NYYS 51st Season Announced!

NYYS 51st Season Announced!

New York Youth Symphony’s 51st Season

Award-Winning Institution Enriches the Lives of Talented Young Musicians and Educates the Next Musical Citizen 

The New York Youth Symphony—composed of orchestra, chamber, jazz, conducting and composing programs—will forge ahead to its next 50 years in the 2013/2014 season having provided over 5000 gifted music students between 12 and 22 unparalleled opportunities to perform at venues like Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center and to study with world-renowned artists, all tuition-free.  Beyond the superlative instruction from virtuosic musicians, the students gain valuable life skills—commitment, discipline, focus, collaboration—and friendships that last a lifetime.  

 Performances for the 2013/2014 Season include:


November 24, 2013, March 2, 2014, and May 25, 2014
Three performances at Carnegie Hall featuring music by R. Strauss, Brahms, and Copland
Joshua Gersen, Music Director 
Roy and Shirley Durst Dèbut Artists:  Michael Brown, piano; Pleasure is the Law, quartet, and Benjamin Beilman, violin
First Music premières by Katherine Balch, Loren Loiacono and Conrad Winslow

Three performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola:
December 9, 2013 with John Fedchock, trombone
March 10, 2014 with Terell Stafford, trumpet
The Allen Room:May 19, 2014 with Vibraphonist Stefon Harris
First Music premières by Nate Kimball, Evan Weiss, and Marcus Wilcher                                                                                                       
Chamber Music
Festival Evening performances on April 23 & 24, 2014 at Leonard Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space
Weill Recital Hall on May 1, 2014 with Edward Arron, cello andFirst Music première by Brian Petuch 
Composition Date 2014! May 15, 2014 at Symphony Space features original student compositions performed by members of all NYYS programs.

The Orchestra, led by Joshua Gersen, kicks off the season on November 24, 2013 with the first of three performances at Carnegie Hall, highlighted by pianist Michael Brown performing both Mozart’s Concerto in C major, K. 467 and the world premiere of Katherine Balch’s Epiphyte, commissioned by the NYYS as part of its First Music commissioning program. The March 2, 2014 performance will feature Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 and Olivier Messiaen’s Concerto pour quatre with soloists Pleasure is the Law¸ a quartet comprised of Nadine Asin, flute, Elaine Duvas, oboe, Darrett Adkins, cello, and Steven Beck, keyboard. An all-American program will close the season on May 25, 2014, including Copland’s Symphony No. 3 andAvery Fisher Career Grant winner Benjamin Beilman performing Barber’s Violin Concerto. Loren Loiacono’s Homonym and Conrad Winslow’s Vanishing is Easy will also receive their world premieres in March and May, respectively.

The NYYS Jazz, led by artistic director Matt Holman, will swing into the 2013/14 season with a Woody Herman Tribute featuring John Fedchock on trombone at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola on December 9, 2013. Next up, trumpeter Terell Stafford joins the band at Dizzy’s on March 10, 2014 in a program called “Jazz from the Big Screen." The season ends on May 19, 2014 at The Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center featuring vibraphonist Stefon Harris in a concert paying tribute to such vibraphone legends as Lionel Hampton, Cal Tjader, Terry Gibbs, and Milt Jackson. World premières by Nate Kimball, Evan Weiss, and Marcus Wilcher will be performed through the First Music Commissioning Program.             

Now entering its 32nd season, the Chamber Music program, led by director Lisa Tipton, offers young musicians an opportunity to explore the often complex dialogue among instruments as a metaphor for learning skills that emphasize open communication, harmony, and compromise.  An Evening With Friends is the underlying theme of each performance.  With two exceptional concerts at Symphony Space (April 23 and 24, 2014) and one final recital at Weill Recital Hall on May 1, 2014, we will witness first-hand the rewards of collaborative music making. Cellist Edward Arron will be the featured mentor at Weill, performing side-by-side with student musicians. Brian Petuch’s If You See Something, Say Something will receive its world premiere at Weill Recital Hall.

