NYYS Season 52 Announced

NYYS Season 52 Announced

New York Youth Symphony's 52nd 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 composition programs—heads into the 2014/2015 season having provided over 5000 gifted music students between 12 and 22 unparalleled opportunities to perform at stellar venues including 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 2014/2015 Season include:
Joshua Gersen, music director
Three performances at Carnegie Hall featuring music by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky
November 23, 2014 with Conrad Tao, piano
March 8, 2015 with Elena Urioste, violin
May 24, 2015 with The New York Choral Society

First Music world premières by Cindy Giron, Molly Joyce, and Jonas Tarm

Matt Holman, director
Three performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola:
December 8, 2014 with Lew Tabackin, saxophone/flute
March 16, 2015 with Luis Bonilla, trombone
at the Appel Room:
May 18, 2015 with Jane Monheit, vocalist

First Music world premières by Scott Ninmer, Erica Sequine, and Marcus Wilcher

Chamber Music
Lisa Tipton, director
Festival Evening performances on April 27 & 28, 2015
at Leonard Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space

Weill Recital Hall on May 4, 2015
with Paul Neubauer, viola
First Music world première by Edward Hamel

Dr. Kyle Blaha, director
Composition Date 2015 May 7, 2014
at Leonard Nimoy Thalia, 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 23, 2014 with the first of three performances at Carnegie Hall, highlighted by pianist Conrad Tao performing Rachmaninoff's electric Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Named one of the "future fifteen" by Latina Magazine, violinist Elena Urioste will join the orchestra on March 8, 2015 performing Beethoven's Violin Concerto. The season will close on May 24, 2015 with a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the New York Choral Society and soloists Raquel Gonzalez, soprano, Avery Amereau, mezzo-soprano and Önay Köse, bass. World premières by Cindy Giron, Jonas Tarm and Molly Joyce will be performed on each program through the First Music Commissioning Program. The orchestra will make its Washington Heights debut at the United Palace performing the Carnegie programs in free community concerts on November 9, 2014, February 22, 2015, and May 3, 2015.

The NYYS Jazz, led by artistic director Matt Holman, will swing into the 2014/15 season showcasing both classic & contemporary arrangements of big band mainstays. Saxophonist/flutist Lew Tabackin will join the ensemble on a program titled Art of the Arrangement at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola on December 8, 2014. Next up, trombonist Luis Bonilla will join the band at Dizzy's on March 16, 2015 on a tribute to Billy Strayhorn. The season will end on May 18, 2015 at The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center featuring vocalist Jane Monheit in a concert of the enduring music of Artie Shaw, Count Basie, and Glenn Miller. Composers Scott Ninmer, Erica Sequine, and Marcus Wilcher will have compositions debuted through the First Music Commissioning Program.

Now entering its 33rd season, the Chamber Music program, led by director Lisa Tipton, offers young musicians an opportunity to explore the often complex dialogue between 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 27 and 28, 2015) and one final recital at Weill Recital Hall on May 4, 2015, we will witness first-hand the rewards of collaborative music making. Violist Paul Neubauer will be the featured mentor at Weill, performing side-by-side with student musicians. Edward Hamel's First Music composition 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. The annual Composition Date 2015 performance, to be held at Symphony Space on May 7, 2015, will include original student compositions performed by members of the Orchestra, Chamber Music, Jazz, and Apprentice Conducting programs.



