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YMF Debut Orchestra to Present Beethoven/Kanye West Pairing YEETHOVEN

The Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) Debut Orchestra, under the direction of Yuga Cohler, presents YEETHOVEN, the premiere concert of an innovative programming concept entitled The Great Music Series. Mr. Cohler created the Series in order to "demonstrate the ways in which modern popular music can be fundamentally similar to classical music by highlighting the musical and cultural elements characteristic of all great music." For this, its first installment, the Series will consider the music of Kanye West and Ludwig van Beethoven.

The program features selections from Kanye West's Yeezus album, arranged for orchestra by award-winning composer Stephen Feigenbaum. Excerpts from Yeezus will be paired with works by Beethoven, including the Egmont Overture, Symphony No. 5 (op. 67), and String Quartet No. 14 (op. 131). Moderated by Cohler and Feigenbaum, the performance will sonically illustrate the similarities between maestros West and Beethoven. As the concert progresses, music by the two composers be increasingly integrated, ultimately blurring the distinctions between them.

Yuga Cohler was appointed Music Director of the YMF Debut Orchestra in 2015. Selected through a process of highly-competitive national auditions, Mr. Cohler joins a prestigious group of prior YMF Music Directors that includes Michael Tilson Thomas, André Previn and Elmer Bernstein. Mr. Cohler is the youngest graduate of the Juilliard School's course in orchestral conducting and a recipient of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship. He studied with New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert and served as the Juilliard Orchestra's assistant conductor under Itzhak Perlman. He continues to enjoy a close relationship with the group, having made his professional debut with them in 2013. A skilled interpreter of modern music, Cohler was selected by composer John Adams to lead a program of modern American orchestral music at Carnegie Hall, where the New York Times lauded his "strong rendition" of Elliott Carter's Double Concerto. He also serves as a Director of the Asia / America New Music Initiative, with whom he was a featured performer at the 2015 Beijing Modern Music Festival.

Stephen Feigenbaum's classical music has been performed and recorded by the Cincinnati Pops, Albany Symphony, Boston Children's Chorus, contemporary music pianist Lisa Moore, the string quartet Ethel, and many others. Stephen has won two ASCAP Young Composer Awards and a 2013 Charles Ives award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His original folk-rock musical "Independents" was named a New York Times Critic's Pick and one of The Huffington Post's 10 best plays of 2012. From 2008-2013 Stephen staged several theatrical centered around live chamber music, combining elements of Fantasia and Cirque du Soleil for audiences in New Haven and at New York's Le Poisson Rouge. Most recently, Stephen has been focused on creating pop music under the name Julius. Members of his production team have worked with top artists such as Kanye West, Katy Perry and Sia.

The Young Musicians Foundation was founded in 1955 by pianist Sylvia Kunin to provide high level training for young, pre-professional musicians to help them prepare for the demands of elite professional orchestras and international organizations. To facilitate greater access to quality musical education at the community level, YMF created the Teaching Artists Program (TAP). TAP currently serves over 1,400 students through on-site programming at over 14 elementary and middle schools in the Los Angeles area. At whatever entry point that musicians ages 4 - 25 come to YMF, they receive mentoring and guidance to build their interest and confidence in studying and performing classical music at all levels.


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