On June 6, 2023, five winners of the Fidelity Investments Young Artists Competition got the opportunity to perform on stage with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops in front of a sold-out audience at Symphony Hall.
Among the winners was Belmont Hill’s Brian Lee, a member of the Class of 2024. Each of the young musicians was introduced by Keith Lockhart and had the opportunity to perform as a soloist with the Pops. Brian performed Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 107, mvt. I (Dmitri Shostakovich). Following their solo performances, the students also performed with the alternative rock band Guster, as well as with the Pops.
"It’s an incredible feeling to share something that I’m so passionate about with my friends, family, and everyone in the audience," Lee said in an on-camera interview with WBZ at Symphony Hall.
"Brian is a talented and dedicated musician, and he is a steadfast member and leader within the Belmont Hill music community," said Dan Fiori, who was Brian's Form V advisor. "On campus, he served as president of the school orchestra this year, and will continue serving in this position for the upcoming school year. Off campus, he is co-principal cellist for the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Aside from his impressive music accomplishments, Brian is also a superb student-athlete." In the spring he is a coxswain on the Varsity Crew team, with his boat placing 2nd at the recent NEIRA championships. Among his many crew accomplishments at Belmont Hill, he also helped a Henley quad win the Head of the Charles in 2019.
To learn more about Shostakovich and to watch Boston Philharmonic’s Benjamin Zander mentoring Brian in February, watch the video below. “You are remarkable and the progress you have made in the past two years is just spectacular,” said Zander in the recording. The Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 107, was composed in 1959 by Dmitri Shostakovich. Shostakovich wrote the work for his friend Mstislav Rostropovich, who committed it to memory in four days. He premiered it on October 4, 1959, at the Large Hall of the Leningrad Conservatory with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yevgeny Mravinsky. The first recording was made in two days following the premiere by Rostropovich and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Aleksandr Gauk. The first concerto is widely considered to be one of the most difficult concert works for cello.