NEW YORK YOUTH SYMPHONY ANNOUNCES 2023/24 SEASON
– Programs in Orchestra, Jazz, Chamber Music, Composition, Musical Theater Songwriting, and Conducting
– Crescendo debuts as NYYS’s newest program designed for NYC-residents
– Performances at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage and Weill Recital Hall, Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, Joe’s Pub, The Times Center, and more.
– Orchestra Soloists include Augustin Hadelich, Zhu Wang, and Bella Hristova
– NYYS Jazz welcomes trumpeter Michael Rodriguez and saxophonist Chris Potter
– Musical Theater Songwriting introduces new director Emmy-nominated Michael Kooman
– Composition welcomes Kevin Puts, Andrew Yee, Huang Ruo, and more
– Seven (7) World Premieres by Alex Berko, Christian Quiñones, Grace Hale, Kian Ravaei, Kevin Zapata, Benjamin Beckman, and Kurton Harrison III
Tickets & Information: www.nyys.org
New York, NY – New York Youth Symphony (NYYS), is proud to announce its 2023/24 season of performances for its Orchestra, Jazz, Chamber Music, Composition, Musical Theater Songwriting, Conducting, and First Music programs. This season will also be the launch of Crescendo, its new youth string orchestra for New York City residents ages 10-18. The season will feature seven world premieres of new works commissioned through First Music composed for the Orchestra, Jazz, and Chamber Music ensembles. Soloists joining the NYYS in concert this season include violinist Augustin Hadelich, pianist Zhu Wang, and violinist Bella Hristova performing with NYYS Orchestra on Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. Trumpeter Michael Rodriguez and saxophonist Chris Potter will perform with NYYS Jazz and Director Michael Thomas at Dizzy’s Club and The Times Center, respectively. The complete NYYS 2023-2024 concert calendar follows at the end of this press release.
This season features four new directors across our programs. Andrew J. Kim will be the new Music Director for the Orchestra. Michael Thomas will be joining the organization as the new Director of Jazz. Michael Kooman will be leading the Musical Theater Songwriting program. Tanya Chanphanitpornkit will be leading the new Crescendo program.
Founded in 1963, the NYYS is internationally recognized for its award-winning and innovative educational programs for talented young musicians. It was awarded the 2022 Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance – Classical, the first youth orchestra to win a Grammy in this category. As the premier independent music education organization for ensemble training in the New York metropolitan area, the NYYS has provided over 7,000 music students unparalleled opportunities to perform at world-class venues including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, and The Times Center, and to study with world-renowned artists. Beyond the instruction from accomplished musicians, students gain valuable life skills — commitment, discipline, focus, collaboration — and friendships that last a lifetime.
“NYYS’s 2022 Grammy win for Best Orchestral Performance – Classical put an international spotlight on the impact of music education on youth. We are only beginning to understand the full implications of this honor and we are humbled by the opportunity to educate the next generation of musicians, explained Shauna Quill, NYYS Executive Director. “As we launch the 2023/24 season, we know how important it will be to push our mission to educate and inspire student musicians even further. With a focused approach putting our students’ needs at the forefront, NYYS is proud to have tremendous faculty and guest artists who understand this mission. We invite everyone to join us in this commitment to youth.”
Newly appointed Music Director Andrew J. Kim will lead the Orchestra in three performances at Carnegie Hall, showcasing masterworks by Sibelius and Berlioz while introducing new works by Jessie Montgomery and Texu Kim, plus three world premiere commissions.
On Sunday, November 19, 2023, at 2 PM, The 60th Anniversary Celebration at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage will feature Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with violinist Augustin Hadelich, and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2. The concert will also include the world premiere of Christian Quiñones’s Fever is How the Body Prays.
On Sunday, March 10, 2024, at 2 PM, The McCrindle Concert at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage will feature Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Roy and Shirly Durst Debut Artist, pianist Zhu Wang, plus Texu Kim’s Dub-Sanjo, Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst and Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The concert will also include the world premiere of Grace Hale’s This is Not a Dream.
The Orchestra’s season will conclude on Sunday, May 26, 2024, at 2 PM, at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. The Memorial Day weekend concert will feature Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto with Young Concert Artist violinist Bella Hristova, and the world premiere of Alex Berko’s on the theme of bridges. Berlioz’s epic Symphonie fantastique will close the season with panache.
