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New York String Orchestra

Tuesday, December 24, 2019 7 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Jaime Laredo by Christian Steiner, Nancy Zhou by Rachel Tine
The New York String Orchestra’s annual Christmas Eve concert is a beloved holiday tradition. This season, the musicians celebrate with an all-Mozart program that features the quicksilver overture to his opera The Marriage of Figaro, his elegant and dramatic "Turkish" Violin Concerto—played by Nancy Zhou, winner of the 2018 Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition—and the magnificent "Jupiter" Symphony, the composer's final work in the form and one of his crowning achievements.

New York String Orchestra is also performing December 28.


New York String Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, Conductor
Nancy Zhou, Violin



Overture to The Marriage of Figaro

Violin Concerto No. 5, "Turkish"

Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 75 minutes with no 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

Tonight’s program features three works by the iconic Mozart, presenting three genres for which he set the artistic standard for centuries to come. Though Mozart only lived to be 35, it is possible to perceive the different chapters of his development as a composer: Creating his first works at age five under the tutelage of his father, he swiftly launched into a rich 30-year career.

Mozart composed his Violin Concerto No. 5 was when he was only 19, The Marriage of Figaro at 30, and his final symphony—No. 41—three years before his death at age 32. Despite the relative shortness of this span, consider that this voracious creative spirit wrote more than 200 works during a 13-year period—for him, a lifetime of musical development. The joy of programs such as this one is the opportunity to experience these masterpieces while pondering the quick and seamless evolution of Mozart’s genius from dazzling prodigy to profound master. The listener arrives at an even deeper appreciation of—and gratitude for—this fleeting musical phenomenon who is loved not only for his beautiful melodies and structural clarity, but also for his unmatched ability to juxtapose comedy and tragedy, reveal truth, and express profound emotional vulnerability.


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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Nancy Zhou

After winning the inaugural Harbin International Violin Competition and the 2018 Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, Chinese-American violinist Nancy Zhou rapidly built ...

After winning the inaugural Harbin International Violin Competition and the 2018 Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, Chinese-American violinist Nancy Zhou rapidly built an international career. She soon appeared with the Harbin Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Muhai Tang, in performance with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jaap van Zweden, and on tour with conductor Long Yu. The 2018–2019 season included debuts with the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. In Europe, Ms. Zhou debuted with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and appeared on tour with the Macao Youth Symphony Orchestra, visiting Portugal and Germany. Tonight’s performance is her Carnegie Hall debut.

Highlights from the 2019–2020 season include debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Kansas City Symphony (Peter Oundjian), San Diego Symphony (Eun Sun Kim), Iris Orchestra (Michael Stern), Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, and National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (Lio Kuokman), and a tour with the China Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, she collaborates with David Stern and the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra to celebrate Isaac Stern’s centennial.

Ms. Zhou gained performance experience at an early age, making her orchestral debut in her hometown with the San Antonio Symphony at age 14. She went on to collaborate with the Royal Stockholm and St. Petersburg philharmonic orchestras, and the Munich, Finnish Radio, and Shenzhen symphony orchestras, among others. She has appeared in recital at the Ravinia, Verbier, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern festivals, among others, and served on the faculty of the ENCORE Chamber Music Festival. Since 2015, she has visited Taiwan annually for master classes and the chamber music gala concert hosted by Taiwan’s Playing for Formosa association.

Born and raised in Texas, Ms. Zhou began studying the violin at age four under the guidance of her father, Long Zhou, who remained her teacher throughout her youth. She studied with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory while earning a bachelor of arts at Harvard University. In 2008, Ms. Zhou became a scholar of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, receiving personal support from Ms. Mutter and performance opportunities around the globe. She is currently artist-in-residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, where she works closely with Augustin Dumay. Ms. Zhou plays a 1733 Guarneri del Gesù violin on generous loan from a private sponsor. She is a 2008 alumna of the New York String Orchestra Seminar.

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