Performance Saturday, December 24, 2011 | 7 PM

New York String Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
For over 40 years, this group of young musicians has been lighting up the holidays with its annual Christmas Eve concert. This season, Jaime Laredo and the New York String Orchestra return with showpieces by Saint-Saëns and Dvorák, and perform favorites by Bach and Mozart.


  • New York String Orchestra
    Jaime Laredo, Conductor and Violin
  • Bella Hristova, Violin


  • BACH Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra in D Minor, BWV 1043
  • DVORÁK Romance in F Minor, Op. 11
  • SAINT-SAËNS Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Op. 28
  • MOZART Symphony No. 35, "Haffner"


  • New York String Orchestra

    One of the country's most acclaimed professional training programs, the New York String Orchestra Seminar was created in 1969 by arts manager Frank Salomon for violinist and conductor Alexander "Sasha" Schneider. Sasha inspired a generation of musicians with his deep commitment to young artists; prior to his death, he chose Jaime Laredo to succeed him as director. In its 43-year history, the seminar has introduced more than 2,000 exceptional young musicians to new musical ideas, offering them the challenge of performing two professional-level concerts presented by Carnegie Hall. There is no application fee to apply, and all participants receive full scholarships.

    Seminar alumni are found in leadership roles around the world.  They include cellist Yo-Yo Ma; violinists Cho-Liang Lin, Gil Shaham, Kyoko Takezawa, and Shlomo Mintz; members of the Guarneri, Emerson, Orion, Johannes, Takács, and Kronos string quartets; concertmasters and members of the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and MET orchestras, the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, and the Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, and National symphonies; conductors Peter Oundjian, Joseph Swensen, Douglas Boyd, and Marin Alsop; and faculty members of the most distinguished conservatories and universities in the US.

    The 62 New York String Orchestra members this year (ages 15-22) are from conservatories, colleges, and high schools across the United States and Canada. Selected through highly competitive national auditions, the students give up their winter holidays to come to New York City for 10 days of intensive orchestral rehearsals and chamber music sessions with master artists, including members of the Emerson, Juilliard, Orion, and Guarneri string quartets. The 2011 faculty includes Cathy Cho, Eugene Drucker, Daniel Druckman*, Laurence Dutton*, Bart Feller*, Pamela Frank*, Mark Gould, Bonnie Hampton, David Jolley, Ida Kavafian, Joel Krosnick, Peter Lloyd*, Raymond Mase, Anthony McGill*, Frank Morelli, Kurt Muroki*, Duncan Patton, Daniel Phillips*, Todd Phillips*, Samuel Rhodes, Sharon Robinson, Sylvia Rosenberg, Laurie Smukler*, Linda Strommen*, Steven Tenenbom*, Michael Tree, Peter Wiley*, and Hiroko Yajima (*NYSOS alumni).

    The New York String Orchestra Seminar is a program of Mannes College The New School for Music's New School Concerts Department, administration: Frank Salomon, Founding Director; Rohana Elias-Reyes, Director; music advisors Pamela Frank, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin, Arnold Steinhardt, and Michael Tree; Advisory Committee members Dominick DeRiso, Mark Epstein, Fiona Morgan Fein, Bart Feller, Theodore Harris, Elisabeth Lorin, Frank Salomon, Linda Strommen, Jani Tree, and Helen Wright.

    New School Concerts thanks the conductor, coaches, soloists, audition panelists, and advisors for their invaluable contributions to the project, and the many others whose time, effort, and resources make the seminar possible. Our thanks to the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Colburn School Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, The Shepherd School of Music, and the Wellington Hotel. We thank Michelle Baker, Bart Feller, Valerie Feuer, Ida Kavafian, Alan R. Kay, Dean Richard Kessler, Julie Landsman, Diane Lesser, Don Liuzzi, Mary Malin, Raymond Mase, Frank Morelli, Kurt Muroki, Tara O'Connor, Daniel Phillips, Susan Sawyer, Michael Seabrook, Stephen Shipps, Linda Strommen, Steven Tenenbom, Peter Wiley, David Ying, and Hiroko Yajima for their extra efforts on behalf of the project. Additionally, we are grateful to Carnegie Hall's administration and staff, whose efforts go into making the New York String Orchestra Seminar a success.