The Composition program, led by Dr. Kyle Blaha has broken new ground in its acclaimed sessions for younger composers to examine orchestration styles, techniques, and skills. Guest composers and musicians for 2013/2014 include Augusta Read Thomas, Alan Pierson, the Attacca Quartet, and Amy Beth Kirsten. The annual Composition Date 2014! performance, to be held at Symphony Space on May 15, 2014, will include original student compositions performed by members of the Orchestra, Chamber Music, Jazz, and Apprentice Conducting programs.


Artistic Directors

Conductor Joshua Gersen began his tenure as Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony in the 2012/2013 season. He is also the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, where he serves as the assistant conductor to the symphony’s Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas, and leads the orchestra in various subscription, education, and family concerts.  In the fall of 2013, Mr. Gersen will make his debut with the San Francisco Symphony. He served as the principal conductor of the renowned Ojai Music Festival in June and was featured in the League of American Orchestra’s 2013 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview. He was the winner of the prestigious 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize and the 2010 Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, and served as the festival’s assistant conductor for the 2012 summer season under Robert Spano. Mr. Gersen made his conducting debut at age 11 with the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra in Bridgeport, CT, and his professional conducting debut 5 years later, when he led the Greater Bridgeport Symphony in a performance of his own composition, A Symphonic Movement. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied conducting with the esteemed Otto-Werner Mueller, and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied composition.

Trumpeter/composer/educator Matt Holman has performed with such diverse artists as Fred Hersch, John Hollenbeck, Darcy James Argue, and Bob Newhart. He has earned national and international performance awards including the International Trumpet Guild’s Jazz Improvisation Competition, the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, the National Trumpet Competition, Downbeat, and ASCAP. His 5-piece chamber jazz group, Matt Holman's Diversion Ensemble, released their debut recording "When Flooded" in March 2013 on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records. He holds a M.M. from Manhattan School of Music and a B.M. from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he was awarded the Performer’s Certificate. 

Lisa Tipton, violinist and co-founder of the award-winning Meridian String Quartet, has toured internationally and held residencies at Queens College, Bard College, and the Turtle Bay Music School. She has won distinctions from the Evian International Competition, Artists International, and Chamber Music America. As a devoted interpreter of new music, Ms. Tipton established the “Made in America” series at Weill Recital Hall and performed on the “Interpretations” series at Merkin Concert Hall. She performs regularly with Amici New York and the American Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Tipton’s recording of Ives’ violin sonatas was released in 2006 on Capstone Records. She earned a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and is currently pursuing her D.M.A. at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Dr. Kyle Blaha received his D.M.A. and M.M. from Juilliard and his B.M. from Eastman School of Music with high distinction in composition, clarinet, and German. He has studied composition with Darrell Handel, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Carlos Sanchez Gutierrez, Samuel Adler, Philip Lasser, and Robert Beaser and Solfège with Mary Anthony Cox. He is faculty at the European American Musical Alliance Program in Paris and Ear Training faculty at The Juilliard School in the College, Evening, and Pre-College divisions. He has received multiple ASCAP Young Composer Awards and awards for study in German, including a Fulbright grant and a D.A.A.D. (German government) grant as well as Arabic study in Cairo, Egypt. His work has been premiered by the Juilliard Orchestra and multiple performances by the New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute and has received commissions from the New York Youth Symphony, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the New Juilliard Ensemble, and the American Composers Orchestra.