Director Michael Thomas will lead the NYYS Jazz in his inaugural season as director. Following a sold-out performance in 2022, the band will return to the Birdland Jazz Club with a program showcasing the legacy of Thad Jones in December 2023, TBA. Ranging from Thad Jones’s early days with the Count Basie Orchestra, to his work as a co-founder and leader of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, this concert will feature works from Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, as well as NYYS First Music Commission from Ben Beckman.
One of the most in-demand and influential trumpeters of his generation, Mike Rodriguez has been featured with such artists as Chick Corea, Kenny Barron, Chico O’Farrill, and Charlie Haden, to name a few. The NYYS Jazz Ensemble will explore a wide variety of styles in this program designed to showcase the abilities of one of the leading voices on jazz trumpet as well as the ever-evolving pathways within the jazz language. Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Monday, March 4, 2024, with sets at 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM. This concert includes the world premiere of a First Music commission by Kurton Harrison III.
Hailed by both critics and musicians as one of the greatest saxophonists and improvisers of all time, Chris Potter will join the NYYS Jazz Ensemble in an exciting program on Monday, May 13, 2024, at 7:00 PM at The Times Center featuring his own compositions as well as music that has defined his work as a sideman. This performance will include portions of Potter’s Imaginary Cities suite adapted for big band in addition to works by Charles Mingus and Dave Holland. The concert will also include the world premiere of a First Music commission by Kevin Zapata.
The NYYS Chamber Music program, led by director Dr. Lisa Tipton, offers young musicians an opportunity to explore the dialogue between instruments. The program, consisting of 20 different chamber groups, provides coaching sessions and master classes with members of the Aizuri Quartet, Harlem Quartet, Juilliard Quartet, Imani Winds, Jasper String Quartet and more to over 100 students in more than 20 ensembles each season. The students will perform two showcases in the spring, hosted this year at Scandinavia House on Monday, April 29, 2024, at 6:00 PM & 8:15 PM, and at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at 7:00 PM. First Music winner Kian Ravaei’s work entitled, Parvāneh, 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 program offers student composers the opportunity to explore the world of composition and orchestration through seminars, individual tutorials, and workshops. This year’s guest composers and performers include Kevin Puts, Andrew Yee, Huang Ruo, Shara Nova, Richard Danielpour, Dr. Alice Jones, Philip Rothman, and more. NYYS will return to National Sawdust in Brooklyn for its annual Composition Date performance on Monday, May 20, 2024, at 7:00 PM with world premieres of student’s compositions performed by members of the Orchestra, Chamber Music, Jazz, and Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting programs.
NYYS Musical Theater Songwriting
Led by new director Michael Kooman, the Musical Theater Songwriting Program continues into its sixth season, in partnership with the Harlem School of the Arts, Molloy/CAP 21 Musical Theatre Conservatory. “I am honored and excited to join the NYYS team at a time when it is soaring to new heights, explained Mr. Kooman. “The Musical Theater Songwriting program is doing incredible and invaluable work to open the world of musical writing to young people in New York, and I will do all I can to inspire and lead the next generation of writers.” The students’ original works will be showcased at a final concert at Joe’s Pub on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at 7:00 PM performed by the students themselves, plus students from the Harlem School of the Arts and the Molloy/CAP21 Musical Theatre Conservatory.
Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program
The world’s finest emerging conductors have found the Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program to be an unparalleled opportunity to sharpen their craft, develop their talent, and gain exposure in front of New York’s discerning audiences. Under guidance from Music Director Andrew J. Kim, this program gives aspiring orchestral conductors the opportunity to study the art of conducting through rehearsal technique, stick technique, score analysis, podium time, observation, and guided talkback sessions. The program also features guest speakers throughout the season to work with the students and share insights from their careers. The conducting students will get their chance at the podium at the annual Composition Date performance on Monday, May 20, 2024, at 7:00 PM at National Sawdust, where they will conduct pieces composed by members of the Composition Program, performed by the members of the Orchestra, Chamber, Music, and Jazz programs.