Joshua Gersen began his tenure as music director of the New York Youth Symphony in the 2012–13 season. He recently completed his three-year fellowship as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, where he served as the assistant conductor to the symphony's Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas, and leds the orchestra in various subscription, education, and family concerts. Mr. Gersen was the winner of the Aspen Music Festival's prestigious 2011 Aspen Conducting and 2010 Robert J. Harth Conducting prizes, and served as the festival's assistant conductor for the 2012 summer season under Robert Spano. He made his conducting debut at age 11 with the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra and his professional conducting debut five years later when he led the Greater Bridgeport Symphony in a performance of his own composition, A Symphonic Movement. In the 2013–14 season Mr. Gersen made his debuts with the Indianapolis and San Francisco symphonies. He served as the principal conductor of the renowned Ojai Music Festival in June 2013 and was featured in the League of American Orchestra's 2013 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview. Mr. Gersen is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, 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. A dedicated and passionate educator, Mr. Holman has taught at the Birch Creek Performance Center, the British School of Chicago, and the Manhattan School of Music. 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 with pianist Adrienne Kim and has performed on the "Interpretations" series at Merkin Concert Hall. She performs regularly with Amici New York and the American Symphony Orchestra, and is a co-founder of NY Chamber Music CoOp. Ms. Tipton's recording of Ives' violin sonatas with Ms. Kim 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 a DMA candidate 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.


Dubbed a musician of "probing intellect and open-hearted vision" by the New York Times, Conrad Tao has, for nearly a decade, enjoyed a varied career as pianist, composer, violinist, and – most recently – presenter and curator. Born in Urbana, Illinois, he was found playing children's songs on the piano at 18 months of age, gave his first piano recital at age 4, and four years later made his concerto debut performing Mozart's Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 414. In June of 2011, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named Conrad a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him a YoungArts gold medal in music. Later that year, Conrad was named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation. Conrad was also the only classical musician on Forbes' 2011 "30 Under 30" list of people changing the world. In May of 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Conrad currently attends the Columbia University/Juilliard School joint degree program and studies piano with Professors Yoheved Kaplinsky and Choong Mo Kang at Juilliard and composition with Professor Christopher Theofanidis of Yale University.

Elena Urioste, recently selected as a BBC New Generation Artist, has been hailed by critics and audiences for her rich tone, nuanced lyricism, and commanding stage presence. Since making her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age thirteen, she has appeared with major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, including the London and New York Philharmonics, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and the Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and National symphony orchestras. Elena has collaborated with acclaimed conductors Sir Mark Elder, Keith Lockhart and Robert Spano; pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Christopher O'Riley, and Michael Brown; cellists Carter Brey and Zuill Bailey; and violinists Shlomo Mintz and Cho-Liang Lin. She has been a featured artist at the Marlboro, Ravinia, and La Jolla music festivals, among others. Winner of Switzerland's Sion International Violin Competition, a London Music Masters Award, a Salon di Virtuosi career grant, and the inaugural Sphinx Medal of Excellence, Elena has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Telemundo, Performance Today, From the Top, and the Emmy award-winning documentary Breaking the Sound Barrier. Chosen by LatinaMagazine as one of the "Future Fifteen," she was featured in the magazine's 15th anniversary issue. Elena performs with an Alessandro Gagliano violin, Naples c. 1706, and a Pierre Simon bow, both on generous extended loan from the private collection of Dr. Charles E. King through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

The New York Choral Society (NYCS), founded in 1958, has become known by audiences and critics for the quality of its performances and the diversity of its repertoire, which encompasses well-known choral masterworks as well as many compositions rarely heard in concert halls. . David Hayes, Music Director of the New York Choral Society, the 180-voice symphonic chorus has been widely recognized for its outstanding performances at prestigious music venues around the world. For more than half a century, NYCS has enriched the cultural life of New York City by performing a rich variety of choral music from classic to contemporary pieces, including newly commissioned works, to some 10,000 people per year; and by fostering interest and participation in choral music through education and community outreach, especially to children. Since 1984, the singers of the NYCS have also served as "ambassadors of music" abroad, with many concert tours to Italy, Austria, China, France, Israel, Mexico, Croatia, Greece, and the Czech Republic.


