The New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) orchestra led by Music Director Joshua Gersen continues its 54th season with acclaimed pianist Orli Shaham joining the orchestra for Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. The orchestra will also present the world premiere of Mojave Music...from a certain perspective by First Music competition winner Ethan Braun. Sibelius's triumphant Symphony No. 2 will round out the program scheduled on Sunday, March 5, 2017, at Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman stage at 2pm.
Conductor Joshua Gersen began his tenure as Music Director of the NYYS in the 2012/2013 season. He is also assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. Previously he was the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Conducting Fellow for the New World Symphony, where he served as the assistant conductor to the symphony's Artistic Director, Michael Tilson Thomas. His awards include the 2011 Aspen Conducting and 2010 Robert J. Harth Conducting prizes from the Aspen Music Festival, and Career Assistance Awards from the George Solti Foundation in 2015 and 2016. Mr. Gersen served as the principal conductor of the Ojai Music Festival in 2013, and has conducted the Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and Jacksonville symphonies.
A consummate musician recognized for her grace and vitality, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today's most gifted pianists. Hailed by critics on four continents, Ms. Shaham is in demand for her prodigious skills and admired for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire. The New York Times called her a "brilliant pianist," The Chicago Tribune recently referred to her as "a first-rate Mozartean" in a performance with the Chicago Symphony, and London's Guardian said Ms. Shaham's playing at the Proms was "perfection." Orli Shaham's performance schedule brings her to concert halls from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House and most of the major venues in between, for recitals, chamber music and concerti. Ms. Shaham has performed with nearly every major American orchestra, as well as many in Europe, Asia and Australia and is a frequent guest at summer festivals. Devoted to the intimate genre of chamber music, Ms. Shaham serves as the Artistic Director for Pacific Symphony's chamber music series in Costa Mesa, California. Her numerous recordings include solo, chamber and concerto releases on Canary Classics and other labels. Orli Shaham maintains an active parallel career as a respected broadcaster, music writer and lecturer. Inspired by her enthusiasm for introducing young children to the pleasures of music, Ms. Shaham created Baby Got Bach, a series of interactive classical concerts for young children which has a devoted following in New York, St. Louis and other locations since 2010. More information is at orlishaham.com.
Ethan Braun is a composer from Los Angeles, California and has written music for the Albany Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, the Ictus Ensemble, the Yale Percussion Group, and Ensemble Synaestesis (Vilnius, LT) to name a few, working with such conductors as maestros Bas Wiegers, Cai Jindong, and David Alan Miller. In addition to his work in concert music, Mr. Braun has released two EPs of electroacoustic music with experimental music label Khalija records in LA, and performed with the free improvisation group Out of Your Head. His music has been heard at festivals across Europe, the United States, and China. He has been honored as a finalist for the 2013 Morton Gould ASCAP young composer award, and the 2013 MATA festival. He has had lessons and masterclasses with Tristan Murail, Pierluigi Billone, Mark Andre, Beat Furrer, Richard Barrett, Gerald Barry, Louis Andriessen, and Christian Wolff among others. Mr. Braun received his B.A. in Composition from UCLA, an M.M. from the Peabody Conservatory, and a Master's degree at the Royal Conservatorium of The Hague. He now pursues his DMA in composition at Yale University. More information is at ethanbraun.com.
First Music is the New York Youth Symphony's young composer competition that commissions America's best emerging orchestra, chamber music, and jazz composers under the age of 30. It has been acknowledged widely as one of the leading forces in the United States for bringing the work of gifted young composers to the public's attention. First Music has awarded commissions to over 140 of America's best young composers since 1984. The winner of numerous awards and accolades, this ongoing project introduces traditional audiences, as well as the musicians themselves, to new trends in music. Seven commissions are awarded annually including works for orchestra, chamber music, and jazz ensembles.
NYYS is one of the most awarded youth program of its kind in the nation, recognized for its innovative, tuition-free educational programs for talented young musicians. Founded in 1963 as an orchestra to showcase the metropolitan area's most gifted musicians ages 12-22, its activities have since grown to encompass programs in chamber music, conducting, composition, and jazz, with performances at world class venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center.