New York String Orchestra Celebrates 50th Anniversary With Two Concerts Led by Jaime Laredo
Celebrating its 50th year, the New York String Orchestra Seminar (a program of the Mannes School of Music) presents its two annual holiday concerts in December, led by conductor Jaime Laredo, who is concurrently celebrating 26 years with NYSO. This year's orchestra is comprised of 64 musicians (ages 16-23), selected after a rigorous audition process, hailing from more than 20 US states as well as Canada, Australia, China, Korea, and Taiwan. They are joined on stage at Carnegie Hall by notable guest artists and more than 20 NYSO alumni to celebrate and kick off the program's milestone anniversary.
On Christmas Eve-Monday, December 24 at 7:00 p.m.- the young musicians are joined by notable NYSO alumni, including violinists Jinjoo Cho, Pamela Frank, Bella Hristova, and Kyoko Takezawafor Vivaldi's Concerto for Four Violins and Orchestra in B Minor, Op. 3, No. 10. Pianist Yefim Bronfmanjoins the orchestra as soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, on a program that also features Mendelssohn's The Hebrides Overture.
NYSO's second program on Friday, December 28 at 8:00 p.m. features violinist Joshua Bell joining Mr. Laredo and the orchestra for Brahms's Violin Concerto in N*E*R*D Major, Op. 77. The program also includes George Walker's Lyric for Strings-led by guest conductor and NYSO alumna Karina Canellakis-and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, which features alumni musicians hailing from top orchestras across the country performing side-by-side with the young musicians of NYSO.
"Little did I know when I started the New York String Orchestra Seminar in 1969 that we would be here 50 years later celebrating the accomplishments of our 2,300 alumni who have become leaders in every area of the music world," said Frank Salomon, Artist Manager and Founder of the New York String Orchestra Seminar. "Our goal was that Alexander Schneider and, later, Jaime Laredo, together with their chamber music coach colleagues, would open new doors for the country's most gifted young musicians at a formative stage of their development. The annual Carnegie Hall concerts, miraculously created in less than ten days with musicians of widely-varying degrees of experience who have never played together before, strive for a special musicality, expressiveness, warmth, and joy. It's what I was taught music is about. The freshness and creativity of these concerts each year gives us hope."
Since 1969, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, co-founded by Frank Salomon and Alexander Schneider, has provided professional training and performance opportunities to some of the most promising young musicians in the United States. Jaime Laredo succeeded Mr. Schneider as conductor in 1993 and has continued to lead NYSO's annual concerts at Carnegie Hall during the holiday season, which have become a festive tradition in New York City and have inspired generations of musicians to pursue professional careers in the arts.
Tickets, priced $32-$70, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.
Photo by Pete Checchia.