Lew Tabackin, flutist and tenor saxophonist, is an artist of astonishing vision. His electrifying flute playing is at once virtuosic, primordial, cross-cultural, and passionate. Mr. Tabackin's distinctive tenor sax style includes the use of wide intervals, abrupt changes of mood and tempo, and purposeful fervor, all in the service of showing the full range of possibilities of his instrument - melodically, rhythmically, and dynamically. Without copying or emulating jazz greats of the past, Mr. Tabackin has absorbed elements into his style, ultimately creating his own sound and aura. He continues to tour the world as a soloist, playing clubs and jazz festivals with his own groups and as featured soloist with the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. In 1996 Concord released Tenority; Mr Tabackin's first recording on which he concentrates solely on tenor sax. Subsequently, he has released the CDs Tanuki's Night Out, Live In Paris and Quartet.

If ever an artist could be called an octopus, Luis Bonilla is it. The California raised, Costa Rican trombonist, composer and arranger has sought out, taken in and mastered an incredible array of musical styles. His success as a sideman with such greats as McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Astrud Gilberto, Willie Colon and Toshiko Akiyoshi attests not only to the skill and variety of Bonilla's talent, but also to a mind restlessly committed to exploring some of the most complex and demanding music of our time. Currently a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra under Arturo O'Farrill's direction (both 2009 Grammy winners) and Dave Douglas's latest group (Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy), Bonilla is one of those rare artists whose work is always expanding, taking in more and more while remaining singular and focused: "Bonilla may be a trombonist used to handling that big long sliding thing, but when it comes to execution of his ideas, he lets nothing slide" (All About Jazz). He currently teaches at Manhattan School of Music and New England Conservatory.

Jane Monheit made her first recording in 2000 - Never Never Land, voted top debut recording by the Jazz Journalist's Association and stayed on the Billboard Jazz chart for over a year. Her albums In the Sun (2002) and Taking a Chance on Love (2004) yielded two Grammy nominations in the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals recognizing the work of Vince Mendoza. An extraordinarily gifted vocalist whose sincere and romantic interpretations of exceptional songs, Monheit has been a leading light in both the jazz and cabaret worlds since emerging as a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Institute's 1998 vocal competition. Monheit is comfortable with her own genre-crossing musical persona that enables her to swing and scat like a jazz singer or belt out a song like a Broadway star. Jane Monheit is a technician who operates with precision. But that doesn't mean she's stuffy or aloof. This supremely gifted singer is capable of tremendous vocal flights, dips, turns and extensions, but she doesn't grandstand or hold a note simply to show off. Her goal is to convey a story, and she does so with grace throughout her recent CDs, The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me, Home, and The Heart of the Matter and in her current touring program, Hello Bluebird – Celebrating the Jazz of Judy Garland.


Edward Hamel graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College Chicago receiving a Bachelors of Music in Composition under the guidance of Marcos Balter. Currently, he is acquiring a Master of Arts in Composition at the University of California, San Diego under the guidance of Lei Liang. Mr. Hamel takes inspiration from the perceptive control one has in a medium such as painting. All of the information of a work is provided within a static, non-temporal frame. Viewers have the ability to stay with a work for an indefinite amount of time admiring various facets of the piece at will. With a temporal medium such as music, listeners do not have this luxury - most of the work is perceived retrospectively. Mr. Hamel was commissioned to write a new work for the MATA 2014 Festival to be played by Talea Ensemble. In 2012, he received Honorable Mention at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek for his work Countenance. Mr. Hamel has been fortunate enough to work with such groups as Ensemble Dal Niente, Sigma Project, loadbang, Anubis Quartet, Color Field Ensemble, Insomnio, saxophonist Ryan Muncy, cellist Seth Woods, and Leah Asher of the Bodø Sinfonietta.

