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New York String Orchestra Kicks Off its 50th Anniversary With Two Concerts Led by Jaime Lardeo

NYSO Alumni and Special Guest Artists Join the Orchestra for Celebratory Performances: Jinjoo Cho, Pamela Frank, Bella Hristova, Kyoko Takezawa, and Yefim Bronfman on December 24; Joshua Bell and Karina Canellakis on December 28

Photo at top of release by Pete Checchia.

(New York, NY, November 28, 2018)—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 ChoPamela FrankBella Hristova, and Kyoko Takezawa for Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins and Orchestra in B Minor, Op. 3, No. 10. Pianist Yefim Bronfman joins 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 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. 


NYSO 2018 Orchestra Roster
*Prior NYSO Member


Charles Renneker, timpani
Cleveland Institute of Music
Birmingham, AL

Haeun Honney Kim, violin*
Indian Springs School
Birmingham, AL

Robert Nunes, oboe
The Juilliard School
Phoenix, AZ

Tetsuya Lawson, trumpet
Shepherd School of Music, Rice University
Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Rachel Siu, cello*
The Juilliard School
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Angela Jiye Bae, violin*
Shepherd School of Music, Rice University
Los Angeles, CA

Aileen Chung, violin
New England Conservatory
Irvine, CA

Albert Gang, violin
Colburn Music Academy
Irvine, CA

Ethan Moffitt, bass
University of Southern California
Glendale, CA

Andy Park, viola
Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences
South Pasadena, CA

Toby Winarto, viola
Manhattan School of Music
Los Angeles, CA

Rachel Côté, horn
Glenn Gould School
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Emily Rekrut-Pressey, viola
Schulich School of Music, McGill University
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Wenqi Ke, violin
Colburn School
Shanghai, China

Chun Sum Wong, flute
The Juilliard School
Hong Kong, China

Liyuán Xie, violin
New England Conservatory
Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Josef Fischer, viola
Peabody Institute
Niwot, CO

Kelcey Howell, cello*
University of Denver
Denver, CO

Conor McAvinue, viola
Cleveland Institute of Music
Wilmington, DE

Dominican Republic
Juan Esteban Martinez, clarinet
Yale School of Music
Santo Domingo, DR

Joey Lavarias, bassoon
The Juilliard School
Daytona Beach, FL

Laura Liu, viola
Randsom Everglades Upper School
Miami, FL

Hannah Culbreth, horn
New England Conservatory
Atlanta, GA

Nathan Walhout, cello*
University of Michigan
Wheaton, IL

Emily Shehi, violin*
Curtis Institute of Music
Olathe, KS

Skye Park, violin
Lexington, KY

Anne Richardson, cello
The Juilliard School
Louisville, KY

Jakyoung Olivia Huh, cello*
New England Conservatory
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Danny Yehun Jin, violin
Curtis Institute of Music
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Dongyoung Shim, violin
New England Conservatory
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Kimberly Ellen Bill, violin
Boulder College of Music, Colorado University
Lakeshore, MD

Silvio Guitian, clarinet
Shepherd School of Music, Rice University
Baltimore, MD


Samuel Andonian, violin
New England Conservatory
Lincoln, MA

Julia McLean, viola*
The Juilliard School
Boston, MA

Mari Nagahara, cello*
New England Conservatory
Andover, MA

Joseph Skerik, viola
Cleveland Institute of Music
Interlochen, MI

Mary Alice Hutton, violin
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

New Jersey
Abigail Hong, violin*
New England Conservatory
Cherry Hill, NJ

New York
Melissa M. Aleles, flute
Manhattan School of Music
Tappan, NY

Alex Bickard, bass
The Juilliard School
Brentwood, NY

Drew Cone, cello
The Juilliard School
Buffalo, NY

Brian Isaacs, viola
Yale University
Forest Hills, NY

Gabriel Polinsky, bass
The Curtis Institute of Music
Hewlett, NY

Isabelle Durrenberger, violin*
Cleveland Institute of Music
Columbus, OH

Joshua Elmore, bassoon
The Juilliard School
Shaker Heights, OH

Ann Yu, violin*
Cleveland Institute of Music
Hudson, OH

Kiarra Saito-Beckman, violin
Cleveland Institute of Music
Bend, OR

Isabella Egawa, violin
Carnegie Mellon University
Bala Cynwyd, PA

Lena Goodson, bass
The Curtis Institute of Music
York, PA

Alan Tolbert, trumpet
Temple University
Shippensburg, PA

South Carolina
Josh Liu, violin
Wade Hampton High School
Greenville, SC

Hsi-yuan Elisabeth Chang, cello
Los Gatos High School
Yang-mei, Taiwan

Kate Huang, cello
Cleveland Institute of Music
Tainan, Taiwan

Wei-An Hung, cello*
Cleveland Institute of Music
Changhua, Taiwan

Yu-Ming Andrew Ma, violin*
Cleveland Institute of Music
Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Jillian Kouzel, oboe
University of Michigan
San Antonio, TX

