Cellist Ruslan Biryukov To Appear as Soloist with Cal State LA Symphony Orchestra and Olympia Youth Orchestra, 1/11

Ruslan Biryukov, renowned cellist, mentor and pedagogue will appear as the Cello Soloist in the World Premiere Performance of composer Masatoshi Mitsumoto's 2nd Cello Concerto, Jan. 11, which will be the centerpiece of a program presented by the Cal State LA Department of Music, Theatre and Dance and the Olympia Philharmonic Society in a concert entitled, "FROM BEETHOVEN TO MITSUMOTO," featuring the CalStateLA Symphony Orchestra and Olympia Youth Orchestra performing together in concert under the baton of Fung Ho, Music Director and Conductor.

The concert will be presented on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, 320 South Mission Drive, San Gabriel, CA 91776. This concert is made possible in part by a grant from the Hennings-Fischer Foundation.

The concert will preceded by a pre-concert discussion at 2:00 p.m. led by Alan Chapman, an On-Air Broadcaster from the Classical Music Radio Station, KUSC 91.5 FM. The pre-concert discussion is presented as part of the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse Community Engagement Program.

The program will also feature Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka's (1804-1857) Overture to the opera Ruslan and Lyudmila and Ludwig von Beethoven's (1770-1827) Symphony No. 1 in C Major.

Maesto Fung Ho, Music Director and Conductor for CalStateLA Symphony and Olympia Youth Orchestra said, "We are honored to be able to present the World Premiere Masatoshi Mitsumoto's 2nd Cello Concert, which will feature soloist Ruslan Biryukov, a renowned cellist, as well as very successful pedagogue who has mentored and taught cello students who have gone to be winners in the prestigious 8th International Youth Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, American Protégé International Competition in New York, the American Fine Arts International Festival and the Los Angeles Violoncello Society Scholarship auditions, to name a few. His students have performed on major concert stages worldwide including Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall and Big Hall of Moscow Conservatory. His appearance with our orchestra will be a wonderful artistic and learning experience for all the students involved. Mr. Mitsumoto will be flying in from his home in Rockville, MD to in attendance at the performance."

Admission to the concert is FREE of charge, but reservations are highly encouraged and recommended. Seating is on a First-Come, First-Served basis. Reservations can be made online at: http://www.missionplayhouse.org/event/from-beethoven-to-mitsumoto-free-community-concert. Ample Free Parking is provided at the venue. To learn more about Ruslan Biryukov, please visit www.celloart.com. To learn more about the Olympia Youth Orchestra, please visit http://www.olympiaphil.org. For further information and questions about this concert, please call Jonathan Salisbury at 626-308-2865, ext. 221. Network with us at www.facebook.com/RuslanBiryukov, on Twitter @RuslanBiryukov, at www.facebookcom/SanGabrielPlayhouse and on Twitter @SGMPevents, #MissionPlayhouse.

About The Artists:
Ruslan Biryukov (Cello Soloist for Masatoshi Mitsomoto's 2nd Cello Concerto) is the Founder of the Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra and Artistic Director and Producer of the Positive Motions Concert Series and Los Angeles Cello Quartet, as well as Professional Cellist and Educator. Biryukov is the only cellist ever invited to perform for 10 consecutive years solo recitals at the Sundays Live Concert Series in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the longest running live radio broadcasted concert series in the United States on KUSC 91.5 FM.

Biryukov was also the only Russian cellist invited to solo with an orchestra during the inaugural season of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Orange County. Recent appearances in the Los Angeles area include appearances with the Redlands Bowl Symphony in Dvo?ák's Cello Concerto, with the Marina Del Rey Symphony (Summer Series), with the Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra in the World Premiere of Bestemming: Concerto for Cello, Orchestra and Narration written by composer Sharon Farber and with the San Bernardino Symphony. He has performed with world-renowned violinist Midori at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, with cellist Kirill Rodin at the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, and with members of the Ysaye Quartet.

Biryukov has been a master teacher in music festivals in Europe and Russia. He has held teaching positions at the Ippolitov-Ivanov State Institute of Music in Moscow, Russia; the Music Academy in Lovran, Croatia; and the California Institute of Music in the United States. His creative artistic ideas are based upon the traditions he learned from esteemed artists Kirill Rodin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniil Shafran, Natalia Gutman, Janos Starker, Steven Isserlis, and the late Eleonore Schoenfeld (USC Thornton School of Music, Piatigorsky Chair).

