I first heard of the New York Youth Symphony in 1993 when the violin teacher Anna Pelekh at the Manhattan School of Music told me about this wonderful organization. She established contact for me with the Music Director of the time: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, for whom I played a piano audition and was immediately invited to be the Resident Pianist of the orchestra as well as a student in the conducting program. I maintained both these functions until I moved to Philadelphia in 1997 to attend The Curtis Institute of Music as a conducting student. I remember the joy of discovering some of the greatest symphonic repertoire for the first time with a fresh, informed and inspiring approach at the NYYS. During my time in the organization, I played in/attended rehearsals and performances of: Saint-Saens: Organ Symphony, Respighi: The Pines of Rome, Beethoven: Symphony No. 9. Mahler: Symphony No. 1, Brahms: Symphony No. 1, Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring, Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade and Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 to name just a few. I especially enjoyed the New Music Project: performing a newly-commissioned orchestral piece for each of the 3 concerts at Carnegie Hall and Queens College. As most of these works had piano/keyboard parts, I was often involved in this exciting process. I learned how an orchestra works, how incredibly important discipline, perseverance and teamwork are to achieve results and success.
Upon graduating from the Curtis Institute, I went on to pursue a Master’s Degree in Conducting at the Juilliard School. Upon completion, I moved to Europe to explore the opera repertoire. I have recently been appointed Resident Conductor at the Opera House in Koblenz, Germany and I look forward to the wonderful projects that await me there. I am so grateful to the NYYS for instilling in me the joy and wonder of music and music-making. Thank you!
As this was a very important and exciting experience in my formative years, I look forward to return to New York in the future to give back musically to the organization and the community at large.
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