Press Release: Celebrity Series of Boston Presents What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow and NEC Philharmonia

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

Friday, December 2, 2016, 8pm — NEC’s Jordan Hall

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445,
Kapilow high-res photo | Celebrity Series Press Room

Rob Kapilow Credit: Peter Schaaf

Rob Kapilow
Credit: Peter Schaaf

(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present What Makes It Great?© with Rob Kapilow and the NEC Philharmonia in Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition on Friday, December 2, 2016, at 8pm at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA. An Aaron Richmond Recital endowed by Nancy Richmond Winsten and the late Dr. Joseph Winsten, What Makes It Great? © is generously sponsored by Amy and Joshua Boger and this performance, is sponsored by The D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp. Media Partner is 99.5 WCRB.

Tickets start at $30, and are available online at, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at NEC’s Jordan Hall Box Office, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA.

This performance marks the 39th presentation of What Makes It Great?© since its Boston debut in 1997.

Modest Mussorgsky composed his masterwork Pictures at an Exhibition as a memorial to his friend, artist Viktor Hartmann. Devastated by the sudden death of his close friend, Mussorgsky visited a retrospective exhibit of Hartmann’s artwork and was moved to capture the experience in music. Join Rob Kapilow and NEC Philharmonia as they dissect and examine Ravel’s arrangement of this great work, accompanied by projections of many of the original Hartmann images that inspired the work.

Of the performance, Kapilow says, “An interesting aspect of this What Makes It Great performance is that we will be projecting the pictures that the piece is based on during the performance and the discussion. I will also be including excerpts of many other orchestrations of the piece besides Ravel’s which gives the audience a unique opportunity to understand what orchestration is by hearing different versions of the identical passage in multiple orchestrations. So it’s a program on pictures, on translations—from paintings to music, and from piano music, to the language of the orchestra.”

Rob Kapilow is a graduate of the Yale School of Music and the Eastman School of Music, and is an accomplished pianist. He has brought the joy and wonder of classical music to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, opening their ears to musical experiences and helping them to listen actively. The reach and diversity of his interactive events is considerable, both geographically and culturally: from Native American tribal communities to inner-city high school students and from children barely out of diapers to musicologists long out of Ivy League programs. Mr. Kapilow’s popularity and appeal are reflected in notable engagements: on NBC’s “Today Show” in conversation with Katie Couric, in a program for broadcast on PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center” in January 2008; and in his books, All You Have To Do Is Listen and What Makes It Great? Kapilow’s What Makes It Great?® (WMIG) made its debut on NPR’s Performance Today nearly 20 years ago, and with its accessible ten-minute format it quickly attracted a wide base of fans and followers.

NEC Philharmonia is New England Conservatory’s top orchestra.


MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition


About Celebrity Series of Boston

Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 78-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.

The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 78 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere.

The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger, Leslie & Howard Appleby, the Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Mike Egan, Foley & Lardner LLP, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, Zachary Haroutunian and the Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation, Paul L. King, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Joseph McNay, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, PTC, the Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation, the Stifler Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Henri A. Termeer, Michael and Susan Thonis, Tufts Health Plan, Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.


Celebrity Series Instagram