Season 40

First Music Commissions


Morningside Run
Morningside Run
Torn Threads Re-Woven
If I Forget Thee

Chamber Music

Control Room for flute, cello, and piano


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Season 40


Paul Haas, a conducting graduate of Juilliard and recently the Music Director of the San Antonio Youth Orchestra, is appointed Music Director.  Ankush Bahl is made Assistant Conductor.

December 8, 2002, Carnegie Hall
The opening concert of the 40th Season features Alan Feinberg performing MacDowell’s Second Piano Concerto.  (André Watts, who had been scheduled for this performance, was taken ill and could not perform.)  Leslie and Johanna Garfield are the honorees of the annual benefit, and former music director David Alan Miller, now the conductor of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, presents them onstage with the Theodore L. Kesselman Award for Arts Education.

The New York Times:  “A fresh enthusiasm is only to be expected from these gifted young performers, but when last heard some years ago, they also brought considerable polish even to difficult works.” (Oestreich 12-6-02))

February 16, 2003, Carnegie Hall
The second orchestral concert in February in Carnegie Hall features the début of violinist Giora Schmidt, the prize student of the orchestra’s first soloist in 1963, Itzhak Perlman.  Itzhak Perlman attends, congratulating Giora Schmidt backstage following the performance.  Giora Schmidt is the seventh artist of the Roy and Shirley Durst Début Series.

The New York Times:  “The remarkable concerts that this orchestra plays every season are a tribute to both the enthusiasm and the polish that its young musicians bring to the task and to the focus and professionalism that the orchestra’s music directors develop in them.”  (Kozinn  2-14-03)

The New York Times:  “In the Barber Violin Concerto, which filled out the first half of the program, the orchestra matched and amplified the lush, shapely sound that Giora Schmidt brought to the solo line.  The other big work on the program, the Sibelius Second Symphony, demanded something very different –wintry heft and a large measure of melancholy– and

Mr. Haas and his players created that work effectively and affectingly.”  (Kozinn 2-19-03)

June 1, 2003, Carnegie Hall
The orchestra closes the 40th season in Carnegie Hall with piano soloist Misha Dichter performing Gershwin’s
Rhapsody in Blue.  Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra concludes the season.

On 5-14-03, WQXR-FM and The McGraw-Hill Companies’ Young Artists Showcase feature the New York Youth Symphony in performances of Philip Rothman’s Morningside Run (commissioned by the orchestra and given its première on 12-8-02), the Barber Violin Concerto with soloist Giora Schmidt (who made his Carnegie Hall début with the orchestra on 2-16-03), and the third movement of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, all conducted by Paul Haas.  The broadcast is repeated in September.

The New Yorker:  “This young-person’s orchestra has always been considered one of the nation’s best . . . ”  (5-31-04 issue)

The New York Sun:  “. . . America’s best youth orchestra.”  “The group’s previous conductor, Mischa Santora, left old-school precision and depth with the band; Paul Haas is bringing it electricity.”  In referring to the season’s conclusion, a performance of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, the reviewer wrote, “It was as finely tuned and stirring a performance of this piece as New York has heard in some time.”  “The New York Youth Symphony now offers programs for young composers, chamber musicians, conductors, and jazz players.  . . . With such depth to its programming, it’s clearly the city’s preeminent training institution.  But it’s also a great artistic vehicle.  Many of the professional musicians trolling the city’s top stages got their start in this band, after all.”  “Parents with musical children should certainly consult the group’s Web site for program information; and any music lover in search of a new brand of concert-going elation might do equally as well with a subscription.”  (Baer 6-3-03)

Jazz Band Classic

“Jazz Band Classic” is launched with the appointment of Ryan Keberle as its first Director and with the first auditions to identify the 17 members of the swing-era band.

February 9, 2003, Aaron Davis Hall
In February 2003, Jazz Band Classic makes its formal début in Aaron Davis Hall on the campus of the City University of New York in Harlem with director Ryan Keberle, a jazz trombonist, and the legendary saxophonist Jimmy Heath as soloist.

June 8, 2003, Carnegie Hall
Jazz Band Classic makes its Carnegie Hall début on 6-8-03, featuring the 17-member ensemble in music of the jazz trombone with trombonist Slide Hampton as guest soloist.  A near-capacity crowd cheers.  During the pre-performance rehearsal in Carnegie Hall, trombonist Michael Dease is presented with the first JBC Director’s Award for Commitment and Achievement.”  Executive Director Barry Goldberg is celebrated on his birthday that same day with the band’s surprise performance of a jazz rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Chamber Music Program

A NYYS woodwind quintet, at the invitation of The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, participates in the first anniversary ceremonies at Ground Zero on 9-11-02.  The performance is part of the reading of names of those who died as a result of the events of 9-11-01.

April 23, 2003, Weill Recital Hall
The Chamber Music Program closes its 21st season with an April performance in Weill Recital Hall and features cellist David Geber, a founding member of the American String Quartet, as a mentor-participant with a Program string quintet.

Making Score

May 12, 2003, CAMI Hall

May, 22, 2003, Symphony Space
The New York Youth Symphony is featured as a principal honoree at the ASCAP Concert Music Awards on 5-22-03 at Symphony Space.  NYYS Executive Director Barry Goldberg accepts the award, presented by music publisher Arnold Broido, with a speech noting the New York Youth Symphony’s longstanding and devoted commitment to the music of young American composers.

The New York Youth Symphony is presented on 6-20-03 with the ASCAP Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming at the American Symphony Orchestra League’s annual conference in San Francisco.


Barry Goldberg celebrates 20 years as Executive Director, as the Board of Trustees honors him at a meeting on April 3rd.



December 8, 2002


André Watts

February 16, 2003


Giora Schmidt

Vassily Primakov

June 1, 2003


Vassily Primakov, piano

Chamber Music

April 29, 2003


David Gerber


February 9, 2003


Jimmy Heath, saxophone

June 8, 2003


Slide Hampton, trombone