Cindy Giron was born in Boston, MA and began her musical studies at age five at New England Conservatory's Preparatory School. Enrolled in the Certificate program, she participated in eurhythmics, piano, chamber, orchestra, choir, and theory lessons. Her piano teachers were Fredericka King and Valentina Lass. As the orchestral pianist and celesta player, Ms. Giron toured Brazil and Venezuela with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra under maestro Benjamin Zander. Heavily influenced by the romantic and impressionist composers, she began her compositional studies at age 14 with Alla Cohen. With the compositional guidance of Nils Vigeland and Reiko Fueting, Ms. Giron received a Bachelor's of Music in Composition from Manhattan School of Music in 2010. Studying a semester abroad, she continued her studies with Gilius van Bergeik and Yiannis Kyriadis at Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag, Netherlands. Upon returning to the US, Ms. Giron studied with Morton Subotnick at NYU and received a Masters in Music Theory and Composition in 2012. This summer, she will be studying at the International Music Institute in Darmstadt, Germany. Ms. Giron resides in Massachusetts where she composes and is teaching at the Performing Arts Center of MetroWest and the North End Performing Arts Center.

Molly Joyce is a composer originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her work has recently been described as written in an "emotionally appealing twenty-first century style" (Fanfare Magazine), and "vibrant, inventive music that communicates straight from the heart" (Prufrock's Dilemma). Ms. Joyce's music has been performed by notable ensembles including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Decoda and Contemporaneous. As a performer, she often performs on her vintage Magnus electric chord organ solo and on keyboard, performing with beat-boxer Shaun Barlow and at venues such as DROM NYC. An active participant in other aspects of the music industry, Ms. Joyce is currently the Digital Content Manager for both New Amsterdam Presents/Records and Roomful of Teeth. She also currently serves as an assistant to composer Missy Mazzoli, singer/songwriter Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, and jazz artist Darcy James Argue. Ms. Joyce is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music at The Juilliard School studying with Samuel Adler.

Scott Ninmer is an established composer in both jazz and classical mediums. He has won many prestigious awards for his work, including the "2 Agosto" International Composing Competition, the Detroit Jazz Festival Arranging Competition, the Jazz Education Network Student Composition Showcase, the Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards, the New York Youth Symphony First Music Composition Competition, the United States Air Force Sammy Nestico Award, and the ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards. Additional honors include being selected as a participant in the 2013 Metropole Orkest Arrangers Workshop in Hilversum, The Netherlands, and serving as the lead trombonist in the 2010 Disney All-American College Band in Anaheim, CA. A graduate of the University of Illinois in jazz performance, Mr. Ninmer recently completed a Master's degree in jazz composition at the Manhattan School of Music. His music can be heard on the University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band's album "Free Play" and the Cal State Long Beach Concert Jazz Orchestra's album "High & Mighty". Mr. Ninmer also has several compositions and arrangements published through UNC Jazz Press, and many more can be found online at www.scottninmer.com.

Erica Seguine is a composer, arranger, pianist, and teacher in the New York City area. There, she co-leads an 18-musician big band, the Erica Seguine/Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra, on a monthly gig at InsaniTea in Montclair, NJ, as well as performances in other venues in the NYC area. The original music, written by the leaders, fuses many genres and colors together, linked together by large story-arcs. In 2012, Ms. Seguine was selected for the Metropole Orchestra's Arrangers Workshop, led by Vince Mendoza, where she had the opportunity to arrange "Time to Say Goodbye" for Kurt Elling and the orchestra. She was the winner of the 2013 ArtEZ International Composition Contest, the 2013 BMI Charlie Parker Composition Competition/Manny Albam Commission, the 2009 Zurich Jazz Orchestra Composition Competition, and a recipient of an ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award in 2011 and 2014. In addition to her own jazz orchestra, Ms. Seguine's works and arrangements have been performed by: The Metropole Orchestra, Millenium Jazz Orchestra, Zurich Jazz Orchestra, Eastman Jazz Ensemble and Studio Orchestra, the BMI-NY Jazz Orchestra, the Empire State Youth Jazz Ensemble, amongst others. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM) and William Paterson University (MM). Ms. Seguine has studied composition with Jim McNeely, Bill Dobbins, and Rich DeRosa. More information can be found at www.ericaseguine.com

