Violist Wenting Kang, cellist Julie Albers and clarinetist Christopher Elchico are NEC’s latest recruits, beginning their roles in autumn 2024

Collage NEC new faculty 1.25.24

Violist Wenting Kang, cellist Julie Albers and clarinetist Christopher Elchico

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New England Conservatory (NEC) has announced three new faculty appointments to its roster of music educators. Violist Wenting Kang, cellist Julie Albers, and clarinetist Christopher Elchico will begin their appointments in the autumn of 2024.

’NEC is thrilled to welcome these three outstanding artists to our esteemed faculty, further enriching the vibrant musical community at NEC,’ said Ben Sosland, provost and dean of the faculty. ’The appointment of these three musicians ensures that the legacy of excellence for which NEC has long been known will continue well into the future. I am excited to see the lasting impact they will have on our students.’

An NEC alumna, violist Wenting Kang joins NEC from the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid, where she has been an assistant professor alongside Nobuko Imai since 2016. A former violist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Kang is currently the principal violist of Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid at Teatro Real of Spain, as well as one of the founding members of the Madrid Soloists Chamber Orchestra. Kang studied at Central Conservatory in Beijing, New England Conservatory, and the Kronberg Academy in Germany, studying with teachers such as Nobuko Imai, Kim Kashkashian, Garth Knox, Donald Weilerstein, Miriam Fried, and Changhai Wang. 

’New England Conservatory has inspired and shaped many young musicians’ dreams and personalities, including mine—which gives me an extra sense of joy and honour to be joining the viola faculty,’ said Kang on her appointment. ’I truly look forward to finding a creative home with NEC’s admired artists and gifted students!’

Kang will join current viola faculty members Nicholas Cords, Kim Kashkashian, Mai Motobuchi, Melissa Reardon and Marcus Thompson.

Cellist Julie Albers was awarded the Grand Prize at the XIII International Competition for Young Musicians in Douai, France, which led to a tour of France as soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Douai. She made her debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1998 aged 17, and has since performed across North America, Asia, and Europe as both a recitalist and soloist. She was a member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two from 2006 to 2009, is active with the Albers String Trio and Cortona Trio, and is principal cellist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Albers served as assistant professor at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, GA from 2009 to 2022.

’There is such a rich history of cello playing and pedagogy at NEC, and it is an incredible thrill to become a part of this legacy,’ Albers said. She joins NEC’s current cello faculty members Lluís Claret, Blaise Déjardin, Paul Katz, Yeesun Kim, and Laurence Lesser.

Clarinetist Christopher Elchico joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as second clarinet in March 2022. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Kansas City Symphony, and New World Symphony.

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