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New York String Orchestra

Saturday, December 28, 2019 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Jaime Laredo by Christian Steiner, Shannon Lee by Carlin Ma
A youthful symphony by the 12-year-old Mendelssohn, a beloved Tchaikovsky concerto, and Brahms’s noble symphony are showcased by the stellar young musicians of the New York String Orchestra. Mendelssohn’s symphony unfolds in one movement and impresses with its wealth of ideas, while Tchaikovsky’s concerto soars with beautiful melodies. With his Symphony No. 1, Brahms assumed the mantle of the great German symphonist in a grandly scaled work that ascends to heroic heights.

New York String Orchestra is also performing December 24.


New York String Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, Conductor
Shannon Lee, Violin


BACH Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043

TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto

BRAHMS Symphony No. 1

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Becoming the Orchestra: The New York String Orchestra Seminar at 50

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

In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.

At a Glance

This evening’s concert places the youthful vigor of early Mendelssohn alongside the soulfulness of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and the mature mastery of Brahms. Even in one of Mendelssohn’s earliest pieces, the listener can detect the hallmarks of his energetic lyrical style. Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto features the soloist in both virtuosic showcases and melodic dreaminess alongside a full orchestral palette, while Brahms’s music is transcendent and expressive but succinct, with ingenious melodic, motivic, and contrapuntal development. 


New York String Orchestra

This December, the New York String Orchestra Seminar—one of the nation’s first and most influential professional training programs—celebrates its 50th anniversary and the ...

This December, the New York String Orchestra Seminar—one of the nation’s first and most influential professional training programs—celebrates its 50th anniversary and 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 in 1993.

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 national 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 alumni that include some of the 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, Shlomo Mintz, and Pamela Frank; conductors who include Peter Oundjian, Douglas Boyd, Keri-Lynn Wilson, Cristian Măcelaru, Karina Canellakis, 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, the seminar is a tuition-free program. For more information on the program and its commitment to offering the seminar at no cost 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’s (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, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and Wellington Hotel. New School Concerts also thanks Soo Bae, Michelle Baker, Laura Park Chen, Bart Feller, Valerie Feuer, Mark Holloway, Ida Kavafian, Alan Kay, Richard Kessler, Diane Lesser, Julia Lichten, Don Liuzzi, Mary Malin, Raymond Mase, Frank Morelli, Kurt Muroki, Todd Phillips, Sharon Robinson, Susan Sawyer, Michael Seabrook, 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.

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Jaime Laredo

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  ...

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 2019–2020 season, Mr. Laredo tours the United States as a conductor, soloist, and member of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. This season with his wife, cellist Sharon Robinson, Mr. Laredo performs Pas de Deux, Chris Brubeck’s double concerto for violin and cello, which was commissioned specifically for the duo. He also performs Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the New World Symphony in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday.

Other conducting and performance highlights include the Chicago, Boston, and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras; San Francisco Symphony; Los Angeles and New York philharmonics; The Cleveland Orchestra; and The Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others. Abroad, Mr. Laredo has appeared with the London and BBC symphony orchestras; Scottish Chamber Orchestra (with whom he made numerous best-selling recordings); and orchestras in France, Hong Kong, and Japan.

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 at Carnegie Hall (which he has conducted for 26 years) and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis have become beloved educational pillars of the music community. This year is Mr. Laredo’s eighth at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati’s Linton Chamber Music. 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.

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Shannon Lee

Violinist Shannon Lee has been praised for her “remarkable fire, impeccable intonation, and big, vibrant tone” (Gramophone). In 2018, she won second prize in the Naumburg ...

Violinist Shannon Lee has been praised for her “remarkable fire, impeccable intonation, and big, vibrant tone” (Gramophone). In 2018, she won second prize in the Naumburg International Violin Competition, laureateship and recognition for best performance of an Ysaÿe sonata in the 10th International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and first prize at the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota National Competition for Strings.

Ms. Lee has performed at the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival’s Winter Workshop, 62nd Gstaad Menuhin Festival and Academy, Heifetz International Music Institute as artist-in-residence, and Krzyżowa Music Festival. She has also appeared as guest artist at Music@Menlo, Music from Angel Fire, Banff Centre master classes and orchestra, and Stowe Tango Music Festival. In 2017, Ms. Lee received generous support from the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation in Canada through its award for career development and joined the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on its European tour led by Osmo Vänskä.

Born in Canada, Ms. Lee began studying violin at age four in Plano, Texas, with Jan Sloman. At age 12, she made her solo debut with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and two years later performed in Europe with Christof Perick and the Nuremberg Philharmonic State Orchestra. Other notable performances include appearances with the Nashville Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Fresno Philharmonic, and The Phoenix Symphony. Her debut recording, Introducing Shannon Lee, features 19th- and 20th-century works for violin and piano.

Ms. Lee is pursuing a master’s degree in violin performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studies with Jaime Laredo and Mr. Sloman as the inaugural recipient of the school’s Presidential Scholarship. She received her graduate diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Ida Kavafian and Arnold Steinhardt. As a Curtis ArtistYear Fellow under the mentorship of Mary Javian, she developed the music program at Philadelphia’s Cramp Elementary School Pre-K and worked with the All City Orchestra’s chamber music programs. She completed her bachelor’s degree in computer science at Columbia University while taking violin lessons with David Nadien. She has also played privately and in master classes with Rainer Schmidt, Guillaume Pirard, and Boris Kuschnir. She is a 2008 alumna of the New York String Orchestra Seminar.

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