Jonas Tarm has received national and international attention for his compositions. Among his awards include the National YoungArts Foundation Award, American Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Composition Contest and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Morton Gould Competition and several others. Mr. Tarm's compositions have been performed throughout the Chicago area, New York, Boston, Miami, California, Germany and Estonia. His music has been commissioned by Chicago Beethoven Festival, Music Institute of Chicago Estonian Composer's Union, New York Virtuoso Singers and more. Mr. Tarm's violin playing and compositions have been featured multiple times on Chicago's classical music radio station 98.7 WFMT. He was born in Tallinn, Estonia and at the age of seven, he started violin studies at the Tallinn Old Town Music School. At the age of ten, he moved to Chicago, USA. Mr. Tarm graduated as a scholarship recipient of the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy program where he studied composition with MIC's Dr. Matthew Hagle, Dr. Mischa Zupko and violin with Northwestern University Professor Gerardo Ribeiro. He currently is studying at the New England Conservatory in Boston with composer John Mallia and conducting with Sean Newhouse. Mr. Tarm also has taken lessons with composer Richard Danielpour, whom he considers an important mentor.

Marcus Wilcher is a composer, arranger, saxophonist, and current Doctoral candidate at the University of Texas-Austin. Born in Los Angeles, CA in 1985 to Michael and Gwendolyn Wilcher, he grew up listening to Soul and Hip-Hop music. Mr. Wilcher began showing interest in jazz at age ten after hearing the Miles Davis album Birth of the Cool; however, several years would pass before jazz became his focus, and he developed a passion for composition. Mr. Wilcher started writing in September 2003 with the intent of pursuing a professional career in music. His studies have included jazz saxophone at Riverside City College in Riverside, CA with Jeff Ellwood and jazz composition/saxophone at the University of Texas-Austin with Dr. John R. Mills. Currently living in Austin, Mr. Wilcher maintains working relationships as a composer and performer with many groups throughout Texas including: Centerpeace (a sextet led by pianist and educator Dr. James Polk), the Andre Hayward Quintet, the Concept Jazz Orchestra, The University of Texas Jazz Orchestra, and the Urban Achievers Brass Band. He also leads two groups dedicated to his original compositions: The Marcus Wilcher X-tet (a jazz band of indeterminate size), and 5th Protocol (a groove-based quintet).



Opening Concert
Sunday, November 9: 5 PM: United Palace
Sunday November 23, 2014: 2 PM: Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall
Joshua Gersen, conductor
Conrad Tao, piano

Beethoven: Egmont Overture
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, op. 43
Cindy Giron: Nelubo (world premiere)
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite

The McCrindle Concert
Sunday, February 22, 2PM: United Palace
Sunday March 8, 2015, 2PM: Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall
Joshua Gersen, conductor
Elena Uroiste, violin

Jonas Tarm: Marsh U Nebuttya (world premiere)
Beethoven: Violin Concerto, op. 61
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, op. 35

Spring Concert
Sunday, May 3: 2PM: United Palace
Sunday May 24, 2015: 2PM
Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall
Joshua Gersen, conductor
The New York Choral Society

Rossini: La Gazza Ladro Overture
Molly Joyce: Fresh (world premiere)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, op. 125


Art of the Arrangement
Monday, December 8, 2014, 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Matt Holman, director
Lew Tabackin, saxophone

For Strayhorn
Monday, March 16, 2015, 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Matt Holman, director
Luis Bonilla, trombone

Celestial Swing
Monday, May 18, 2015, 7:30 PM
The Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Matt Holman, director
Jane Monheit, vocalist


Festival Evenings
Monday, April 27 and
Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 7:30 PM
Leonard Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space
Lisa Tipton, director

An Evening with Friends
Monday, May 4, 2014, 7:30PM
Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall
Paul Neubauer, viola


Composition Date 2015!
Thursday, May 7, 2015, 7:30PM
Leonard Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space
Dr. Kyle Blaha, director