Jacob Medina, horn
University of Houston
Pearland, TX

Johnathan Wu, violin
Cleveland Institute of Music
Plano, TX

Christine Wu, violin*
The Juilliard School
Plano, TX

Rebecca Epperson, viola
The Curtis Institute of Music
Layton, UT

Suni Norman, violin*
Indiana University
Salt Lake City, UT

Joel Rodeback, horn
Indiana University
American Fork, UT

Washington D.C.
Michael Romans, violin
University of Michigan
Washington, DC

Attila Kiss, bass*
The Juilliard School
Lynnwood, WA



About the Artists

For over six decades, Jaime Laredo has excelled in the roles of soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Since his orchestral debut at the age of 11 with the San Francisco Symphony, he has won the admiration and respect of audiences, critics, and fellow musicians with passionate and polished performances. At 17, Mr. Laredo won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition, launching his rise to international prominence.

In the 2018–2019 season, Mr. Laredo tours the United States as conductor, soloist, and as a member of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. This season, he premieres Pas de Deux, Chris Brubeck's Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, with his wife, cellist Sharon Robinson, which was commissioned specifically for the duo.

Conducting and performing highlights throughout Mr. Laredo’s career include the Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco Symphonies, Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, among many others. Abroad, he has appeared with the London and BBC Symphonies and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with which he made numerous best-selling recordings, as well as orchestras in France, Hong Kong and Japan. He is Director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati’s Linton Chamber Music, serves as Principal Conductor for the Westchester Philharmonic and was Artistic Director of the Chamber Music at the Y series in New York for forty years.

Mr. Laredo’s stewardships of the New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall, which he has conducted for 25 years, and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis have become beloved educational pillars of the musical community. Additionally, this year marks Mr. Laredo’s seventh year at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

This December, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, one of the nation’s first and most influential pre-professional training programs, celebrates 50 years and the major impact its alumni have had on the music world in the United States and abroad. Renowned for its unique musical philosophy emphasizing personal expression over a focus on technical mastery and integrating a chamber music approach into orchestral playing, the program was created in 1969 by arts manager Frank Salomon for violinist and conductor Alexander “Sasha” Schneider, who chose Jaime Laredo to succeed him as director.

The 64 members (ages 16–23) of the 2018 New York String Orchestra were selected through a highly competitive audition process from a pool of 416 applicants. They are from conservatories, colleges, and high schools across the country, as well as a few from abroad. The students, who will meet for the first time on December 19, gave up their winter holidays to come to New York City for ten 12-hour-long days of intensive orchestral rehearsals with Maestro Laredo and chamber music sessions with master artists, including current and former members of the Emerson, Juilliard, Orion, and Guarneri String Quartets. They join an illustrious group of over 2,300 program alumni that include some of the nation's and world's most acclaimed artists. For Yo-Yo Ma (1977 Seminar alumnus), the seminar was “one of the defining moments for me as a teenager,” as it was for soloists such as violinists Cho-Liang Lin, Gil Shaham, Kyoko Takezawa, and Shlomo Mintz and conductors including Peter Oundjian, Joseph Swensen, Douglas Boyd, Keve Lynn Wilson, Karina Canellakis, and Marin Alsop; the concertmasters of over 40 orchestras (including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Czech Philharmonics), members of ensembles including the Emerson, Guarneri, Kronos, Dover, Callidore, and Takacs String Quartets and Brooklyn Rider, and for faculty at leading music schools and conservatories. They credit the seminar as a “life-changing musical experience,” that opened new musical worlds. Each new generation of New York String Orchestra Seminar alumni continues to make a vital contribution to music and illuminates our lives around the country. To ensure students are selected on the basis of musical ability and not financial means, all participants receive full scholarships. The New York String Orchestra Seminar is a program of The New School’s Mannes School of Music’s (Richard Kessler, Dean), New School Concerts Department.


Program Information

Monday, December 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Jaime Laredo, Conductor
Jinjoo Cho, Violin
Pamela Frank, Violin
Bella Hristova, Violin
Kyoko Takezawa, Violin
Yefim Bronfman, Piano

FELIX MENDELSSOHN The Hebrides Overture
ANTONIO VIVALDI Concerto for Four Violins and Orchestra in B Minor, Op. 3, No. 10
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58

This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Stella and Robert Jones.

Friday, December 28 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Jaime Laredo, Conductor
Joshua Bell, Violin

Karina Canellakis, Guest Conductor

GEORGE WALKER Lyric for Strings
JOHANNES BRAHMS Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74, "Pathétique"

This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Stella and Robert Jones.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.


Ticket Information

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.

For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.


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