Orchestra Soloists
The New York Times declared Michael Brown “a young piano visionary,” praising him for his “powerful technique and a vivid imagination.” Noted for his “great confidence and rhythmic flair” by Gramophone, he was the First Prize Winner of the 2010 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. An equally committed pianist and composer, Mr. Brown’s unique artistry stems from this duality and is reflected in his creative approach to programming, where he often interweaves the classics with contemporary works and his own compositions. He has appeared as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall under the baton of New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert. Mr. Brown attends the Marlboro Music Festival and has recently toured the US with Miriam Fried and the Steans Institute at Ravinia. An accomplished composer, he was awarded the 2009 Palmer-Dixon Prize from Juilliard and his works have been performed internationally. Mr. Brown attended the Juilliard School completing dual master of music degrees in Piano and Composition. He studied with pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald, and composers Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser.

Pleasure is the Law (Nadine Asin, Elaine Douvas, Darrett Adkins, and Steven Beck) is a mixed ensemble comprised of flute, oboe, cello and keyboard, formed in 2002. The group is devoted to the exploration of contemporary repertoire composed for this traditional baroque combination.  Combining an unusual mix of eighteenth century colors with twentieth century techniques, these players demonstrate comfort in both worlds. The group’s debut CD, produced by Boston Records in 2009, includes repertoire by Elliott Carter, Frank Martin, Ilja Hurnik, and the premiere recording of Feast Day by Peter Lieberson.  The American Record Guide hailed the CD writing, “This is outstanding.  All of this music except the Berlioz was new to me, and I enjoyed hearing it. You will too. Performers are superb. Every piece is flawless, but still played with great passion.  A must find.” The group has performed recital programs at various venues including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bard College Conservatory, Ridgewood (NJ) Patron Series at Westside Church, and Bargemusic. They take their name and inspiration from this quote of Claude Debussy: “Some people wish above all to conform to the rules. I wish only to render what I can hear. There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law.”

Violinist Benjamin Beilman is the recipient of a 2012 Avery Fisher Career Grant, a 2012 London Music Masters Award, First Prize in the 2010 Montréal International Musical Competition, as well as First Prize at the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and YCA’s Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship.  He has appeared as soloist with orchestras, including the Tonhalle Orchestra in Switzerland, L’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and the Malaysia Philharmonic. Mr. Beilman performs frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as a member of their CMS Two roster.  Additional chamber music performances include the Caramoor Festival, Music@Menlo, and Music from Angel Fire.  He has participated numerous times in the Marlboro Music Festival, toured with “Musicians from Marlboro,” and has appeared at the Verbier Festival. He graduated of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank.

Jazz Soloists
Since his emergence on the scene in 1980, John Fedchock has established himself as a world-class trombone soloist, a heralded bandleader, and a Grammy-nominated arranger. An in-demand performer and writer in New York City for over 25 years, his critically acclaimed John Fedchock New York Big Band has become a marquee group, showcasing his trombone and arranging as well as the band's all-star soloists. The band's four CDs have all received high praise from critics and extraordinary success on national jazz radio charts. In recognition of his formidable arranging skills, Mr. Fedchock received a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Instrumental Arranging". His John Fedchock NY Sextet features his "incomparable trombone playing, which seems to have no limit, technically or musically" (JazzReview.com). Mr. Fedchock is a graduate of Ohio State University with a master's degree from the Eastman School of Music.

Known for being a gifted and versatile trumpet player with a voice all his own, Terell Stafford combines lyricism and a deep love of melody with a spirited, adventurous edge. This uniquely expressive, well-defined musical talent allows him the ability to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads. Currently Mr. Stafford is a member of the GRAMMY award winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra as well as drummer Matt Wilson’s group, “Arts and Crafts,” and drummer Alvin Queen’s group, “Alvin Queen and the Organics.” He holds the positions of Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, and is a clinician for the prestigious Vail Foundation in Colorado and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Program. Mr. Stafford has served as a member of the faculty for the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies in New York and is a board member of the Jazz Education Network.

Vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris is heralded as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” (Los Angeles Times). A three-time Grammy nominee, six-time Best Mallet player by the Jazz Journalist Association and recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, he earned a B.M. in Classical Music and a M.M. in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School for Music. Mr. Harris tours worldwide with his band Blackout and the San Francisco Jazz Collective, teaches at New York University, and has been Artist-in-Residence at Fontana Chamber Arts (Kalamazoo, MI), the Lied Center (Lincoln, NE), and San Francisco Performances. He has served on the Executive Board of Directors for Chamber Music America and is the first musician formerly elected to the WBGO-FM Board of Directors.

First Music Composers
Katherine Balch
is a composer and pianist currently enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory of Music dual degree program. At Tufts, Ms. Balch is majoring in history and political science and is the recipient of the Russell E. Miller and Albert H. Imlah prizes in history, and a Summer Scholars grant for her scholarship on J.J. Rousseau, F. Nietzsche, and G.W.F. Hegel.  At NEC, she studies composition with Kati Agócs and Stratis Minakakis, directs the student composer’s concert series, and coordinates the student-run composer’s colloquium. Her chamber opera, The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year, premiering on May 15, 2013, was a recipient of NEC’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship grant. Ms. Balch was the winner of NEC’s contemporary ensemble and honors ensemble competitions, the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Composer to Center Stage Project, and first prize in the NLWPA composer’s competition. She will spend the 2013 summer co-authoring a paper on Rousseau and Montesquieu with a professor at Tufts, and as a composition fellow at Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut.

Loren Loiacono, a native of Stony Brook, New York, is currently pursuing her Doctorate in composition at Cornell University, where she is a student of Steven Stucky and Kevin Ernste. Ms. Loiacono received her M.M. and B.A. from Yale University, where her teachers included Martin Bresnick, David Lang, Ezra Laderman, Christopher Theofanidis, Kathryn Alexander, and Michael Klingbeil.  Her works have been performed by such ensembles as the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia, Yale Symphony Orchestra, 5th House Ensemble, and the Argento Ensemble, and her music has been featured on NPR.  She has received awards from ASCAP's Morton Gould Awards (2013, 2005), Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute (2013), and the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (2006), and was an alternate for the American Composers Orchestra Underwood Readings (2012).   This summer Ms. Loiacono will be a fellow at the Atlantic Music Festival, the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, and Copland House's CULTIVATE.  She was a fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Conference of the East, and was the recipient of the 2010 Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival.  Ms. Loiacono is also a founding member and current development director of Kettle Corn New Music.  More information can be found at www.lorenloiacono.com

Brian Petuch is a New York City-based composer who writes chamber, orchestral, and electronic music. As a child, Mr. Petuch studied ballet, tap, and modern dance, and played in rock bands throughout high school and college.  He draws inspiration from the steady pulses and animated gestures in both dance and rock music, which are apparent in the more lively and rhythmic sections of his compositions. By contrast, these energetic moments are often offset by slower, introspective gestures in his music. As a student of Mario Davidovsky, Mr. Petuch recently earned his master’s degree in composition at Mannes College. From 2004–2008, he attended Florida Atlantic University, where he studied composition with Stuart Glazer and received a bachelor’s degree in Commercial Music.  In 2013, as part of their American Music Festival, the Albany Symphony read his piece Simple Objects. Mr. Petuch’s music has also been performed on WXEL’s Classical Variations, featured in choreographer Jeannie Travers’s performance at Joyce Theatre in SoHo, and used by The Shoes at the Door dance company.

Conrad Winslow’s music, often buoyant, coloristic, and architectural, reflects his upbringing in Homer, Alaska, where he first got the idea of making things from scratch by watching his parents chop down trees and build a log cabin home in the woods. Mr. Winslow’s work has been commissioned and performed by the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the New Juilliard Ensemble, and New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, and many others. He holds a master’s degree in Composition from the Juilliard School, an M.M. degree in film scoring from NYU, and an Honors A.B. degree in Music from Rollins College.

