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Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Will Perform Stravinsky And Berlioz

Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Will Perform Stravinsky And Berlioz

On Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 8:00pm, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra performs a concert led by conductor Benjamin Zander at Boston Symphony Hall. The program features two storytelling works - Stravinsky's ballet Petrushka and Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique. Both tell fantastic stories with the most lavish orchestration.

Stravinsky composed the music to the ballet, Petrushka, in 1910 and 1911. He later revised it in 1946. The ballet premiered on June 13, 1911 in Paris performed by the Ballets Russes. Petrushka is a tragic drama that takes place in 1830 during the Shrovetide Fair in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It shows the love interests and jealousies of three puppets: Petrushka, the Ballerina, and the Moor. For BPYO's performance of Petrushka, super-titles will be projected above the stage, keeping the audience abreast of every flirtation and clash between the characters.

Hector Berlioz wrote Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un artiste en cinq parties (translating to Fantastical Symphony: An Episode in the Life of an Artist, in Five Parts) in 1830. It was first performed on December 5, 1830 at the Paris Conservatory and is widely considered to have revolutionized composers' understanding of what was possible in writing for a symphony orchestra.

Program Information

Stravinsky and Berlioz
Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 8:00pm
Boston Symphony Hall | 301 Massachusetts Avenue | Boston, MA
Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Benjamin Zander, conductor


Stravinsky - Petrushka
Berlioz - Symphonie fantastique

Ticket Information

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

About the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Designated "Best Classical Music Ensemble" by Boston Magazine in 2019, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra's motto is "Shaping Future Leaders through Music." Conducted by Benjamin Zander since its founding in 2012, the orchestra has garnered critical acclaim for its superb and memorable performances in Boston, at Carnegie Hall, and on six international tours. "The BPYO is way more than just a youth orchestra: it's a world-class ensemble that happens to be made up (mostly) of teenagers." - ArtsFuse

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.'

In the inaugural 2012-13 season, the BPYO 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 a 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 returned to New York for two concerts in Carnegie Hall, followed by a tour of Spain. In 2017, the orchestra traveled to South America with performances and outreach activities in Peru, Uruguay, and Argentina. In 2018, the orchestra performed in Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and the Netherlands, including performances in the Prague Rudolfinum, Budapest National Concert Hall, Vienna Musikverein, and Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In 2019, the orchestra performed eight concerts and engaged with local young musicians throughout Brazil, including the cities of Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Ribeirao Preto, Campinas, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, and Curitiba. 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 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 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.

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. Lloyd Schwartz, formerly of the Boston Phoenix, wrote, "I wish more professional orchestras played as thrillingly as this."

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.

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