Leslie J. Garfield, Chair of the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS), announced that after nine years A. Slade Mills has stepped down as Board President and Melissa Eisenstat has been appointed as the new President of the Board of Trustees.
In making the announcement, Mr. Garfield said, “We want to thank Slade for his dedicated leadership since 2003 and welcome Melissa as the new Board President. As an alumna of our orchestra program Melissa has a unique perspective of the organization. She has been an active Trustee of the NYYS since 2010, during which time she has served on the Finance, Gala, and Music Director Search committees.”
Ms. Eisenstat’s professional background encompasses twenty years in the high tech industry and on Wall Street. After working at Apple Computer in International Marketing in the mid 1980’s and at Pillar Corporation, a start-up company founded in the early 90s, Ms. Eisenstat spent most of her eleven years on Wall Street at Oppenheimer & Co. in equity research, where she was the firm’s senior software analyst. A lifelong cellist, Ms. Eisenstat was the co-principal cellist of the New York Youth Symphony during high school and attended the Aspen Music Festival. She continues to play chamber music and perform recitals in New York. In addition to the New York Youth Symphony, she is a Trustee of Hope Funds for Cancer Research, which grants post-doctoral research fellowships to young scientists conducting innovative research on understudied and difficult-to-treat cancers. Ms. Eisenstat earned a B.A. in Soviet Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA/MA at their Lauder Institute.
Recognizing Mr. Mill’s accomplishments during his presidency, Ms. Eisenstat said, “The New York Youth Symphony will always be indebted to Slade for his leadership and strategic planning to cement the financial security of our organization’s programs to continue for many years into the future. During Slade’s presidency our endowment and reserve funds surpassed the organization’s goal of $4 million and now stands at $5.2 million.”
Celebrating its 50th consecutive season in Carnegie Hall, the New York Youth Symphony is nationally recognized for its award-winning programs, including Orchestra, Chamber, Jazz, Composition, and Apprentice Conducting, as well as the First Music and First Art commissioning programs, all of which provide tuition free opportunities for young musicians to grow and excel. The season kicks off in high gear on November 25, 2012 with the first of three Carnegie Hall concerts, highlighted by Leonard Mauerer’s Sinfonia Concertante for Four Violins in A minor, op. 55 with Cho-Liang Lin, Philippe Quint and NYYS’s current concertmaster Samuel Katz (19 years old) and Alice Ivy-Pemberton (15 years old) from its Chamber Music program. The world premiere of a First Music commission by Gabriel Zucker, an alumni of the composition program, includes participation by the Jazz band. The next two Carnegie Hall performances will take place on March 24 and May 26, 2013.
The Jazz band will make its season debut at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center on December 10, with additional performances at Dizzy’s on March 18thand on May 20th at The Allen Room. The Chamber Music program will perform at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on April 30, 2013 and two performances at Symphony Space on April 22 & 23, 2013.
Since its founding in 1963, the NYYS has touched the lives of more than 5000 students with its adventurous musical programming that allows the young and gifted to explore not just the classical orchestral repertoire but chamber music, jazz, conducting, and composition. Musicians between the ages of 12 and 22 audition each fall, participating throughout the academic year in the high-impact programs and performances. Beyond the superlative instruction from virtuosic musicians, the students gain valuable life skills—commitment, discipline, focus, collaboration—and friendships that last a lifetime.