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston working with James Buswell, while finishing her high school studies at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Diamanda is currently a sophomore at New England Conservatory, studying primarily with Buswell. She also has had the privilege of working extensively with members of the Borromeo Quartet, Roger Tapping, John Heiss, Stephen Drury, Anthony Coleman, Chaya Czernowin, Christian Wolff, and Gunther Schuller. Masterclasses outside of school include Vera Beths, Pamela Frank, and Evan Parker.
Diamanda premiered “Raadsels” by Louis Andriessen for the opening of the Holland Festival 2005, and playing it again for the grand opening of the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam. Diamanda enjoys playing a wide range of genres and is noted for her diverse programming. Among others, she has commissioned Joan Arnau Pamies, Katarina Miljkovic, Anne La Berge, and David Dramm. As a chamber musician and soloist, she has performed in venues around the world, from the Concertgebouw (NL) to the Stone (NYC). She regularly plays with the Callithumpian Consort and Discovery Ensemble. Festivals include the Grachten Festival / Amsterdam Canal Festival (2004), New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (2010), and Pierre Boulez’ Lucerne Festival Academy (2010). 
Diamanda plays a 7/8 17th century Dutch violin from the collection ‘Dutch String Instruments’ of Eduard van Tongeren, violin maker in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Her bow was custom made by bow maker Andreas Grütter, made possible by the National Music Instrument Funds in Amsterdam.


Born and raised in Hawaii, Kathryn Schulmeister began playing bass at age 9.  At age 16 she was featured as a soloist on the popular National Public Radio program, “From the Top”. The following year she performed as a soloist with the Punahou Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the Concerto Competition. 
Kathryn has participated in multiple summer festivals such as Domaine Forget Academy, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and Orford Arts Center.  She has also performed in international tours with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, including performances in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Saint Peter's Basilica, and La Palais Montcalm.  In the summer of 2010 Kathryn toured in Europe and Brazil with the Youth Orchestra of Bahia as a guest professor of the double bass, performing in London, Lisbon, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Salvador.  
Currently, Kathryn is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree of Double Bass Performance at the New England Conservatory.  While at NEC, Kathryn has collaborated with various new music ensembles and composers such as the Callithumpian Consort, Christian Wolff, and Anthony Coleman.   She has also performed with the improvisation trio, Echolalia, at venues such as The Stone and The University of the Streets in New York City.  

Joan was born in Reus, Catalonia and currently lives in Boston, where he is finishing his composition studies at the New England Conservatory as the recipient of the Wallace and the Beneficent Society Scholarships. Previously, he studied jazz at L'Aula de Música Moderna i Jazz del Conservatori del Liceu in Barcelona.
Pàmies has participated in festivals and events such as IMPULS (Graz), 44th and 45th Summer Courses for New Music (Darmstadt), Intersonanzen Neuen Musik (Potsdam), 8th Festival of Spanish Music (Cádiz), Sincronic Festival (Lleida), 30th "Encontres" Composers' Festival (Palma de Mallorca), and Sentieri Selvaggi Masterclasses (Milano). His music has been commissioned and performed internationally by ensembles, institutions, conductors, and soloists such as ALEA III, IMD, Taller Sonoro, Polaris Trio, Nora Volkova Ensemble, Lucas Vis, Theodore Antoniou, John Heiss, Tony Rymer, Tessa Lark, and Kathryn Schulmeister.
Although his main output is composition, Pàmies has recently worked as a performer of the music of Christian Wolff—whom he collaborated with during the composer’s residency at NEC—Morton Feldman, and Ryan Krause. Furthermore, he is the director of the NEC Young Composers Forum in Boston, an open space for young prominent composers to present their music in a lecture format. 
Joan Arnau Pàmies has studied composition principally with John Heiss, Enric Riu, and Ramon Humet. He has also taken part in masterclasses and lectures with composers Brian Ferneyhough, Georges Aperghis, Beat Furrer, Pierluigi Billone, Georg Friedrich Haas, Marco Stroppa, Hèctor Parra, and Stratis Minakakis.

EZRA WELLER is Boston-area trumpet player, composer, improviser, and educator. He has premiered works by Anthony Coleman, Matti Kovler, and Samuel Harry Chabrow, the latter two as soloist. As an improviser, Mr. Weller has performed at the Lilypad and Zeitgeist Outpost in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as the Stone in New York. Recently, his attentions have been focused on composition, and his first large ensemble work will be performed by the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble this May. He currently teaches at Boston College High School as brass coach, and the El Sistema program at the Brighton Conservatory Lab School, where he is resident arranger. Collaborative experience includes performances with Anthony Coleman, Hankus Netsky (Klezmer Conservatory Band), Christian Wolff, and Keith Rowe; and master classes with Paul Lytton, Nate Wooley, Dave Holland, and Don Byron. Mr. Weller will graduate from the New England Conservatory this spring, where he studied with John McNeil, Frank Carlberg, Kati Agócs, and Charles Schlueter.

ALEX HEITLINGER'S career highlights include rocking the Stone Pony in New Jersey with fellow trombonist Richie “La Bamba” and other musicians from the Conan O’Brien band, a featured performance at the 2007 Madajazzcar Festival, opening up the JVC Jazz Festival at the Knitting Factory with the Bjorkestra, performing in Harlem with boogaloo legend Joe Bataan immediately prior to a failed world record attempt at the largest ever kazoo band, and a childhood performance of “People in Your Neighborhood” with Bob from Sesame Street.  He also briefly held a position formerly held by Ellington trombonist Art Baron in a duo with a singing dog.  Originally a classical trombonist, he won his first and only audition, becoming principal trombonist of the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Symphony for one season.  For a period in the mid 2000's he was very active in the NY salsa scene, performing frequently in the Bronx and at salsa festivals in Chicago, Boston, NY, Germany, and France.  In the last few years, he's become interested in Balkan brass music, performing with Slavic Soul Party and founding the Balkan Brass Project at NEC.  As a composer, Heitlinger has recorded two complete albums of original jazz works and received ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards in 2008, 2009, and 2010.  He is also known for creating popular internet music video parodies of Guns ‘N Roses and Boyz II Men, as well as “Funk to the Chief”: a series of profanities read by President Barack Obama on his audio book, isolated, and set to funky beats.  Heitlinger is currently pursuing a Masters degree in jazz composition at the New England Conservatory.

Tubist BETH McDONALD is in the final semester of her graduate studies at the New England Conservatory. Growing up in the Washington, DC area, she received her Bachelor's degree with top honors from the University of
Kentucky in 2009. Raised as a classical musician, she has an extensive 
background in orchestra, wind ensemble, and chamber music, in addition to being a repeatedly award-winning soloist. She has performed in China and throughout Europe, and has been a featured soloist with the Pershing's Own Army Band and the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra.

Through her entire musical career thus far, Beth has been performing and
premiering contemporary music, both avant garde and conservative. Due to the tuba's relatively young history, she is working to develop awareness of the instrument and is eager to collaborate with composers. Currently, she is a member of the Balkan Brass Project, Atlas Brass Quintet, the Lindenbomber Fleet, and the NEC Contemporary Ensemble, and has performed with the Callithumpian Consort, including multiple performances during the Christian Wolff residency last year.

As a fellow at the Lucerne Festival Academy and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, she has worked with the likes of Pierre Boulez, Iván Fischer, and Christoph Eschenbach, and has collaborated with musicians from all over the world. She studies with accordionist Ted Reichman and tubist Mike Roylance of the Boston Symphony. Some of her current musical explorations include electroacoustic music, *taksim* improvisation, and Balkan popular music.