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    Jaime Laredo

    Performing across the globe for more than five decades, Jaime Laredo has excelled in the multiple roles of soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Since his stunning San Francisco Symphony debut at age 11, he has won the admiration and respect of audiences, critics, and fellow musicians with his passionate and polished performances. Mr. Laredo's education and development were greatly influenced by his studies and private coachings with masters Josef Gingold, Ivan Galamian, Pablo Casals, and George Szell. At the age of 17, he won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, launching his rise to international prominence. With 2009 marking the 50th anniversary of his prize, he was honored to sit on the jury for the competition's final round.

    In demand worldwide as a conductor and a soloist, Mr. Laredo has held the position of music director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra since 1999. As artistic director of New York's renowned Chamber Music at the Y series, Mr. Laredo has created an important forum for chamber music performances. Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio-founded by Laredo, cellist Sharon Robinson, and pianist Joseph Kalichstein-consistently thrills audiences around the globe with its inspiring performances of traditional repertoire and the commissioning of new works.

    Mr. Laredo's stewardships of the annual New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis have become beloved educational pillars of the string community. In 2009, Mr. Laredo and his wife Sharon Robinson were named artistic directors of the Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Mr. Laredo has recorded close to 100 discs; received the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis; won a Grammy Award for a disc of Brahms's piano quartets with Emanuel Ax, Isaac Stern, and Yo-Yo Ma; and has received seven Grammy nominations. He currently holds a prestigious chair position at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music and has accepted a chaired position at the Cleveland Institute of Music, beginning next fall.

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  • Bella Hristova

    Violinist Bella Hristova has engaged audiences around the world with her masterful control and expressive musicianship. Highlights from her 2011-2012 season include an appearance in Ravinia's Rising Stars series, a tour with Musicians from Marlboro, and performances throughout the season with CMS Two at Lincoln Center.

    This season also includes performances with mentor Jaime Laredo as part of his 70th birthday celebration at the 92nd Street Y Chamber Music Series, and when he conducts and performs Bach's Double Concerto with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. Among Ms. Hristova's countless orchestral engagements are solo appearances with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, Mobile Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, and Hilton Head and Longwood symphony orchestras.

    Festival appearances include the Grand Teton Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Ravinia's Steans Music Institute, and Music from Angel Fire, and reengagements at the Santa Fe Chamber and Marlboro music festivals.

    First-prize winner in the 2008-2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Ms. Hristova made her debut in the YCA Series the following year at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, sponsored by the Rhoda Walker Teagle Prize, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. At the auditions, she also became the first recipient of the Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship in addition to being honored with the Miriam Brody Aronson and the Ruth Laredo Memorial awards, and the Candlelight Concert Society and the Lied Center of Kansas concert prizes. 

    Born in Pleven, Bulgaria, Ms. Hristova began violin studies at the age of six and has lived in the US since she was 13. She worked with Ida Kavafian (YCA alumna) and studied chamber music with Steven Tenenbom at the Curtis Institute of Music. She received her artist diploma at Indiana University in 2010, where she studied with Jaime Laredo. Ms. Hristova plays a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin, once owned by violinist Louis Krasner.

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At a Glance

Though he is perhaps best known for writing reams of sacred music, Bach also composed instrumental music for secular concerts during his time in Leipzig. The Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra features two soloists, which doubles the possibilities for contrapuntal complications as the violinists parry with each other and with the accompanying string ensemble.

The music of Dvořák’s Romance in F Minor derives from an early string quartet. Though that piece proved unsuccessful, its resetting is among the composer’s earliest—and best—works.

Saint-Saëns’s Introduction and Rondo capriccioso—dedicated to violinist Pablo de Sarasate—is a stunning, Spanish-tinged showpiece that tests the soloist’s technical mettle.

Mozart’s “Haffner” Symphony is so named because it was originally composed to mark the ennobling of Siegmund Haffner, a successful merchant in Salzburg. The music was refashioned as a symphony, but retains its celebratory air, especially given that the key of D major perfectly suits natural (valveless) trumpets and horns.
Program Notes
This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Stella and Robert Jones.