April 17, 2008

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A Ph.D. in flute
The doctor is in at Nashua Community School
By Brian Early bearly@hippopress.com

At 55, Doug Worthen recently completed his doctoral studies in the flute from the Hartt School of Music. Even though he’s continued to learn as he’s performed over more than 30 years, there’s always more education.

“There is so much to learn. There is so much to experience,” he said.

This probably fits in well with the philosophy of the Nashua Community Music School, where he performs with Katie Lyon-Pingree on Saturday, April 19. The student body of the NCMS ranges from “infants to adults,” their Web site states. Worthen also is a faculty member of the school.

After taking flute lessons from aspiring University of New Hampshire students while he grew up in Exeter, Worthen received his bachelor’s degree in music from the Hartt School of Music. After that, he won a full scholarship to L’Institut d’Hautes Etudes Musicaleshe in Switzerland. In 1980, he received a master’s degree in music at the New England Conservatory. In 2004, the State Arts Council awarded him a grant, which he applied to his doctorate studies.

At the recital in Nashua, he plays with Lyon-Pingree, a harpist who’s performed with the Chicago Lyric Opera. He’s played with her often. Last month it was at the Palace Festival Orchestra in Manchester; last week it was at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford.

“The repertoire is wonderful,” he said about playing with Lyon. “It’s a beautiful combination.”

This summer the two are to record an album together; attendees at the show at the school will get a taste of what will be recorded. Worthen recently finished an album with Swiss harpsichordist Ursula Dütschler. Currently it’s in the editing and production phase.

“Classical is enduring to me. I love to play music from last week or 300 years ago,” he said. While he’s mostly into classical these days, he’ll play jazz or other music if it moves him. But “I play quite a bit of 18th-century music,” he said.

The show is from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the recital hall at 5 Pine St. Ext., Mill Annex #6, in Nashua. Only 100 tickets are available; they cost $20, or $10 for students and seniors. Call 881-7030.