This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Stella and Robert Jones.
This December, the New York String Orchestra Seminar—one of the nation’s first and most influential professional training programs—celebrates 50 years and recognizes the major impact its alumni have had on the music world in the United States and abroad. Renowned for its unique musical philosophy that emphasizes personal expression over a focus on technical mastery and integrates 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.
This year’s 64 New York String Orchestra members (ages 16–23) come from conservatories, colleges, and high schools across the country, as well as a few from abroad. Selected through a highly competitive audition process, the students give up their winter holidays to come to New York City for 10 days of intensive orchestral rehearsals with Mr. 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 more than 2,300 program alumni that include some of the nation’s and world’s most acclaimed artists.
Seminar alumnus Yo-Yo Ma (1977) called the seminar “one of the defining moments for me as a teenager,” as it was for soloists such as violinists Cho-Liang Lin, Gil Shaham, and Shlomo Mintz; conductors who include Peter Oundjian, Joseph Swensen, Douglas Boyd, Keri-Lynn Wilson, Karina Canellakis, Cristian Măcelaru, and Marin Alsop; concertmasters of more than 40 orchestras (including the orchestras of Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles, Berlin, and Czech philharmonics); members of such ensembles as the Emerson, Guarneri, Kronos, Dover, Calidore, and Takács string quartets and Brooklyn Rider; and faculty at leading music schools and conservatories. Each new generation of New York String Orchestra Seminar alumni continues to make a vital contribution to music and illuminate lives around the country. To ensure students are selected on the basis of musical ability and not financial means, all participants receive full scholarships. For more information on the program and its commitment to providing a full scholarship to each participating student for the next 50 years, visit newschool.edu/mannes/nysos.
The New York String Orchestra Seminar is a program of The New School’s Mannes School of Music (Richard Kessler, Dean) New School Concerts Department. 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: the Cleveland Institute of Music, Chicago Symphony Center, Colburn School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and Wellington Hotel. New School Concerts also thanks Michelle Baker, Bart Feller, Valerie Feuer, Ida Kavafian, Richard Kessler, Diane Lesser, Don Liuzzi, Peter Lloyd, Mary Malin, Raymond Mase, Anthony McGill, Frank Morelli, Kurt Muroki, Sharon Robinson, Susan Sawyer, Michael Seabrook, Stephen Shipps, Linda Strommen, Steven Tenenbom, and Hiroko Yajima for their extra efforts on behalf of the project. The program is additionally grateful to the late Isaac Stern for launching the program at Carnegie Hall, and to the Hall’s current administration and staff for their caring presentation of the annual concerts.
For more than six decades, Jaime Laredo has excelled as solo violinist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. Since his orchestral debut with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 11, he has won the admiration and respect of audiences, critics, and fellow musicians with his passionate and polished performances. At the age of 17, he won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, launching his rise to international prominence.
In the 2018–2019 season, Mr. Laredo tours the US as a conductor, soloist, and member of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. With his wife, cellist Sharon Robinson, he premieres Pas de Deux, Chris Brubeck’s double concerto for violin and cello, which was commissioned specifically for the duo.
Mr. Laredo has recorded nearly 100 albums, including a Grammy Award–winning disc of Brahms piano quartets with Emanuel Ax, Isaac Stern, and Yo-Yo Ma. His recordings range from the complete Bach sonatas with Glenn Gould (Sony Classical) to recent premiere recordings of double concertos with violinist Jennifer Koh (Two x Four on Cedille Records) and Ms. Robinson (Triple Doubles on Bridge Records), and award-winning recordings with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.
Mr. Laredo’s stewardships of the New York String Orchestra Seminar (which he has conducted for 25 years) and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis have become beloved educational pillars of the musical community. This year is Mr. Laredo’s seventh at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati’s Linton Chamber Music, and serves as principal conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic. He was artistic director of the Chamber Music at 92Y series in New York for 40 years.
Born in Bolivia, Mr. Laredo resides in Guilford, Vermont, and Cleveland, Ohio.
Violinist Jinjoo Cho has captivated audiences around the world and garnered numerous awards, including the gold medal at the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and the first prize and orchestra award at the 2010 Buenos Aires International Violin Competition, among others. She is also engaged in exploring new ways to bring classical music to young audiences in Asia and North America.
Born in Korea, Ms. Cho moved to Cleveland to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music at the age of 14, where she soon began winning local prizes. She served as concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and later the New York String Orchestra Seminar. She has since gone on to appear with orchestras in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. She gave her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York String Orchestra in December 2015 and her Carnegie Hall recital debut in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage in June 2016. She continues to make solo appearances with orchestras around the world.
A passionate teacher, Ms. Cho is on the violin faculty at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University and previously taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin Conservatory. She is founder and artistic director of ENCORE Chamber Music, an intensive summer training program for talented young performers in Cleveland.
Ms. Cho completed her bachelor of music degree at both the Curtis and Cleveland institutes of music, where she studied with Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, and Paul Kantor. She received her master of music degree and professional studies certificate from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Jaime Laredo. She has coached and participated in master classes with notable musicians who include Itzhak Perlman, Donald Weilerstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Samuel Rhodes. Her duo with her pianist Daniel H. S. Kim has toured extensively, performing seldom played works and contemporary repertoire. She is an alumna of the 2008 New York String Orchestra Seminar.
