Thursday, January 13, 2011

Berklee Distinguished Faculy Award

I am thankful to recieve the Berklee Distinguished Faculy Award along with colleagues JoAnne Brackeen, Greg Hopkins and Ross Bresler. This is a transcript of the the words that I shared on that occasion.

I am honored to receive this award. I would like to thank my colleagues in the MT Division and the EPD department for their support and inspiration. I would also like to thank my Chair, Kurt Biederwolf for his help every step of the way.
The degree to which I am effective as a faculty member is partially a result of the teachers that I had.
I studied saxophone Joe Allard for three years. Joe was sought out by Bill Pierce, Eric Dolphy, Michael Brecker and many more. Everything that Joe said was extremely insightful, remarkably clear. He was very tough without making it feel personal. Now, thirty years later, I still think about what he said every time I pick up the horn.

Later, I studied with composition Bob Brookmeyer for two years. Same deal. The critiques and ideas that he presented were always concrete, often tough, and assumed that you aimed to write at the highest level. Now, despite ten years of daily use, I have not worn out the advice that he shared with me.

I also learn from colleagues here at the college. Not long ago, I watched visiting artist, producer and engineer Nathaniel Kunkle, lecture to one of my classes. He was as insightful, clear and frank as Allard and Brookmeyer. The students sat up straight in their chairs for the duration and barely seemed to blink. Afterwards, I watched students as they left the classroom and I recognized that look on their face. One student said thee words to me as he passed ... "I got it." I knew that this one brief encounter might have changed his life - the puzzle about how to move forward was put together.

These teachers helped change my life. There is nothing more exciting to me than to help our students advance their work as artists, technologists and thinkers. Our connection might be long term, or simply one brief conversation. Either way it might be the tipping point where they grasp the compass that they will use for years to come.

I am grateful to the college and for giving me the opportunity to do this work for our students and grateful to my colleagues for their support and for teaching me.

Thank you.

2010 - Selected Events

December 10 to December 31, 2010
Dakar, Senegal

IIIrd World Festival of Black Arts & Cultures
Video installation with Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

Location and hours TBA


December 7 & 8 ,11:30am – 1:00pm
Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum

Ana Prvacki - Wandering Band
Katie Bilinski - bass
Julia Esterlin - voice
Neil Leonard - saxophones
Christian Li - piano
Rose Seyfried - voice/laptop

The "Wandering Band" is a performance of vocalists and musicians performing on voice, piano, bass and saxophone wandering freely through the Gardner Museum. Conceived by artist Ana Prvacki, the Wandering Band artists will perform their daily practice of exercises, repertoire and improvisation while strolling through the galleries.

Born in 1976, Serbia / Yugoslavia, Prvacki has earned considerable intermational attention in the last decade.  In 2009, she was invited to participate in the show “The Girl Effect” at Lombard Freid Projects, New York and to create a series of performaces at  Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (Turin). She has performed in various international biennials (2008, Sydney Biennial ; 2007, Singapore biennial; 2006 Turin Triennale). She has also participated in group shows such as    “25 Years Later: Welcome to Art in General”, New York (2007) . In 2010, upcoming invitations include the Pompidou Center in Paris (“Repetition”) , the Isabella Gardner Museum (Boston)  and MONA Tasmanis.

Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum
280 Fenway
Boston, MA 02115, United States
(617) 566-1401


November 27-December 5, 2010
Laboratorio Nacional de Musica Electroacoustica, Havana, Cuba
Neil Leonard and Berklee Interarts Ensemble in residence at the LNME

Wednesday, December 1, - Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA)
Friday, December 3 - Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
(Premiere of collectively authored work "Nuestro Tiempo" featuring Berklee Interarts Ensemble/Cuban students.)

Other performances and open rehearsals TBA


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Private concert: solo saxophone/computer/video

Eagle Hill School
Hardwick MA


Friday, November 12th, 2010 - 8:00PM
Fenway Center

Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra by Francisco Noya

Neil Leonard - "Dreaming of an Island"
Gustav Host - "Mars" and "Jupiter" from the Planets
Philip Glass - "Heros"
"Uncharted" - suite from the video game score

The Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra presents the Boston premiere of professor Neil Leonard's multimedia work, "Dreaming of an Island".  Neil writes, "'Dreaming of an Island' revisits ideas that I first explored in video/installations with Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons. Our work focused on ancient cultural themes, and their impact on contemporary personal narrative. 
"The score for 'Dreaming of an Island' draws on West African Yoruba music that Campos-Pons heard as a child in Cuba. Yoruba folkloric melodies and rhythms are heard in combination with ideas from 21st century concert music, electronic music and jazz. The video projection for Dreaming of an Island is a montage created by myself and Magdalena Campos-Pons using a software system of my own design."

