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BPYO Presents Britten And Holst, Plus Schwanter's New Morning For The World, Narrated By Deval Patrick

BPYO Presents Britten And Holst, Plus Schwanter's New Morning For The World, Narrated By Deval Patrick

The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO), led by conductor Benjamin Zander, performs three works showcasing the mastery of the colors and virtuosity of a modern large orchestra on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at Symphony Hall.

The centerpiece of the program is Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Joseph Schwantner's New Morning for the World, a plea for racial equality built around spoken texts by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King's inspired words pointed towards an uplifting way forward through difficult times when they were first heard during the 1960s, and they have just as much relevance during present day. The piece, which has never before been performed by a youth orchestra, will be narrated by the Honorable Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts.

The BPYO opens the program with Benjamin Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, which democratically gives a prominent solo-a variation on a theme by Henry Purcell-to each of the principal players of the orchestra. Ever since Britten composed it in 1945, it has been a favorite work for explaining to children what the different instruments are, and it has been a favorite with audiences for its beauty, variety, and thrilling finale. Maestro Zander studied with Benjamin Britten in London beginning at only 9 years old, during which Britten had Zander study harmony with Imogen Holst, daughter of Gustav Holst.

The second half of the program features Gustav Holst's ethereal The Planets. The piece uses the astrological associations of the planets as a pretext for the work, resulting in a piece that has a huge range of sounds and showcases the spectrum of orchestral timbres and combinations. Audiences can revel in the sounds of the full orchestra alongside Boston Symphony Hall's Aeolian-Skinner organ, Opus 1134. The orchestra will be joined by the Radcliffe Choral Society for the last movement of the piece.

On Friday, February 22, 2018, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra releases its next album Mahler 9 - Live From Boston Symphony Hall,led by conductor Benjamin Zander, on Brattle Media.

Program Information
Britten, Schwanter, and Holst
Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 3:00pm
Symphony Hall | 301 Massachusetts Avenue | Boston, MA 02115
Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Benjamin Zander, Conductor

Britten: The Young People's Guide to the Orchestra
Schwanter: New Morning for the World
The Honorable Deval Patrick, Narrator
Holst: The Planets
Radcliffe Choral Society

Ticket Information
Tickets are available by visiting or by calling 617-236-0999.

About the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra was formed in 2012 under the auspices of the Boston Philharmonic. Conducted by Benjamin Zander, the BPYO's motto is "Shaping Future Leaders through Music." The 120 enthusiastic and talented young musicians of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra range in age from 12 to 21. The wide range of ages affords younger members of the orchestra the chance to collaborate with older students who have already begun their professional careers. In turn, collegiate members of the group are offered the opportunity to nurture and coach the future generations.

BPYO offers a unique opportunity for young instrumentalists who want to study great orchestral repertoire in a musically dynamic and intellectually challenging community. BPYO members are asked not only to master their parts and to gain a deep understanding of the musical score (including through regular sectional rehearsals led by top professionals from the Boston musical community), but also to engage in dialogue with Mr. Zander, through weekly "white sheets," where they are invited to share their thoughts on all aspects of the music and the rehearsal process. These conversations often lead to stimulating discussions on personal leadership and often initiate ongoing individual conversations with Mr. Zander through email, phone calls, and conversations at rehearsal, creating a unique mentoring relationship between Mr. Zander and each musician.

In the inaugural 2012-13 season, the BPYO performed two concerts to sold out audiences in Boston's Symphony Hall and undertook a wildly successful five-city tour of the Netherlands, culminating in a performance of Mahler's Second Symphony in Amsterdam's acclaimed Concertgebouw. Six months later, in December 2013, BPYO performed at Carnegie Hall, receiving high praise in The New York Times for their "brilliantly played, fervently felt account." In 2015, the group undertook an 18-day European tour with concerts in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland, including performances in the Prague Rudolfinum, the Philharmonie of Berlin, and the KKL of Luzern. In 2016, BPYO performed six concerts in Spain. In 2017, the orchestra traveled to South America with performances and outreach activities in Peru, Uruguay, and Argentina. In 2018, the orchestra performed 8 concerts in Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and the Netherlands, including performances in the Prague Rudolfinum, Budapest National Concert Hall, Vienna Musikverein, and Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Each international engagement has been met with top critical approval and formed life-long bonds between the orchestra and the musical cultures of the various host countries.

BPYO has released three highly acclaimed commercial recordings: Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, recorded live at Carnegie Hall in 2013; and Mahler Symphonies No. 6 and No. 9, both recorded live at Boston Symphony Hall in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The many musical and personal growth opportunities offered by the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra cultivate exceptionally skilled musicians who become respected and acclaimed leaders in music and in their communities.

About Benjamin Zander
For the past 50 years, Benjamin Zander has occupied a unique place as a master teacher, deeply insightful and probing interpreter, and as a profound source of inspiration for audiences, students, professional musicians, corporate leaders, politicians and more. He has persistently engaged most well-informed musical and public intellectuals in a quest for insight and understanding into the western musical canon and the underlying religious social and political issues that inspired its creation.

Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic in 1978 and has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras around the world. His performances have inspired thousands of musicians, renewed their sense of idealism and shed fresh, insightful and sometimes provocative light on the interpretation of the central symphonic repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries. Critics and the public have been united in their praise of Zander's interpretations of the central repertory.

For 25 years, Zander has enjoyed a unique relationship with the Philharmonia Orchestra, recording a series of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies. High Fidelity named the recording of Mahler's 6th as 'the best classical recording' of 2002; the 3rd was awarded 'Critic's Choice' by the German Record Critics'; The Mahler 9th, Mahler 2nd, and Bruckner 5th recordings were nominated for Grammy Awards.

In 2012, Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO), which draws young musicians from the entire northeastern US to its weekly rehearsals and high-profile performances in Boston. This tuition-free orchestra tours regularly, and has performed in Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, and the Berlin Philharmonic among others. In the summer of 2017 the BPYO will tour South America and, in 2018, Europe.

From 1965-2012, Zander was on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC), where he taught Musical Interpretation, and conducted the Youth Philharmonic and Conservatory orchestras. He was the founding Artistic Director of the NEC's joint program with The Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts. Zander led the NEC Youth Philharmonic on fifteen international tours and made several documentaries for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Zander enjoys an international career as a leadership speaker, with several keynote speeches at the World Economic Forum in Davos and at TED. The best-selling book, The Art of Possibility, co-authored with leading psychotherapist Rosamund Zander, has been translated into eighteen languages.

Image by Paul Marotta

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