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New York Youth Symphony to Honor Leonard Slatkin & Marica Vilcek at 54th Annual Benefit

The New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) has announced that it will honor Leonard Slatkin with the Theodore L. Kesselman Award for Arts Education and Marica Vilcek with the Johanna and Leslie Garfield Award for Arts Philanthropy at its 54th Annual Benefit on Monday, October 24th at 6:30pm at the Metropolitan Club.

The event will also celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Chamber Music Program with special performances by Glenn Dicterow, Karen Dreyfus, Daniel Phillips, Jeffrey Siegel, Nicholas Tzavaras, and Frederick Zlotkin.

The Benefit is the organization's largest and most important fundraising event of the year. Funds raised support the NYYS's innovative tuition-free educational programs, which educate and inspire young musicians through exceptional training and performance opportunities. More than 6,000 students have participated in the orchestra, jazz, chamber music, composition, and conducting programs since the founding of the NYYS in 1963.

The Theodore L. Kesselman Award for Arts Education was established in 1995 to recognize significant dedication by an individual or institution making outstanding contributions in nurturing young people in the arts. The award is named in memory of Theodore L. Kesselman, who served as NYYS Board President from 1985-1994.

The Johanna and Leslie Garfield Award for Arts Philanthropy was established in 2015 to recognize individuals who have provided leading support to arts organizations in New York and beyond. The award is named for the Garfields, who hail from the NYYS founding family and both of whom continue to serve on its board, Leslie as its Chair.

Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). Mr. Slatkin's more than 100 recordings have garnered seven Grammy awards and 64 nominations. Music director of the New York Youth Symphony from 1966-1968, founder and former director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, and National Conducting Institute in Washington, DC, Mr. Slatkin remains a passionate music educator. He has conducted and taught at institutions such as The Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School, Aspen Music Festival & School, Jacobs School at Indiana University, National Orchestral Institute, Music Academy of the West, and New World Symphony. Mr. Slatkin has conducted virtually all of the leading orchestras in the world. As Music Director, he has held posts with the New Orleans, St. Louis, and National symphony orchestras, and he was Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of London's Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and Minnesota Orchestra.

Born in Bratislava, Slovakia, Marica Vilcek earned advanced degrees in art history from the Comenius University in Bratislava and Charles University in Prague. In 1965, Ms. Vilcek, and husband, Jan Vilcek, immigrated to the US where she began a 32-year tenure with the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the associate curator of the Accessions and Catalogue Department. Ms. Vilcek served as a consultant to the Commission for Art Recovery of the World Jewish Congress, the Jewish Museum in NYC, and the Jordan National Gallery in Amman. She is the Chair of the NYU Institute of Fine Arts Board of Trustees, and a board member of the New York Youth Symphony and the Foundation for a Civil Society. She also serves as an Honorary Trustee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Vilcek co-founded The Vilcek Foundation with her husband in 2000. The organization's dual focus on biomedical research and the arts is derived from the couple's respective careers and interests. Ms. Vilcek has played an integral role in the conceptualization and administration of its programs. She has also utilized her extensive knowledge of art history and collections management in the development of the Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection.

Program to include: J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048: Allegro, performed by Daniel Phillips, violin, Nicholas Tzavaras, cello, and NYYS students from the Chamber Music Program; Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, op. 25: Rondo alla Zingarese, performed by Glenn Dicterow, violin, Karen Dreyfus, viola, Frederick Zlotkin, cello, and Jeffrey Siegel, piano.

Tickets are available for cocktails & performance only at $200 each. Tickets for the entire evening start at $500. For further information or to reserve seats, go to gala-tickets or call (212) 581-5933.

The New York Youth Symphony, composed of orchestra, chamber, jazz, conducting, and composition programs-heads into the 2016/17 season having provided over 6,000 music students between ages 12 and 22 unparalleled opportunities to perform at world-class venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center and to study with world-renowned artists, all tuition-free. Beyond the instruction from accomplished musicians, students gain valuable life skills-commitment, discipline, focus, collaboration-and friendships that last a lifetime.

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