Biryukov is a prominent pedagogue. Within the last decade of his teaching he has maintained leading positions within the Los Angeles music educational arena. Many of his students have become successful professional cellists and have been accepted by major universities and music conservatories with full scholarships, including USC, UCLA, CSUF and San Francisco Conservatory. He has given Cello Master Classes at major universities in the United States, including UCLA, CalState Fullerton, Wichita University and Boulder University in Colorado, as well as at international music festivals in Europe and Russia, attracting many young cellists to study with him from around the world. Within the last decade Biryukov's cello students have won over 200 prizes at national and international competitions around the world, including the 8th International Youth Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (Nathan Le, 3rd Prize), American Protégé International Competition in New York (Meagan Wu and Stephen Yang, 1st Prizes), American Fine Arts International Festival (Zoe Lavoie-Gagne, Stephen Yang, 1st Prizes).

Biryukov's students have performed on major concert stages globally, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Copley Hall in San Diego and Big Hall of Moscow Conservatory. Locally his students have performed with major orchestras, including Chinese artist, Margaret Zhou (San Diego Symphony and La Jolla Symphony Orchestra); Vietnamese artist, Nathan Le (Culver City Symphony) and Chinese artist Andrea Yu (Torrance Symphony).

Ruslan Biryukov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and received his formal music education at the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory in Russia (Master of Music, M.A.), and the USC Thornton School of Music in United States (Artist Diploma and Graduate Certificate). He first earned international recognition by winning major awards in Azerbaijan and through the inclusion of his name in the Golden Book of Russia's international program "New Names." Biryukov has gone on to win numerous other awards worldwide, including the Grand Prize at the 17th Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition.

Biryukov has resided in Los Angeles since 2002. He was awarded permanent residency from the U.S. government as an "Artist with Extraordinary Ability." The title signifies that he has "sustained national or international acclaim and his achievements have been recognized" in his field, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Biryukov is also the only professional musician in the world granted a U.S. Commercial Pilot license and is a Certified Flight Instructor single/multi-engine instrument license (SEL, MEL, CFII, MEI). To learn more about Ruslan Biryukov please visit www.celloart.com or www.glendalephilarmonic.com.

Composer Masatoshi Mitsumoto started his career as a Cellist. He graduated from the National University of Fine Arts, Tokyo, and studied at the Paris Conservatory with Paul Tortelier and at the University of Southern California with Gregor Piatigorsky. He was a freelance cellist in the Los Angeles area during the 1980's and 90's as a studio musician and on concert stages, as well as a faculty member at California State University, Los Angeles and Whittier College. Further, as Music Director, Mitsumoto led the Laguna Beach Summer Music Festival and Concordia Orchestra in Los Angeles. After moving, with his wife, to Maryland in 2002, he has been concentrating on composing and conducting. In 2005, Mitsumoto was Music Director of the Toru Takemitsu tribute concert at the Library of Congress. In addition, The Washington Musica Viva has performed his compositions on many occasions over the years, including Songs of Innocence and Experience for soprano and piano, Clarinet Sonatina, and Divertimento for flute, viola and piano. His Cello concerto No. 1 was premiered by the Olympia Youth Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Fung Ho, with cellist Amy Leung in 2007. Other compositions include Violin Sonatina, Violin Concertino, Elegy for clarinet and piano, Reverie for harp, a Japanese song (Mother) and a Korean song (Ahbuhji). In 2013, Mitsumoto debuted his new International Chamber Orchestra of Washington.

The Olympic Philharmonic Society, a California 501c3 non-profit organization, was established in 1988 by professional musicians in the Greater Los Angeles area. The goal is to promote musical talents in the form of classical orchestral, chamber and solo concerts. Since its inception, many world class musicians have appeared in concerts of the Olympia Philharmonic and/or Youth Orchestras, including guest conductors Daniel Hege, Masatoshi Mitsumoto, Lucas Richman, Henry Shek and Wing-Sie Yip; cellists Amy Leung and Cecilia Tsan; guitarist Pepe Romero; pianists Jean Chen, Rueibin Chen and Wendy Fong-Chen; violist Li-Kuo Chang; violinists Nai-Yuan Hu, Chuanyun Li, Walter Schwede and Jay Zhong, among many others. World Premiere performances were also given to works of well known composers such as Hong Diep, Daniel Kessner and Masatoshi Mitsumoto.