Launching at the start of the 2023/2024 season, Crescendo is the NYYS’s newest program, designed for New York City string players aged 10 to 18. Led by Tanatchaya (Tanya) Chanphanitpornkit, this free program will provide access to outstanding music education for a diverse range of students. In addition to weekly ensemble rehearsals, students will receive coaching from the Aizuri Quartet, artists-in-residence, workshops, and masterclasses with professional musicians; plus, guidance on topics including audition preparation, audience engagement, careers in the arts, and festival & college admissions. Crescendo will perform on Monday, November 20, 2023, at 7:00 PM at Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Center and on Sunday, April 21, 2024, at 3:00 PM at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. The concerts will include works by Sibelius, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Florence Price, and more. The Aizuri Quartet will join Crescendo at Zankel Hall for a performance of Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro.
Applying to NYYS
All programs, including Crescendo, are now open for applications for the 2023/2024 season. Please go to nyys.org/apply to learn more. Please note that Crescendo has its own separate application. Applications are due at the end of August, with auditions/interviews happening shortly after in the month and into September.
NEW YORK YOUTH SYMPHONY 2023-2024 PERFORMANCE CALENDAR
Tickets & Information: www.nyys.org/events
ORCHESTRA | Andrew J. Kim, Music Director
The 60th Anniversary Celebration Concert
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Sunday, November 19, 2023, at 2:00 PM
Christian Quiñones: Fever is How the Body Prays (First Music commission and World Premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35
Featuring Augustin Hadelich, violin
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43
The McCrindle Concert
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Sunday, March 10, 2024, at 2:00 PM
Grace Hale: This is Not a Dream (First Music commission and World Premiere)
Texu Kim: Dub-Sanjo
Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Featuring Zhu Wang, piano, Roy and Shirley Durst Debut Artist
Jessie Montgomery: Starburst
Elgar: Enigma Variations
The Spring Concert
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Sunday, May 26, 2024, at 2:00 PM
Alex Berko: on the theme of bridges. (First Music commission and World Premiere)
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63
Featuring Bella Hristova, violin
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
NYYS JAZZ | Michael Thomas, Director
Thad Jones: Living Legacy
Birdland Jazz Club
December 2023, exact date and time TBA
Ben Beckman: Dream Logic
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Monday, March 4, 2024, at 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM
Kurton Harrison III: Reminiscence (First Music commission and World Premiere)
Soloist: Michael Rodriguez, trumpet
The Times Center
Monday, May 13, 2024, at 7:00 PM
Kevin Zapata: Reflection
Soloist: Chris Potter, saxophone
CHAMBER MUSIC | Dr. Lisa Tipton, Director
An Evening of Chamber Music
Monday, April 29, 2024, at 6:00 PM & 8:15 PM
An Evening Among Friends
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at 7:00 PM
Kian Ravaei: Parvāneh (First Music commission and World Premiere)
COMPOSITION | Dr. Kyle Blaha, Director
Composition Date 2024
National Sawdust, Brooklyn
Monday, May 20, 2024, at 7:00 PM
Featuring original student compositions performed by members of the NYYS Orchestra, Jazz, Chamber Music, and Conducting programs.
MUSICAL THEATER SONGWRITING | Michael Kooman, Director
Musical Theater Songwriting Showcase 2024
Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at 7:00 PM
Featuring original works, performed by NYYS students, and students from the Harlem School of the Arts and Molloy/CAP21 Musical Theatre Conservatory
CRESCENDO | Tanya Chanphanitpornkit, Director
Breaking New Ground
Merkin Hall at The Kaufman Center
Monday, November 20, 2023, at 7:00 PM
Sibelius: Andante Festivo
Bologne: Symphony No. 1 in G Major, 1st Movement
Holst: St Paul’s Suite
Soon Hee Newbold: Orion and the Scorpion
Elgar: Serenade for Strings, 1st Movement
Mendelssohn: Octet, 1st Movement
A Night of Ascension
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
Sunday, April 21, 2024, at 3:00 PM
Bologne: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, 1st Movement
Handel: The Arrival of The Queen of Sheba
Grieg: Holberg Suite
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg No. 3, 3rd Movement
Florence Price: Andante Moderato
Elgar: Introduction and Allegro
ABOUT THE ARTISTIC DIRECTORS
Andrew Jinhong Kim is a conductor dedicated to passionate and joyful collaboration. He starts his tenure as the Music Director of New York Youth Symphony Orchestra in Fall 2023. In this role, he will work with talented young musicians to perform cornerstone repertoire and premiere works by young American composers three times per year at Carnegie Hall. In addition, he will continue his passion for training young conductors through leading the Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program. Mr. Kim also serves on the faculty of the Conducting Institute, a comprehensive training program led by his mentor Miguel Harth-Bedoya. In this role, he teaches classes on aural skills, keyboard skills, and other topics, in addition to helping with curricular planning and execution. Mr. Kim has conducted orchestras in the US and beyond, including Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, among others. He served as the Assistant Conductor of Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and as a Cover Conductor with Minnesota Orchestra. He has twice participated in the Conductor’s Workshop at Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music with Cristian Macelaru, in Internationale Sommerakademie Radolfzell with Johannes Schlaefli, and appeared in performances at PRISMA Festival in Powell River, Canada and Wintergreen Festival in Virginia. Mr. Kim studied with Mark Russell Smith at University of Minnesota, with Octavio Más-Arocas at Ithaca College, and with Andrew Hauze at Swarthmore College. Beyond school, he is mentored by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. His other teachers include Matthew Caretti, Joseph Gregorio, and Gary Gress, and Richard Rotz. He is deeply grateful for all the excellent guidance and mentorship he has received thus far in his life as a musician.