Pamela Frank has established an outstanding international reputation across an unusually varied range of performing activity. She has performed as soloist with leading orchestras that include the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Berliner Philharmoniker, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Frank performs regularly with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and has recorded Mozart’s complete violin concertos with the orchestra and David Zinman. She has also recorded an album of works by Schubert and another of Beethoven’s violin sonatas—both with her father, Claude Frank. Ms. Frank is a sought-after chamber musician and has performed at many international festivals, including Aldeburgh, Verbier, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Marlboro, and Ravinia.
In addition to her devotion to works of the standard repertoire, Ms. Frank has performed and recorded a number of contemporary works. Her accomplishments were recognized with the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize in 1999. Ms. Frank is professor of violin at the Curtis Institute of Music, and she teaches and coaches annually at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Verbier festivals. Since 2008, she has been artistic director of Evnin Rising Stars, a mentoring program for young artists at Caramoor. Her newest venture is Fit as a Fiddle, Inc., a collaboration with physical therapist Howard Nelson that applies their expertise toward injury prevention and treatment of musicians. She is an alumna of the 1982 and 1983 New York String Orchestra seminars.
Internationally acclaimed violinist Bella Hristova is known for her passionate and powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument. Her numerous prizes include a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and first prize at both the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and Michael Hill International Violin Competition. She has performed extensively as soloist with orchestras that include the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York String Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and regularly appears with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2017, she toured New Zealand, performing the complete Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin with renowned pianist Michael Houstoun.
Orchestral performances during the 2018–2019 season include Sibelius with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and Brevard Philharmonic, Barber with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and National Philharmonic (Strathmore), and Mendelssohn with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Bella Unaccompanied, Ms. Hristova’s recording on A.W. Tonegold Records, features works by John Corigliano, Kevin Puts, Piazzolla, Milstein, and Bach. A committed proponent of new music, she commissioned iconic American composer Joan Tower to write Second String Force, which she premiered and performed in recitals across the United States and abroad. She further collaborated with her husband, composer David Ludwig, on a violin concerto commissioned and presented by a consortium of eight major orchestras across the country.
Ms. Hristova began violin studies at the age of six in her native Bulgaria. She then studied with Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and received her artist diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University. She is an alumna of the 2004 and 2006 New York String Orchestra seminars. Ms. Hristova plays a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin previously owned by Louis Krasner.
Since winning the gold medal at the 1986 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Kyoko Takezawa has performed with major orchestras worldwide, including the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, and the Boston, Chicago, BBC, and NHK symphony orchestras. She has collaborated with distinguished conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, David Zinman, Alan Gilbert, David Robertson, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Charles Dutoit, Marek Janowski, and Sir Andrew Davis, among others. She has given recitals at major venues internationally and participated at festivals that include Aspen, Ravinia, La Jolla, Pablo Casals, BBC Proms, Lucerne, La Folle Journée, and Suntory Hall’s Chamber Music Garden. She has served on the juries of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, ISANGYUN Competition, Long-Thibaud-Crespin Competition, and International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition.
A prolific recording artist, Ms. Takezawa can be heard on the RCA Victor Red Seal label, including the recital album Romanza, performances of Barber’s Violin Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Brahms’s and Elgar’s violin concertos with Sir Colin Davis and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra, and Mendelssohn’s violin concertos with Claus Peter Flor and the Bamberg Symphony. Recently, Sony Music released her album of Brahms’s complete violin sonatas with Itamar Golan.
Ms. Takezawa plays the “Lady Tennant” Stradivarius violin of 1699, on loan to her from the Stradivari Society in Chicago. She is an alumna of the 1985 New York String Orchestra Seminar.
Internationally recognized as one of today’s most acclaimed and admired pianists, Yefim Bronfman is among a handful of artists regularly sought by festivals, orchestras, conductors, and recital series. His commanding technique, power, and exceptional lyrical gifts are consistently acknowledged by the press and audiences alike.
Mr. Bronfman’s 2018–2019 season begins with a European tour with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in celebration of conductor Yuri Temirkanov’s 80th birthday. This is followed by a Scandinavian tour with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and orchestral concerts with the Orchestre National de France, London Philharmonic Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Berliner Philharmoniker, and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In the US, he returns to orchestras in Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Dallas. He also gives recitals in the US and Europe, and will tour with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená in the spring.
Mr. Bronfman has performed in the world’s leading halls, including acclaimed debuts at Carnegie Hall in 1989 and Avery Fisher Hall in 1993. In 1991, he gave a series of joint recitals with Isaac Stern in Russia—his first public performances in that country since his immigration to Israel at age 15. That same year, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize. In 2010, he was honored with the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance by Northwestern University.
Born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union, Mr. Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Samuel Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University (now the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music). In the United States, he studied at The Juilliard School, Marlboro School of Music, and Curtis Institute of Music under Rudolf Firkušný, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin. He is a 2015 recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music.
Mr. Bronfman became an American citizen in July 1989.