New England Conservatory’s internationally renowned Contemporary Improvisation (CI) Department previews a new work by flutist, composer, and faculty member Linda J. Chase, created in collaboration with theologian and author Harvey Cox. “For Our Common Home: resounding ecojustice” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 7 in NEC’s Brown Hall, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston. Admission is free. For more information, visit
The libretto is based on Laudato Si’, an encyclical issued by Pope Francis in 2015, which calls on humanity to acknowledge the urgency of the environmental crisis and work towards building a more just and sustainable world. As Pope Francis said: “Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it.” Chase’s new oratorio interprets the text as a call to action through music.
The preview of Chase’s 90-minute, 22-movement genre-crossing oratorio for choir, soloists, and chamber ensemble will feature NEC students from the Voice, Woodwind, Opera, Brass, String, Contemporary Improvisation, and Jazz departments. In addition to the orchestral and choral score, ten songs from the oratorio will be arranged for community singing and assembled into a songbook for piano or guitar and voices.
Linda J. Chase, PhD is a composer, ecomusicologist, and flutist. Her music weaves elements of chamber music, jazz and contemporary improvisation with spoken word and interdisciplinary arts. She has received composition awards from the Japan Foundation, Grand Canyon National Park, Kaji Aso Studio, the Morris Graves Institute, Berklee College of Music, Studio Red Top and ASCAP. She is an active member of Landscape Music Composers Network. Professor Chase teaches composition, performance, music and spirituality, ecomusicology, and interdisciplinary arts at Berklee College of Music, and New England Conservatory. Chase is certified through Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to lead Deep Listening workshops, founded by Pauline Oliveros.
In 2016- 2017, Chase served as composer in residence at the Old Cambridge Baptist Church where she collaborated with Reverend Dr. Harvey G. Cox to create The City is Burning. This multi-media oratorio based on multi-faith sacred texts contemplates how the arts can deepen awareness that inspires action. In 2012, she was Artist in Residence at Grand Canyon National Park and created Grand Canyon Sketches for string quartet and voice. She has incorporated poetry of Rumi and Jane Hirshfield in her compositions and performances.
NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation program addresses the unique needs of musicians seeking to move beyond traditional boundaries. The department brings together a tremendously diverse group of the world’s finest young artists in a setting where they can grow in a community of composers, performers, and improvisers. With an emphasis on ear training, technique, conceptual ideas, interdisciplinary collaboration, and a wide range of improvisational traditions, the CI program is uniquely positioned to cultivate the complete 21st century global musician. Founded in 1972 by Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake, the department is “a thriving hub of musical exploration.” (Jeremy Goodwin, Boston Globe).
About New England Conservatory New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized internationally as a leader among music schools, educating and training musicians of all ages from around the world for over 150 years. With 800 music students representing more than 40 countries in the College, and 2,000 youth and adults who study in the Preparatory and Continuing Education divisions, NEC cultivates a diverse, dynamic community for students, providing them with performance opportunities and high-caliber training with internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC’s alumni, faculty and students touch nearly every aspect of musical life in the region; NEC is a major engine of the vital activity that makes Boston a musical and cultural capital.