The American Youth Symphony Launches 'The Alumni Project' Honoring Nigel Armstrong and Other Graduates, 4/13
The American Youth Symphony (AYS), led by Music Director Alexander Treger and noted for its innovative programming and inspiring performances, celebrates its legacy of training exceptional musicians over the past 49 years, with "The Alumni Project," honoring the orchestra's numerous illustrious "graduates" on Sunday, April 13, 2014, 7 pm, at UCLA's Royce Hall. The concert, which concludes the season, features the orchestra's 106 current members and a host of alumni, including acclaimed former concertmaster Nigel Armstrong, finalist in the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition, performing Strauss's An Alpine Symphony, Op. 64, one of his largest operatic works, which is scored for 125 players and depicts the spectacular climb up an Alpine mountain from twilight to dusk. Treger also conducts Debussy's tone-poem An Afternoon of a Faun, Chausson's Poème, Op. 25, and Saint-Saëns's Introduction et rondo capriccioso, Op. 28.
Armstrong, hailed as "gifted" and "blazing" (Chicago Tribune), is a California native and recent graduate of The Colburn School Conservatory of Music. He trained with the American Youth Symphony from 2008 to 2011 while studying at the Colburn Conservatory and won Fourth Prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011. He continues his ascent to international fame sharing his many talents in tango, bluegrass and classical music performances around the world.
""It is an honor to have Nigel and so many other estemmed American Youth Symphony alumni join the orchestra for this special concert," says Treger. "It provides a great mentorship opportunity for our current players to have the opportunity to share their stands with these top professionals."
AYS has trained more than 2,300 musicians since it was founded, and many of its alumni hold principal positions with the world's top orchestras, the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, among them. Additionally, AYS's free concert series, which has drawn more than a quarter of a million people to the Royce Hall since its inception, provides vital music outreach to the community.
Reservations are recommended but not required for the American Youth Symphony's free concert at Royce Hall. Royce Hall is located on the campus of UCLA at 10745 Dickson Plaza in Westwood, CA, 90095. For more information, please call (310) 470-2332 or log on to www.AYSymphony.org.
Hailed as "an astonishing talent with exquisite technique," NIGEL ARMSTRONG was born in Sonoma, California, where he began playing the violin at age five. Armstrong made his debut in 2002 with the Baroque Sinfonia and has since performed with the Boston Pops and Norwegian Radio orchestras; the Reno and Burbank philharmonic orchestras; the Berkeley and Downey symphony orchestras; Bozeman Symphony, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Asociación de Profesores de la Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colón and the American Philharmonic of Sonoma County, with which he performed for two seasons. In 2010, he achieved silver medal wins in the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, held in Oslow, Norway, and the First International Violin Competition in Buenos Aires. In both competitions, he received additional prizes, including the Premio Tango and the Ole Bull and Nordheim awards in Oslo. In 2008, Armstrong received multiple prizes in the Corpus Christi International Competition, including the Howard Beebe String Award for Solo Bach Performance and the Jean Ten Have Award for Violin Performance. Following his years with the American Youth Symphony, Armstrong came into international fame as a finalist in the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Competition, receiving Fourth Prize and winning Best Performance of the Commissioned Work by John Corigliano with Stomp. In addition to serving as concertmaster with AYS from 2009 to 2011, Armstrong served as co-concertmaster at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, from which he graduated from in 2011. Currently, he studies with Arnold Steinhardt and Shmuel Ashkenasi in the Diploma program at the Curtis Institute of Music. Armstrong debuted with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in April 2013 and soloed with the Pacific Symphony in November 2012.