Released on: September 17, 2008, 8:29 am

Press Release Author: Ben Hires, New England String Ensemble

Industry: Non Profit


Press Release Body: (Wakefield, MA September 11, 2008) New England String
Ensembles (NESE) board president D. Roger Howlett announced today the placement of
Ben Hires as executive director of the 15-year-old organization, effective July 22,
2008. Hires succeeds Peter Stickel, who founded NESE 15 years ago.

A graduate of the Boston University Arts Administration graduate program Hires
worked at the BYSO during a critical time of growth. He participated in a strategic
planning process, website redesign, and multiple international tours with the group
leading up to its 50th anniversary season last year. Commenting about his
appointment to NESE, Hires said, I am honored to assume the role of NESEs
executive director. Im thankful to Peter [Stickel] and John [Bumstead] for
founding this organization 15 years ago. NESE is known for its wonderful engaging
performances, welcoming atmosphere, and education programs. These are the qualities
I want to continue to uphold and expand upon while the organization grows.

Hires is the former director of operations of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras
(BYSO) where he worked with NESE music director Federico Cortese. Cortese announced
that I am extremely excited about the appointment of Ben HiresHis management
skills make me very hopeful about a strongly reinvigorating series of new
initiatives that he, the board and I will undertake beginning this anniversary
season. The ambitious plans of growth of NESE are in great hands.

I am pleased to have Ben Hires lead NESE at a time when NESEs audience is
growing, said Howlett. The board is confident that he will provide the strategic
counsel and management we need to reach our goals of providing the most engaging and
inspiring performances and innovative educational programs.

In addition to an Arts Administration degree, Hires, has a Master in Theological
Studies and a bachelors degree in philosophy and political science from Boston

Hires takes the leadership of NESE as the organization enters its 15th anniversary
season. NESE opens the season Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 7:30pm at the Rogers
Center for the Arts in North Andover and Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 3:00pm at
Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory. Music Director Federico Cortese will
conduct international-award winning violinist Irina Muresanu as she performs
Schuberts Rondo in A and the premiere of a new string arrangement of Enescos
Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1. The concert also includes Lutoslawskis rarely performed
Preludes and Fugue and concludes with Schuberts hauntingly powerful Death and
the Maiden.

View the full season schedule at Tickets are
between $45 and $25; season subscribers receive up to a 20% discount.

About the New England String Ensemble
The New England String Ensemble (NESE) was founded in 1993 to champion strings in
performance and education. The mission of NESE is to engage, educate, and inspire
with passionate string orchestra performances and innovative community programs.

Music Director Federico Cortese leads this world-class string orchestra, which
performs rich and intellectually engaging new and known works, and its educational
programs focuses on creating lasting relationships with young composers and
performers who promise to be tomorrow's concert artists, audiences and composers.

About Music Director Federico Cortese

Federico Cortese assumed the post of Music Director of the New England String
Ensemble in March 2006. He has conducted throughout the United States, Australia,
China, and Europe. From 1998-2002, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Boston
Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa. In addition to his annual scheduled concerts,
Mr. Cortese led the Boston Symphony several times in Symphony Hall and at
Tanglewood, most notably performing Beethovens Symphony No. 9 and Puccinis Madam
Butterfly. Mr. Cortese is also the Music Director at the Boston Youth Symphony
Orchestras and has conducted several prominent symphony orchestras, including
Atlanta, Dallas, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and Oslo
Philharmonic. Opera engagements have included Maggio Musicale in Florence, the
Spoleto Festival in Italy and the United States, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Saint
Louis Opera, the Finnish National Opera, Opera Australia, and the Washington Opera.
Mr. Cortese has been music coordinator and associate conductor of the Spoleto
Festival in Italy. He also served as Assistant Conductor to Robert Spano at the
Brooklyn Philharmonic and to Daniele Gatti at the Orchestra dellAccademia Nazionale
di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Mr. Cortese studied composition and conducting at the
Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome and subsequently studied at the Hochschule
fr Musik in Vienna. In addition, he has been a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood
Music Center. Mr. Cortese also studied literature and humanities and holds a law
degree from La Sapienza University in Rome.

About Irina Muresanu

Irina Muresanu has won international acclaim as an outstanding young soloist,
recitalist and chamber musician having already achieved top prizes in numerous
international violin competitions. These include the Montreal International, Queen
Elizabeth Violin, UNISA International String, Washington International, and the
Schadt String Competitions. She is the winner of the Pro Musicis International
Award, the Presser Music Award and the Arthur Foote Award from the Harvard Musical
Association. The Boston Globe has come to praise her as "not just a virtuoso, but an
artist", and the Los Angeles Times has written that her "musical luster, melting
lyricism and colorful conception made Irina Muresanu's performance especially
admirable," while Strad Magazine called her Carnegie/Weill Hall performance "a
first-rate recital."

Recent engagements as soloist include concerts with the Boston Pops, the Orchestre
de la Suisse Romande (Geneva), the Syracuse Symphony, the Metropolitan Orchestra
(Montreal), the Transvaal Philharmonic (Pretoria), the Orchestre de la Radio
Flamande (Brussels), the Boston Phiharmonic, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the
Romanian National Radio Orchestra, and the Miami Symphony Orchestra among others.
Irina Muresanu's talents have been sought out for collaboration with such noted
performers as Kim Kashkashian, Cynthia Phelps, Sharon Robinson, Ronald Thomas,
Andres Cardenes, Ilya Kaler, and Nathaniel Rosen. Irina Muresanu's performances have
been frequently cited as among the "Best of" classical music performances by the
Boston Globe, and her recital in the Emerging Artist BankBoston Celebrity Series was
named one of the Top 10 musical events by TAB Magazine. She often can be heard on
Boston's WGBH and other NPR radio stations.

An active chamber musician, Ms. Muresanu is a member of Mistral, and has appeared in
such festivals and venues as Bargemusic in New York; the Rockport Festival in
Massachusetts; Bay Chambers concert series and Bowdoin Festival in Maine; the
Strings in the Mountains festival in Colorado; Maui Chamber Music Festival in
Hawaii, Reizend Music festival in Netherlands; Festival van de Leie in Belgium; and
the Renncontres des Musiciennes festival in France.

Irina Muresanu currently serves on both the faculties of the Boston Conservatory and
the Music Department at MIT. She was appointed Artist-in-Residence as a member of
the Lewin-Muresanu Duo at the Boston Conservatory, as well as at the New England
Conservatory's Preparatory Division as a member of the Boston Trio. A native of
Bucharest, Romania, she received the prestigious Artist Diploma from the New England
Conservatory in 1999, where she is currently a candidate for her Doctorate in
Musical Arts.

Irina Muresanu plays an 1856 Joseph Rocca violin and a Charles Peccat bow, courtesy
of Mr. Mark Ptashne.


Press Contacts
Ben Hires, Executive Director
(781) 224-1117

Web Site:

Contact Details: Press Contacts
Ben Hires, Executive Director
(781) 224-1117

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