Award-winning saxophonist, composer, and arranger Michael Thomas has been an active member of the New York City jazz community since arriving in 2011. Holding degrees from the University of Miami, New England Conservatory, and The Juilliard School, Mr. Thomas has performed throughout the United States and abroad, including tours in Central and South America, Australia, Europe, Japan, and Russia. His sideman work has included performances with Brad Mehldau, Dafnis Prieto, Nicholas Payton, Miguel Zenón, Etienne Charles, and Jason Palmer, and Mr. Thomas’s talents can be heard on over 30 recordings, including three albums as a leader. As a composer and arranger, Mr. Thomas has been commissioned by school and professional ensembles around the world, and he is currently a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York City. His talents have been recognized by DownBeat magazine as well as the “Keep an Eye” competition in Amsterdam, NL, and in 2016 he was a winner of the New York Youth Symphony’s First Music commission series. In addition to his own trio, quartet, and quintet, Mr. Thomas also co-leads and writes for the Grammy-nominated Terraza Big Band.
Dr. Lisa Tipton, violinist, co-founder of the award-winning Meridian String Quartet, has toured, held residences and won distinctions from the Evian International Competition, Artists International and Chamber Music America. A devoted interpreter of new music, Lisa, established the Made in America series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, performed on the Interpretations series at Merkin Hall and recently launched The NY Chamber Music CoOP in NYC devoted to social justice programming. Lisa’s critically acclaimed recording of Charles Ives’ violin sonatas, Hammers and Strings, was released on Capstone Records in 2006. This past season Lisa launched The Unsung Chamber Music series on YouTube, a NYYS repertoire initiative to feature composers from diverse cultures. Lisa’s performances include Amici NY, American Symphony Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, Orchestra Lumos, and Phantom of the Opera, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Spamalot, Sunset Boulevard, Spongebob, Aladdin and My Fair Lady on Broadway. Dr. Tipton has taught as Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music/Queens College, is the Director of the NY Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program, on the faculty of School for Strings, earned her B.A. from Cornell University, M.A. from The Aaron Copland School of Music, and DMA from the CUNY Grad 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, faculty at The Juilliard School where he teaches Ear Training, Music Theory, and Advanced Score Reading and Musicianship for conducting majors, and chair of Music Theory and Ear Training at Juilliard Pre-College. 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. Dr. Blaha’s 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 NYYS, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the New Juilliard Ensemble, Donald Sinta Quartet, and the American Composers Orchestra.
Michael Kooman is an Emmy-nominated composer for the stage and screen. His most recent musical, ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS, debuted to rave reviews at Shakespeare’s Globe. He has written over 150 songs for the television show VAMPIRINA, an animated musical TV series that airs on Disney Junior worldwide. Other television songwriting work includes RIDLEY JONES, DEAD END: PARANORMAL PARK, and SPIRIT RANGERS. His original musicals include THE NOTEWORTHY LIFE OF HOWARD BARNES (VillageTheater), ORPHIE & THE BOOK OF HEROES (The Kennedy Center), THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF PERCIVAL VONSCHMOOTZ (Canadian Music Theatre Project), JUDGE JACKIE: DISORDER IN THE COURT (Pittsburgh CLO), GOLDEN GATE (Williamstown Theatre Festival), DANI GIRL, HOMEMADE FUSION (London’s Ambassadors Theater, Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and JUNIOR CLAUS (Orlando Repertory Theatre). Awards and honors include the Fred Ebb Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, the Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award, the Samuel French Next Step Award, and the Burton Lane Award.