In 1990, The Olympia Chamber Strings was also invited to a 10-day concert tour in Taiwan performing in the Cultural Centers of Cities of Tainan, Taichung and the National Music Hall in Taipei. Besides the regular Olympia Philharmonic Orchestra concerts, many chamber music concerts were also presented to the communities of Los Angeles.

The Olympia Youth Orchestra, founded in 2000 for the benefit of young musicians in the Los Angeles area by the Olympia Philharmonic Society, is under the direction of Fung Ho who serves as Music Director & Conductor. Mr. Ho is on the faculty of Cal State University, Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.

Fung Ho (Conductor and Music Director, CalStateLA Symphony Orchestra and Olympia Youth Orchestra) served as Concertmaster for the West L.A. Symphony Orchestra from 1992-2001 and was Concertmaster for the Burbank Chamber Orchestra from 1992-97. He now serves as the Music Director & Conductor of the Olympia Philharmonic Orchestra and the Olympia Youth Orchestra in the Greater Los Angeles area. He moved to Los Angeles in 1984 from New York City where he served as Concertmaster for both the Brooklyn Chamber and Queens Philharmonic Orchestras. He has also given solo and chamber music recitals in New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Minnesota.

Besides keeping a busy schedule performing, Ho also maintains a studio of young and talented students. Fung Ho was President of the Los Angeles Section of the American String Teachers Association and also served as President of the West San Gabriel Valley Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC). Ho holds a Masters Degree of Music in Violin Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City where he studied with the late Carroll Glenn after receiving degrees from St. John's University in Minnesota, and Long Island University in New York. Later on, in Los Angeles, he studied pedagogy and repertoire with the late Noumi Fischer.

Currently, Fung Ho is on the faculty of Cal State Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) where he serves as the Conductor for the String Orchestra and Chamber Music Coach. He has also served on the faculty of the International Institute for Young Musicians (IIYM) during the summer for eight years. In the summer of 2001, he was invited by the Music Office of the Hong Kong Government to be the guest conductor at the Hong Kong Youth Music Camp and a concert with the Hong Kong Youth String Orchestra, which was presented at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on July 29, 2001. Ho has also given Master Classes in violin in the U.S. as well as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. any of his prize-winning students have gone on to further their musical studies in music conservatories all over the country.

Alan Chapman (Pre-Concert Speaker) is a composer/lyricist, pianist, radio host (Classical KUSC - 91.5 FM) and educator. He was a longtime member of the music faculty at Occidental College and is currently a member of the music theory faculty of the Colburn Conservatory. Well known as a pre-concert lecturer, he has been a regular speaker on the L.A. Philharmonic's "Upbeat Live" series since its inception in 1984. He also works closely with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Pacific Symphony and has been heard globally as programmer and host of the in-flight classical channels on United and Delta Airlines. Dr. Chapman's songs have been performed and recorded by many artists around the world and have been honored by ASCAP, the Johnny Mercer Foundation and the Manhattan Association of Cabarets. He is much in demand as a creator of original musical material for special events. His children's opera Les Moose: The Operatic Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle was commissioned by Los Angeles Opera. He frequently appears with his wife, soprano Karen Benjamin, in evenings featuring his original songs as well as classics of the Great American Songbook.

About The San Gabriel Mission Playhouse:
Constructed in 1927 to house John Steven McGroarty's epic Mission Play, charting the establishment of the California Missions, the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse is a beautiful Spanish colonial style building steeped in history and home to thousands of music, theater and dance performances.

Located in the historic Mission District of San Gabriel, the Playhouse provides a home for many local and international performing arts groups who produce and present a huge range of cultural experiences from Mariachi to Hip-Hop, from Shakespeare to Broadway and Classical Ballet to Folk Dance; truly A World of Arts and Culture.

The San Gabriel Mission Playhouse promotes the development of an artistic program that celebrates the vibrancy of our diverse community by encouraging access to artists, producers and audiences and is happy to embrace its role as a focal point for the arts, for the people of the City of San Gabriel and far beyond. To learn more, please visit www.missionplayhouse.org.

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