Passionate Poetry Joins Virtuosic Viola

Boston theatre favorite Leigh Barrett joins program for New England String Ensembles Winter Concert.

Boston, MA, January 03, 2007 --( The New England String Ensemble is pleased to announce the addition of Boston theatre favorite Leigh Barrett to the program for their upcoming winter concert. Ms. Barrett will offer a passionate poetry reading accompanying Brahms’ emotionally charged Liebeslieder Waltzes, a work about desire, devotion, beauty and suffering.

The Winter Concerts take place at 7:30pm on Saturday, January 6th at the Rogers Center for the Arts in North Andover, and 3:00pm on Sunday, January 7th at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston.

The concert program begins with music from Lully’s opulent ballet Le Triomphe de l’Amour; a piece radical for its time as it was the first appearance of professional female dancers in a public performance. Following the Lully is local composer Jakov Jakoulov’s robust Concerto for Viola featuring Michael Zaretsky.

Michael Zaretsky performed with the Moscow Philharmonic String Quartet and the Jerusalem Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra before being brought to Tanglewood in 1974 by Leonard Bernstein, where he successfully auditioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As well as being a 33-year member of the BSO Mr. Zaretsky regularly makes solo appearances and has performed with the Boston Pops, Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra to name a few. In addition to the traditional viola repertoire he performs regularly, and his four highly acclaimed recordings, Mr. Zaretsky has created and performed an extensive repertoire of new music, some in collaboration with composer Jakov Jakoulov.

Following intermission NESE will perform the romantically inspired Liebeslieder Waltzes accompanied by Leigh Barrett who will entice audience members with her vivacious reading of G.F. Daumer’s poems to Brahms’ lush musical settings, which, according to Steven Ledbetter, are “both light-hearted in spirit and passionate, with gypsy-laden Magyar strains.

With credits that include opera and musical theatre, Leigh Barrett’s voice has graced stages across the United States. Ms. Barrett is the 2004 Elliot Norton Award Winner for Outstanding Actress and I.R.N.E. Award winner for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Jacques Brel, Sweeney Todd, Follies, and The Three Penny Opera. She is also the winner of an I.R.N.E. Award for Best Actress for her work in Into The Woods(New Rep) and Pal Joey (Stoneham Theatre). The Boston Globe has said “Leigh Barrett always finds the emotional center of a song and the result for the audience is never anything less than exhilaration.”

Concluding this rich program is Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtumusik. This is the first time New England String Ensemble’s performed this piece since its miraculous inaugural concert in 1994 when neither a torrential downpour nor the gradual loss of power into complete darkness could diminish the orchestra’s spirit or level of performance.

Tickets for the 2007 NESE Winter Concert are $45, $35, and $25, Students $10 off and are available on-line at, or by calling 781-224-1117. Group discounts are available.

“Conversation with Cortese” 45-minutes prior to concert start

Lully: Le Triomphe de l’Amour
Jakoulov: Concerto for Viola
Michael Zaretsky, viola
Brahms: Liebeslieder Waltzes
Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik

NESE Winter Concert
Saturday, January 6, 2007
Rogers Center for the Arts, North Andover

NESE Winter Concert
Sunday, January 7, 2007
Jordan Hall, NEC, Boston

New England String Ensemble
Amy Kench