Sonny Rollins To Receive Honorary Doctorate


On May, the New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston will celebrates its 131st Commencement at 3:00 p.m.

Young Concert Artists Founder and Director Susan Wadsworth will present this year’s Commencement Address, and will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree. Other 2002 honorary doctorate recipients include: Venezuelan youth orchestra system mastermind José Antonio Abreu, jazz saxophone legend Sonny Rollins, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Perle.

Approximately 250 musicians will receive the Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees as well as undergraduate, graduate, and artist diplomas. NEC will also award its first Professional Certificate in The Art of String Quartet Playing to the Kuss Quartet of Germany. This new program, designed to provide concentrated professional training to very select pre established string quartets, is led by NEC faculty Paul Katz, the founding cellist of the Grammy Award-winning Cleveland Quartet. The Kuss Quartet, the first to enroll in this elite program, has been at NEC for the past year under Katz’s tutelage.

  • David_Sanborn_by_C_Andrew_Hovan.jpg

    Sanborn’s highly stylized playing and searing signature sound — frequently ornamented with thrill-inducing split-tones and bluesy bent notes — influenced generations of jazz and blues saxophonists.

  • DonWas_A1100547_byMyriamSantos_copy.jpg

    “Being president of Blue Note has been one of the coolest things that ever happened to me,” Was said. “It’s a gas to serve as one of the caretakers of that legacy.”

  • Century_Room_by_Travis_Jensen.jpg

    ​The Century Room in downtown Tucson, Arizona, was born in 2021.

  • MichaelCuscuna_Katz_2042_6a_1995_copy.jpg

    Cuscuna played a singular role in the world of jazz as a producer of new jazz, R&B and rock recordings; as co-founder of a leading reissue record label; as a historian, journalist and DJ; and as the man who singlehandedly kept the Blue Note label on life support.

  • Cecile_McLorin_Salvant_Ashley_Kahn_bu_David_Morresi_copy.jpg

    ​“She reminds me of my childhood and makes we want to cry,” Cécile McLorin Salvant, pictured here with writer Ashley Kahn, said of Dianne Reeves.

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