Marcus Wilcher is a composer, arranger, saxophonist and current doctoral student attending the University of Texas-Austin. Born in Los Angeles, he grew up in the suburbs of Moreno Valley, CA listening to Soul, R&B and Hip-Hop. Wilcher began showing interest in jazz at age ten after hearing Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool. However, jazz wouldn’t become his focus until September 2003 when he developed a passion for composition and decided to pursue a professional career in music. Mr. Wilcher was a Finalist in the ArtEZ Composition Contest for the International Jazz Festival in Enschede, Holland.

Evan Weiss was born and raised near Seattle, Washington. Mr. Weiss studied music at the University of North Texas and during his stay, he had the opportunity to compose, perform, and travel with the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band. His pieces were performed at a series of sold-out concerts featuring guests such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Rich Perry, Bill Holman, Phil Woods, and Wayne Bergeron. Mr. Weiss has recorded and toured with Nobody’s Business, an electric quartet whose unique textural and rhythmic concept transcended genre and the Hildegunn Gjedrem Group.  Recently, he has performed his compositions in Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, China, Italy, and Poland. Mr. Weiss can be heard at clubs in Dallas and New York throughout the year. His composition "The Adjacent Possible" was premiered by the NYYS Jazz at The Allen Room on May 23, 2011.

Nate Kimball is a Las Vegas native and Graduate of the Downbeat Award-Winning UNLV Jazz Program with a master’s degree in Jazz Composition and dual bachelor degrees in Jazz Trombone Performance and Jazz Composition. In 2007 Mr. Kimball was awarded Nevada Jazz Society’s “Young Writers Competition” for his first original composition for big band, entitled Daydream. He was the winner of the 2010 International Trombone Association “J.J. Johnson” Jazz Competition and the 2012 Reno Jazz Festival “Outstanding Trombone Soloist Awards. Mr. Kimball’s work for big band Namaste was the recipient of ASCAP’s 2011 Young Composer Award. He plans to record an album of original music for his 18-piece jazz orchestra in the winter of 2013. For more information visit http://www.natekmusic.com




Opening Concert
Sunday, November 10, 2013:  2 PM: Kupferberg Center, Queens College
Sunday November 24, 2013:  2 PM: Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall
Joshua Gersen, conductor
Michael Brown, piano

Wagner: Overture to Flying Dutchman
Mozart: Piano Concerto in C major, K. 467
Katherine Balch:  Epiphyte (world premiere)
R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite

The McCrindle Concert
Sunday, February 16, 2014, 2PM:  Kupferberg Center, Queens College
Sunday March 2, 2014, 2PM:  Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall
Joshua Gersen, conductor
Pleasure is the Law, soloists

Loren Loiacono: Homonym  (world premiere)
Messiaen: Concerto pour quatre
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, op. 98

Spring Concert
Sunday, May 4, 2014: 2PM: Kupferberg Center, Queens College
Sunday May 25, 2014: 2PM:  Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall
Joshua Gersen, conductor
Benjamin Beilman, violin

Bernstein:  Overture to Candide
Conrad Winslow: Vanishing is Easy (world premiere)
Barber: Violin Concerto, op. 14
Copland: Symphony No. 3

Woody Herman Tribute
Monday, December 9, 2013, 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Matt Holman, director
John Fedchock, trombone

Jazz from the Big Screen
Monday, March 10, 2014, 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Matt Holman, director
Terell Stafford, trumpet 

Feelin' the Vibes
Monday, May 19, 2014, 7:30 PM
The Allen Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Matt Holman, director
Stefon Harris, vibraphone

Festival Evenings
Wednesday, April 23 and Thursday, April 24, 2014, 7:30 PM
Leonard Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space
Lisa Tipton, director

An Evening with Friends
Thursday, May 1, 2014, 7:30PM
Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall
Edward Arron, cello

Composition Date 2014!
Thursday May 15, 2014, 7:30PM
Leonard Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space
Dr. Kyle Blaha, director