Tanatchaya (Tanya) Chanphanitpornkit, a double bassist from Trat, Thailand, is a conductor focused on inspiring and educating young musicians. As a double bassist, she has performed at Carnegie Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Kodak Hall, and under the batons of Dr. Sandra Dackow, Jeffrey Grogan, Dr. Mark Scatterday, and Ankush Bahl. Ms. Chanphanitpornkit received her education from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied the double bass with James VanDemark. At Eastman, she served as the President of the Eastman Students’ Association. Her contributions to the community earned her the Susan B. Anthony Women’s Leadership Award and Linda Muise Student Life Award for outstanding dedication, enthusiasm, and collaboration to promote and maintain a strong quality of life for all. Ms. Chanphanitpornkit continued her education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where the emphasis of her Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees was on social justice through orchestral pedagogy and her pedagogy was highlighted in an exhibit for the Smith Learning Theater. Currently, she is continuing her studies as a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, where her research interests include first-generation college students at music conservatories. Ms. Chanphanitpornkit currently holds positions teaching orchestra at the Nyack public schools and Manhattan School of Music Precollege. Her current faculty positions in higher education include Columbia University, William Paterson University, and The College of New Jersey. As she continues her journey in music education alongside her students, she will always base her decisions and teachings on the belief that the symphony is for everyone.
ABOUT THE ORCHESTRA SOLOISTS
Augustin Hadelich is one of the great violinists of our time. Known for his phenomenal technique, insightful and persuasive interpretations and ravishing tone, he tours extensively around the world. He has performed with all the major American orchestras as well as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouworkest, Orchestre National de France, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, and many others. Mr. Hadelich is the winner of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental – Solo for his recording of Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto, L’Arbre des songes, with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot (Seattle Symphony MEDIA). A Warner Classics Artist, his most recent release is Recuerdos, a Spain-themed album featuring works by Sarasate, Tarrega, Prokofiev and Britten with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln and Cristian Măcelaru. Writing about his Grammy-nominated 2021 release of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany’s most prestigious newspapers, boldly stated: “Augustin Hadelich is one of the most exciting violinists in the world. This album is a total success.” Other albums for Warner Classics include Paganini’s 24 Caprices (2018); the Brahms and Ligeti violin concertos with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under Miguel Harth-Bedoya (2019); and the Grammy-nominated Bohemian Tales, which includes the Dvořák Violin Concerto with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks conducted by Jakub Hrůša (2020). Mr. Hadelich, now an American and German citizen, was born in Italy, to German parents. He studied with Joel Smirnoff at New York’s Juilliard School. He has made a significant career leap in 2006 when he won the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis. Other distinctions include an Avery Fisher Career Grant (2009); a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in the UK (2011); an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter in the UK (2017); and being voted “Instrumentalist of the Year” by the influential magazine Musical America (2018). Mr. Hadelich is on the violin faculty of the Yale School of Music at Yale University. He plays violin from 1744 by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, known as Leduc, ex Szeryng, on loan from the Tarisio Trust.
Praised as “a superb pianist” and “a thoughtful, sensitive performer” who “balanced lyrical warmth and crisp clarity” (Tommasini – The New York Times), Chinese pianist Zhu Wang was awarded First Prize at 2020 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Mr. Wang had appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, 92nd Street Y, Shanghai Concert Hall, Davies Hall in San Francisco, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Mr. Wang was a Bravo Vail! Piano Fellow during the summer of 2022. In the 2023-2024 season, Zhu will appear in recitals and chamber music series at Southbank Center in London, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Caramoor in New York, Kravis Center in Floria, and appearing as soloist with New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall, Kansas City, Portland, Memphis, Fort Collins, and Spokane Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Wang graduated from Curtis Institute of Music this spring as a recipient of the Mehlin Prize. He will start pursuing Master of Music degree this fall at The Juilliard School. Mr. Wang feels very fortunate to be working with Mr. Robert McDonald and Mr. Emanuel Ax. As a performer with remarkable depth of sensitivity and poise, Mr. Wang aims to bring the utter joy in music, and explore the meaning and profundity behind every note he plays.
Bulgarian-American violinist Bella Hristova has distinguished herself on the world stage as a performing artist with a remarkably diverse repertoire and bold approach to programming. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, she has won numerous awards including First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, First Prize in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, and is a Laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. In addition to her many appearances with orchestras, Ms. Hristova performs frequently with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has held residencies at top conservatory and summer music festival programs as a recitalist. She has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Boston’s Isabella Gardner Museum. A champion of music by living composers, Ms. Hristova recently commissioned and premiered Japanese-Zimbabwean composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama’s Miasma for unaccompanied violin. She also commissioned the iconic American composer Joan Tower to write “Second String Force” which she premiered and frequently performs in recital appearances. In 2015, Ms. Hristova was the featured soloist for
a consortium of eight major orchestras for a new concerto commission written for her by her husband, acclaimed composer David Serkin Ludwig. Ms. Hristova began violin studies at the age of six in her native Bulgaria. After gaining accolades following master classes in Salzburg with Ruggiero Ricci, she studied with Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute of Music and received her Artist Diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University. Ms. Hristova plays a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin, once owned by the violinist Louis Krasner.
ABOUT THE JAZZ SOLOISTS
Grammy Award-winning trumpeter composer Michael Rodriguez was inspired to pursue music as a career by his father, drummer Roberto Rodriguez. Mr. Rodriguez initially studied at the University of Miami in Florida, where he grew up, but transferred to The New School in New York City where he received his B.A. Mr. Rodriguez has performed and toured with Clark Terry, Bobby Watson, Quincy Jones, Joe Lovano, Toshiko Akiyoshi Orchestra, Pop Icon Jessica Simpson, Chico O’Farill Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis and the JALC, Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and is a member of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra. In 2019, Mr. Rodriguez Joined Chick Corea’s Spanish Heart Band and won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. Mr. Rodriguez and his brother, pianist/composer Robert Rodriguez, have recorded four albums together and their most recent album Impromptu was nominated for a 2015 Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album. Mr. Rodriguez is currently on the faculty at NYU and San Francisco Conservatory of Music as an adjunct Professor of Trumpet and travels the globe as a clinician. In March 2013, he released his debut solo recording under The CrissCross Label entitled Reverence. His new recording is entitled Pathways under the label Rodbrosmusis, which is co-owned by both him and his brother.
A world-class soloist, accomplished composer and formidable bandleader, saxophonist Chris Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. A potent improvisor and the youngest musician ever to win Denmark’s Jazzpar Prize, Mr. Potter’s impressive discography includes 15 albums as a leader and sideman appearances on over 100 albums. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for his solo work on In Vogue, a track from Joanne Brackeen’s 1999 album Pink Elephant Magic, and was prominently featured on Steely Dan’s Grammy-winning album from 2000, Two Against Nature. He has performed or recorded with many of the leading names in jazz, such as Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, John Scofield, the Mingus Big Band, Jim Hall, Paul Motian, Dave Douglas, Ray Brown and many others. Born in Chicago in 1971, Mr. Potter’s family moved to Columbia, South Carolina when he was 3. There he started playing guitar and piano before taking up the alto saxophone at age 10, playing his first gig at 13. When piano legend Marian McPartland first heard Chris at 15 years old, she told his father that Mr. Potter was ready for the road with a unit such as Woody Herman’s band, but finishing school was a priority. At age 18, Mr. Potter moved to New York to study at the New School and Manhattan School of Music. As an 18-year-old prodigy with bebop icon Red Rodney (who himself had played as a young man alongside the legendary Charlie Parker), Mr. Potter has steered a steady course of growth as an instrumentalist and composer-arranger. Looking back over his 20 years since arriving in New York, Mr. Potter says, “I’ve had the chance to learn a lot from all the leaders that I’ve worked with. Each gave me another perspective on how to organize a band and make a statement. It’s taught me that any approach can work, as long as you have a strong vision of what you want to do.” Now a respected veteran (as well as a new father), Mr. Potter continues to work as a bandleader and featured sideman.
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