Performance Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | 8 PM

New York String Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Forty-eight years ago, a teenager named André Watts launched his career with a featured appearance on one of Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts. This one-time prodigy is now one of America’s most esteemed pianists. On this concert he joins the next generation of great young performers—participants in the annual New York String Orchestra Seminar—in Beethoven’s mighty “Emperor” Concerto.


  • New York String Orchestra
    Jaime Laredo, Conductor
  • André Watts, Piano


  • ARRIAGA Symphony in D Minor
  • BARTÓK Divertimento for Strings
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, "Emperor"


  • 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.

    Visit for more information.

    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.

    More Info

  • André Watts

    Pianist André Watts burst onto the music scene at the age of 16, when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in a Young People's Concert, broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV. Only two weeks later, Bernstein asked him to substitute at the last minute for the ailing Glenn Gould in performances of Liszt's Concerto in E-flat Major with the New York Philharmonic, thus launching his career in storybook fashion.

    A perennial favorite with orchestras throughout the US, Mr. Watts is also a regular guest at the major summer music festivals, including Ravinia, the Hollywood Bowl, Saratoga, Tanglewood, and The Mann Music Center. Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras; New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; and the St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Cincinnati, Houston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Seattle, and National symphony orchestras. In celebration of the 2011 Liszt anniversary, Mr. Watts performed all-Liszt recitals throughout the US. Upcoming international engagements include concerto and recital appearances in Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, and Spain.

    Mr. Watts has appeared on numerous television programs produced by PBS, the BBC, and A&E.

    A much-honored artist who has played before royalty in Europe and heads of government in nations all over the world, Mr. Watts was selected to receive the Avery Fisher Prize in 1988. At age 26, he was the youngest person ever to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale University. He has since received numerous honors from highly respected schools, including the University of Pennsylvania; Brandeis University; The Juilliard School; and his alma mater, The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. In June 2006, he was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his debut.

    Previously artist-in-residence at the University of Maryland, Mr. Watts was appointed to the Jack I. and Dora B. Hamlin Endowed Chair in Music at Indiana University in 2004.

    More Info


Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E Flat, "Emperor" (Allegro)
Van Cliburn, Piano; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Fritz Reiner, Conductor

At a Glance


Arriaga was a gifted Spanish composer who died at the young age of 19. His one and only symphony reveals a mastery of the late-Classical and early-Romantic idiom, and consciously emulates works by Beethoven and Schubert.

BÉLA BARTÓK  Divertimento for Strings 

Bartok’s Divertimento for Strings marries the style of the Baroque concerto grosso to Hungarian folksong melodies and scalar patterns. Written quickly in August 1939, its sunny disposition does not reflect the troubled political context of its composition: The piece was written two weeks before Nazi Germany invaded Poland, signaling the beginning of World War II.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73, “Emperor” 

Beethoven’s fifth and final piano concerto was composed in 1809. Its “Emperor” nickname is an invention of a music publisher after Beethoven’s death and not a reference to Napoleon, whose army was bearing down on Vienna at the time of the concerto’s composition.

Program Notes
United 130x32 extra bottom space
Sponsored by United, Official Airline of Carnegie Hall
This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Stella and Robert Jones.