Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra's Season Finale to Feature the 2013-14 Concerto Competition Winners, 5/11

Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra's Season Finale to Feature the 2013-14 Concerto Competition Winners, 5/11

Proudly celebrating the dedication, artistry and extraordinary talent of its young musicians, Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (PSYO) presents the 2013-14 Concerto Competition winners in its season finale concert this Mother's Day! Under the guidance of Music Director Alejandro Gutiérrez, PSYO is being quickly recognized as one of the most outstanding youth orchestras in the country. The premier training ensemble in Orange County, PSYO draws musicians of the highest caliber from across Southern California-five of whom have been chosen to perform as soloists in this concert. Cellist Matthew Gustafson from Long Beach, tuba player David Freeman from Corona, violinist Sydney Mariano from Irvine and flutists Ramakrishnan Kumaran from Hemet and Gloria Liu from Irvine are highlighted in concertos by Haydn, Vaughan Williams and Lalo, as well as Borne's "Carmen Fantasy." To conclude, the Youth Orchestra performs Tchaikovsky's stunning Fifth Symphony.

"There is usually only one winner of the Concerto Competition, but the level of musical ability of all the participants was unparalleled this year, and five students demonstrated their ability to perform as a soloist with Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra," says Maestro Gutiérrez.

"PSYO Season Finale" takes place on Sunday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $12 with general admission seating. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

"The audience can expect amazing performances from these young artists and a great variety of wonderful music," continues Gutiérrez. "Matthew Gustafson performs the first movement of Haydn's Cello Concerto in D Major; David Freeman offers the first movement of the Tuba Concerto by Vaughan Williams; Sydney Mariano masters the first movement of Lalo's 'Symphonie espagnole'; and Ramakrishnan Kumaran and Gloria Liu deliver a special version of 'The Fantasia Brillante for Flute and Orchestra on Airs of Carmen' by François Borne."

The concert opens with 17-year-old award-winning cellist Gustafson setting the foundation for the evening's entertainment with Franz Joseph Haydn's soothing "Concerto in D Major for Violoncello." Gustafson has received awards through the American String Teachers Association and Los Angeles Violoncello Society, and this season marks his third year serving as principal cellist of PSYO. He has participated in master classes with esteemed cellists, including Ron Leonard, Jonathan Karoly and Pacific Symphony musician Ian McKinnell. Composed in 1783, Haydn's Concerto plays with listener's expectations and is hailed for its brilliant display of ingenuity.

Next, 18-year-old Freeman takes center stage to perform Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Concerto in F Minor for Tuba and Orchestra." Composed in 1954 to celebrate the London Symphony Orchestra's jubilee, the concerto offers a hint of English folk music, sprightly rhythms and country-inspired melodies.

"I was first introduced to the Vaughan Williams tuba concerto when it was listed as an audition requirement for almost every college I was applying to," reflects Freeman. "I spent nearly a year trying to perfect it to win the auditions. I saw the concerto competition as a chance to share what's been a major part of my life for the past year."

Freeman has taken lessons and attended master classes with some of the world's best tuba players including Pacific Symphony musician Jim Self, brass legend Roger Bobo, the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Norm Pearson and San Francisco Symphony's Jeffrey Anderson. In March 2014, Freeman and his band mates performed at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City. Freeman returns to New York this fall to attend The Juilliard School.


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