Fenway Center
77 Saint Stephen Street
Boston, MA 02115


Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 7:00PM
Musicacoustica Festival

Concert of works by:
Richard Boulanger, Neil Leonard, Benoit Granier

Central Conservatory of Music
China Center for Computer Music
Beijing, China


Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 7:00PM
Mako Art Center

Concert of works by:
Richard Boulanger, Neil Leonard, Benoit Granier, Anthony De Ritis, Bruce Gremo, Gerald Chenoweth

Mako Art Center
Inside Hongdian Art Factory,
Courtyard 36, Guangqu Lu, Chaoyang district
Beijing, China


September 23, 2010 - 9:30 PM
Castello Malaspina

Castello in Movimento: Boston/Essen converge for premiere of Interdisciplinary Work on September 25
Castello in Movimento at Castello Malaspina proudly presents the world premiere of a site-specific work featuring large scale video projection and electroacousic sound performance by Berklee College of Music's InterArts Ensemble, directed by Neil Leonard, and students of the Folkwang Hochschule, Essen, Germany. The twenty-minute piece will feature several of Berklee's most outstanding students performing on laptop and processed instruments: voice, electric bass, saxophones. Top students and faculty from the Folkwang Hochschule will project interactive video of processed imagery mapped to the castle’s exterior.

Participants are:
Prof. Neil Leonard (Berklee College of Music, Boston), Project Director
Prof. Claudius Lazzeroni (Folkwang Hochschule, Essen)
John Hull - live audio processing
Katie Bilinski - bass guitar/laptop
Rose Seyfried - voice/laptop
Enrico de Trezio - keyboards/laptop
Steffen Mueller - live video processing
Simon Deeg - live video processing
 Marius Tippkaemper - live video processing

Castello Malaspina
54035 Fosdinovo - Massa Carrara, Italia
telefono +39 0187 680013 - 0187 68891


September 23, 2010 - 10:00 PM
Loggiato di Gemmi

Neil Leonard Quintet

Neil Leonard - alto/soprano sax
Giuliano Perin - vibes
Luciano Milanese - bass
Enrico de Trizio - Piano
Matteo Cidale - drums

Loggiato di Gemmi
via Bonaparte 11
tel. 0187620110


May 13, 14, 3:00PM
Nuits Sonores Festival

Neil Leonard and Transitoire live

May 15, 8:00PM
Nuits Sonores Festival

Neil Leonard - solo saxophone
Michel Doneda/Tetsu Saïtoh - duo

Le Périscope
13 rue Delandine
69002 Lyon, France


Saturday, May 1, 2010 - 8:00 PM
GASP Gallery/Boston JazzWeek

Dave Tronzo/Bruno Råberg/Neil Leonard Trio

$12 suggested donation, $8 students and seniors

GASP Gallery
362-4 Boylston St., Brookline, MA, 02445


Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 7:00 PM
Primavera en Havana: XIII Festival Internacional De Musica Electroacustica

Neil Leonard - saxophones/electronics

Teatro Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Arte Cubano.


Thursday, March 11, 2010 - sets at 8:00 PM and 9:30 PM

Live Broadcast to the 25th anniversary of VideoFormes international
video art and digital culture festival; Clermont-Ferrand, France

Pierce Warnecke and Max Abeles Duo +
Live sound and video processing
Sound: Pierce Warnecke, Jinku Kim, Enrico de Trizio, Neil Leonard,
Daniel Piccione
Video: Daniel Cevallos, Shane Butler, Merideth Hillbrand

$10 suggested donation, $6 students and seniors


Berklee College of Music Electronic Production and Design professor Neil
Leonard introduces the Boston premiere of the film
Friday, February 19, 7 pm
Sunday, February 21, 3:30 pm
at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston

MEREDITH MONK: INNER VOICE (by Babeth M.VanLoo) As part of the ICA’s ongoing commitment to presenting the best film of art and artists, the ICA features a new documentary about Meredith Monk. A “musician of boundless imagination and vision,” (The Plain Dealer) Monk is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music theater works, films, and installations.

Inner Voice follows Monk as she creates her latest piece, Songs of Ascension, a major new work developed in collaboration with renowned artist Ann Hamilton. The film observes Monk’s process from her initial, solitary work to the rehearsal process, seeking the motivation and source of her creative force.


January 14, 2010 - 4:00 PM
Panama Jazz Festival

Neil Leonard - saxophones/electronics
Special guests - TBA

Ascanio Arosemena Theater
Panama City, Panama


January 8, 2009 - 8:00 PM
Dave Bryant Ensemble
Amazing Things Arts Center

Dave Bryant - keyboards
Neil Leonard - saxophones and live electronics
Tom Hall - saxophones
Jeremy Van Buskirk - live electronics
Jeff Song - cello and kayagum
John Voit - bass
Curt Newton - drums
Eric Rosenthal - drums

Amazing Things Arts Center
160 Hollis St
Framingham, MA 01701


November 14th, 2009 - January 2nd, 2010
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons Exhibition
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery

Neil Leonard - sound for multimedia installation "My mother told me that I am Chinese"
by Magda Magdalena Campos Pons

Bernice Steinbaum Gallery
November 26 – December 31, 2005
3550 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL