Blog
1429 Entries

Starting today, Ensemble ACJW will be introducing new 2014–2016 fellows every Friday. Out of the 18 new fellows, today we'd like to introduce Jenny Ney, Siwoo Kim, and James Riggs.

Read about where they're from, their musical heroes, and their pre-concert rituals.


ACJW Jennifer Ney 300x300

Jenny Ney, French Horn

Jenny Ney is an active performer and teacher in the New York area who has appeared in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Alice Tully. She is also on the teaching artist faculty of the New York Philharmonic’s School Partnership Program, which brings orchestral music into the lives of elementary school students throughout the five boroughs. Jenny lives in Manhattan and spends her free time with her husband Jon and their adorable dog. 

Where is your hometown?
Suffield, Connecticut

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
I'd like to be an interior decorator. I don't think I could stand a job where I go to the same place and do the same thing everyday. And I'd get to see inside everyone's houses!

What is your most prized possession?
I'm trying to think of something I couldn't live without, and there are only two things that come to mind: my horn (an obvious choice) and my dog. Also my husband, but I don't think he counts as a possession!

Who is your musical hero (dead or alive)?
My musical hero is Julie Landsman. I studied with her at Juilliard and her teaching completely changed how I view my playing and myself. She's such an inspiration as a female horn player who really reached the top of the profession.

Any other fun facts you’d like to share?
For about seven years, I lived in a barn! We lived in the upper floor, which was renovated into living space. The bottom floor housed our pet pony. Other pets at the time included three cats, a dog, a guinea pig, and two tadpoles!


 

Siwoo Kim, Violin

Violinist Siwoo Kim recently gave the world premiere of Samuel Adler’s first violin concerto and made his debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He graduated from The Juilliard School, where he led the Juilliard Orchestra as concertmaster and made his concerto debut with them at Carnegie Hall. 

ACJW Siwoo Kim 300x300

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
Off the top of my head, a photojournalist. How they strive for honesty in expression is very attractive to me. Plus, I would get to see the world and have the luxury of seeing many things that people nowadays take for granted.

What is your favorite place to visit?
My home in Ohio. I love New York City and I really enjoy seeing new places. At the end of the day, however, going back home to see my family and hometown friends is just the best. The calmer atmosphere combined with clean, fresh air rejuvenates me more than any amount of coffee or yoga can!

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
I've had the privilege of hearing a myriad of priceless words of wisdom during my student years. Perhaps the most all-encompassing advice I received was from my private teacher, Robert Mann: "Siwoo, make your performance worthwhile; don't waste your time or the audience's time." So true!

Do you have a pre-concert ritual?
I like to stretch and do some jumping jacks. Goofing off and having some coffee gets me pumped, too!

Any other fun facts you’d like to share?
I have some fun facts from my high school years. My parents drove me to Evanston, Illinois, from Columbus, Ohio, every other weekend for my violin lessons. Thank goodness I'm an only child! I played with my high school jazz band, played for theater, and played with a band on electric violin. I also somehow managed to walk away with the title of prom king! Hilarious.


 
ACJW James Riggs 300x300

James Riggs, Oboe

James Riggs is the newly appointed principal oboist of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. He is also a member of the Grammy Award–nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire. As a soloist, James has frequently performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group in New York, and played concertos of Handel, Bellini, and Bach with several ensembles in Tampa Bay. He recently earned his master’s degree from The Juilliard School and his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory. He dedicates his free time to studying chess, training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and professional 10-pin bowling instruction.

Where is your hometown?
Tampa Bay, Florida 

If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to do professionally?
I think I could be really happy doing a lot of different things, but maybe I would study world religions, anthropology, or archaeology. I find other cultures—present and past—to be fascinating. And of course, I couldn’t rule out trying to become an astronaut either, that would be awesome!

What is the best musical advice you ever received?
I’ve received so much great advice over my years of study that it’s hard to pick just one thing, but perhaps the most important advice could be boiled down to this: Always strive to make your interpretation so convincing that others cannot argue with it even if they disagree with it.

What do you like to do when you’re not playing music?
I like playing and studying chess, training Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and reading a good book!

What artists or songs (not classical) are you currently listening to?
I think it’s important for classical musicians (all musicians, for that matter) to listen to many different kinds of music: jazz, rock, folk, hip hop, country, world music, etc.—as many different genres as possible. Right now, I’m listening to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Sam Cooke.

2 months ago | |
Tag
| Read Full Story

Through NYO-USA’s experience recording an episode of From the Top and engaging children in an interactive performance at Carnegie Hall, the musicians of the orchestra got a taste of community-minded musicianship. Apprentice Orchestra Manager Josh Davidoff explores what it means to bring audiences into the world of classical music.


Josh Davidoff

After the taping of our episode of From the Top last week, we freshly minted alumni of the show got to participate in an arts leadership session led by From the Top’s educational team. While there were many thought-provoking questions and a lot of insightful input from musicians, the workshop focused on one issue in particular: whether classical music is dying in America.

NYO-USA Josh Davidoff at From the Top tapingJosh shares his thoughts during an arts leadership session led by Linda Gerstle, director of education and community partnerships with From the Top.

This is an extraordinarily difficult topic for NYO-USA’s seasoned and dedicated players, many of whom are considering or actively pursuing a career in this art form that may or may not be endangered. For most lovers of classical music, the default answer is a reactive “no way, we’re doing just fine.” Generally, the evidence towards the affirmative tends to be overlooked because it’s just too scary.

My personal opinion on the matter is about as internally consistent as the intonation of a sixth-grade orchestra (i.e., not very), but in the past I’ve typically gravitated toward the less popular pole: Classical music is dying, albeit slowly. However, I don’t mean this as a condemnation. Rather, I see it as a call to action.

Classical music is laboring under the weight of a lack of access. Entry consists of a series of technical and intellectual hoops and hurdles to be overcome before anyone will be accepted into the culture. In my experience, it is difficult or impossible for someone who doesn’t know how many symphonies were written by Dmitri Shostakovich (15) to earn the trust or the camaraderie of someone who has known Shostakovich since preschool. It’s akin to a kid on the playground being excluded because he doesn’t watch a certain TV show. His family doesn’t have cable.

NYO musicians with children at Carnegie HallNYO-USA flute players introduce children to the instrument in an interactive performance at Carnegie Hall.

Here at NYO-USA, those traditions of exclusion and elitism are difficult to find. The overwhelming majority of these young musicians are happy to talk to anybody about the many joys contained within a Beethoven symphony, whether the conversation is on topics of complex music theory or simply emotional response. At the interactive performance for children that we participated in last week at Carnegie Hall, I saw many musicians connecting with young kids who had absolutely no musical background. Many players (including myself on tenor sax) were not afraid to employ familiar pop songs and even “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to demonstrate their instrument and make a connection. When music is used effectively, it is humanity’s common language.

So, is classical music dying in America? Frankly, it’s irrelevant. If we continue as a musical society to treat outsiders with a measure of disrespect or a lack of interest, then I firmly believe that we have nowhere to go but down. However, there exists hope, a lot of which can be found in the hearts and minds of young musicians. It’s a phrase we’ve all heard a hundred times: “You guys are the future.” Inclusion across boundaries truly is our decision to make.

As we continue our cross-country tour, the future looks bright.


Learn more about the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

2 months ago | |
Tag
| Read Full Story

If you missed the spellbinding broadcast of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America lead by David Robertson, you can now listen to the entire broadcast. The program featured Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Samuel Adams's Radial Play (commissioned by Carnegie Hall), Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel), and Britten's Violin Concerto with violinist Gil Shaham.

This concert is part of our Carnegie Hall Live series, a partnership with WQXR and American Public Media.



Live Blog Carnegie Hall Live: National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America
2 months ago | |
Tag
| Read Full Story

Throughout the 2014 NYO-USA Residency and Tour, we will be featuring these weekly round-ups on the blog. Use these posts to get back up to speed on any blog entries, photos, videos, or social media posts that you may have missed over the past week. This week, we're highlighting the Orchestra's video postcards, a birthday surprise for David Robertson, reviews, and photo albums from the tour.


Upcoming Tour Dates

Wednesday, July 30 at 8 PM

Teton Village, Wyoming | Walk Festival Hall

Saturday, August 2 at 7:30 PM

Rohnert Park, California | Sonoma State University's Green Music Center, Weill Hall

Monday, August 4 at 7:30 PM

Los Angeles, California | The Music Center's Walt Disney Concert Hall


Video Postcards

Watch the Orchestra's video postcards from each stop along the tour.

 


Happy Birthday, David Robertson!

For David Robertson's birthday, NYO-USA gave the conductor a surprise. While rehearsing Britten’s Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham, the orchestra suddenly burst out in a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

 


Reviews

Carnegie Hall, New York City
The New York Times: "The Thrill of a Lifetime, Tinged by Teary Respect"

Tanglewood, Lenox, MA
The Berkshire Eagle: "Tanglewood: National Youth Orchestra of the USA a special event in Ozawa Hall"

Millennium Park, Chicago, IL
The Sun Times: "National Youth Orchestra makes grand Chicago debut at Grant Park Music Festival"


Photo Albums

NYO-USA Carnegie Hall Chris Lee album thumbnail

New York City

 
  NYO-USA Tanglewood Chris Lee album thumbnail

Tanglewood

 
  NYO-USA Boone Chris Lee album thumbnail

Boone

 

Learn more about that National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

2 months ago | |
Tag
| Read Full Story

This summer, join us for our Summer School series of video blog posts. School may be out, but you can continue learning with our vast library of master class and professional training workshop videos. Each week, we will post a new playlist focusing on an instrument or performance topic.


The Summer School series continues with a Carnegie Hall trombone master class, in which Berlin Philharmonic principal trombone player Thomas Leyendecker coaches Carson King-Fournier and Amanda Logue. Leyendecker coaxes greater emotional connection and feeling out of the students, as they play through Wagner's well-known Ride of the Valkyries and symphonic works by Mozart and Schumann.

2 months ago | |
Tag
| Read Full Story

Last week, during the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America’s training residency, the orchestra taped an episode of From the Top. Featuring incredible young musicians in performance and conversation, this radio show is broadcast on NPR stations across the country. 

Show No. 293, featuring NYO-USA, is now available for streaming online.

You can also find the radio broadcast schedule for an NPR station near you. The episode will air in markets across the country through Monday, July 28.

Learn more about the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.


NYO-USA performs on From the Top with David Robertson on the podium.

Under the direction of David Robertson, the orchestra performed Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and an abridged version of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture (arr. Bennett). The orchestra also performed the world premiere of Radial Play by Samuel Adams, which was commissioned by Carnegie Hall for NYO-USA.

The show also featured solo and chamber music performances by members of the orchestra. Silvio Guitian, a clarinetist from Baltimore, Maryland, performed the first movement, from Saint-Saëns's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in E-flat major, Op. 167, with pianist and From the Top host Christopher O’Riley. Three returning members of NYO-USA performed the fourth movement from Fauré's Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15. Violinist Soyeong Park from Princeton Junction, New Jersey; violist Martine Thomas from Rochester, New York; and cellist Kartik Papatla from Mequon, Wisconsin were joined by O’Riley on piano for this performance.

Silvio Guitian performs Saint-Saëns with Christopher O’Riley at the piano.

The episode also features the voices of David Robertson, Samuel Adams, and the musicians themselves in conversation with host Christopher O’Riley. The young musicians relived the moment they received an acceptance e-mail from Carnegie Hall. Some members of the 2013 orchestra told the audience what it was like to play at the BBC Proms in London as part of NYO-USA’s tour last summer. The audience even got to hear the application tapes of some musicians along with a few other special surprises. Don’t miss this sneak peek inside NYO-USA.

NYO-USA taped its episode of From the Top in front of a live audience at Purchase College, SUNY.

3 months ago | |
Tag
| Read Full Story

Throughout the 2014 NYO-USA Residency and Tour, we will be featuring these weekly round-ups on the blog. Use these posts to get back up to speed on any blog entries, photos, videos, or social media posts that you may have missed over the past week. This week, we're highlighting videos of NYO-USA playing American songs, last week's From the Top recording,  the Orchestra's New York City postcard, and the latest musician blogs.


Upcoming Tour Dates

Thursday, July 24 at 8 PM

Lenox, Massachusetts | Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood

Saturday, July 26 at 8 PM

Boone, North Carolina | Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts

Monday, July 28 at 6:30 PM

Chicago, Illinois | Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park

Wednesday, July 30 at 8 PM

Teton Village, Wyoming | Walk Festival Hall

Saturday, August 2 at 7:30 PM

Rohnert Park, California | Sonoma State University's Green Music Center, Weill Hall

Monday, August 4 at 7:30 PM

Los Angeles, California | The Music Center's Walt Disney Concert Hall


NYO-USA Plays American Songs

The 2014 National Youth Orchestra of the USA plays classic American songs. Subscribe for more music from the NYO-USA during their summer tour across the country.


Click 'Playlist' in the upper left-hand corner to browse through the videos.


From the Top Recording

Listen to a recording of last week's From the Top, featuring NYO-USA.

The Orchestra performed Prologue and Mambo from Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Radial Play by Samuel Adams, and Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture by George Gershwin. Eighteen year-old clarinetist Silvio Guitian from Baltimore, Maryland, performed the first movement, Allegretto, from Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in E-flat major, Op. 167, by Camille Saint-Saëns, with pianist Christopher O’Riley, and the NYO-USA Piano Quartet, again with Christopher Riley, performed the fourth movement, Allegro molto, from Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15, by Gabriel Fauré.


Greetings from the Big Apple!

NYO-USA played their Carnegie Hall debut last night.

NYO-USA NYC Postcard


Read the latest installments in NYO-USA's Musician Bloggers series:


Learn more about the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

3 months ago | |
Tag
| Read Full Story

This summer, join us for our Summer School series of video blog posts. School may be out, but you can continue learning with our vast library of master class and professional training workshop videos. Each week, we will post a new playlist focusing on an instrument or performance topic.


The Summer School series continues with Dealing with Performance Problems, featuring Christian Tetzlaff and Emmanuel Pahud. Tetzlaff and neurologist Stephen J. Frucht discuss effective ways to practice, while Emmanuel Pahud imparts his advice for overcoming problems with focus and nerves during performance.

3 months ago | |
Tag
| Read Full Story

Tune in and join us on Tuesday, July 22 at 8 PM live from Carnegie Hall, featuring the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America in its Carnegie Hall debut. The electrifying program will be lead by David Robertson and will include Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Samuel Adams's Radial Play, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel), and Britten's Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham.

The concert is part of our Carnegie Hall Live series, a partnership with WQXR and American Public Media.


Join the conversation. #CHLive

Performers

National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America
David Robertson, Conductor
Gil Shaham, Violin

Program

BERNSTEIN Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
BRITTEN Violin Concerto, Op. 15
SAMUEL ADAMS Radial Play (commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel)

3 months ago | |
Tag
| Read Full Story

Trey Sakazaki, NYO-USA’s inaugural apprentice orchestra librarian, hails from Bellevue, Washington. Trey spends his days at NYO-USA working with Orchestra Librarian Paul Beck.


Trey Sakazaki, Apprentice Orchestra Librarian:

In the music industry, the main goal is to deliver wonderful music to the audience. However, the delivery of great music doesn’t just involve the talented musicians on stage—equally as vital are the people who support the behind-the-scenes operations of the orchestra.

As the apprentice orchestra librarian of NYO-USA, I am involved on the music preparation end of orchestra management. My day starts before—and ends after—almost everyone else’s. I arrive an hour before the downbeat of rehearsal to make sure that all of the music is prepared and set out for the orchestra. After rehearsal, I account for all of the parts and look over any changes in the music. If a bowing was edited, I make sure that all of the parts have the change clearly marked. If a note was found to be wrong, I edit the music to make it correct. Music preparation is a task that takes hours to complete, even for just one selection on the program. The job requires a keen attention to detail and a lot of patience, as one may imagine the monotony of copying bowings onto nearly 40 string parts.

NYO Apprentice Orchestra Librarian (Left) Trey discusses markings in an orchestra member's part with NYO-USA's Orchestra Librarian Paul Beck. One of Paul's and Trey's responsibilities is to ensure that all parts are marked consistently. (Right) Trey, far right, meets with the New York Philharmonic's Principal Librarian Lawrence Tarlow, far left, along with Paul Beck and Apprentice Orchestra Manager Josh Davidoff.

I have learned over the past week that for an orchestra librarian, applause is self-generated. We don’t perform on stage, we aren’t broadcast on national television, and the audience doesn’t applaud for us after an exhilarating performance. In fact, we know that we have done our job the best when our work goes unnoticed by anyone. If a rehearsal doesn’t stop because of a wrong note, if a concert starts on time because all the parts are correctly distributed, we’ve done our job properly. The job of an orchestra librarian isn’t about the glory of the audience filling a concert hall and applauding for us at the end of a concert. It’s about making everything run smoothly, and smiling when a page turn that we fixed takes away the concerned face of a musician on stage.

However time-consuming the work is, and however little glory there is in the job, I enjoy this work because I know that I am helping to get the composer’s message across to the audience. I started in band when I was in fifth grade and have picked up music composition and arrangement on my own. As a composer myself, the composer’s message is something that I truly value in any musical work. Even after so many years, I still can’t describe why a particular progression of chords, rhythms, and notes, in just the right order, can evoke a certain emotion, or express a certain message. However, I know that each articulation, dynamic, and expression marking add specific nuances to the music that help get the message across to the musician, and then to the audience. Music is a journey. It starts with an inspiration, which gets composed into a musical work. Then, the music is prepared by the orchestra, and finally, performed for an audience. The greatest fulfillment for me comes when I know that I have done my best to make the starting inspiration come alive through the orchestra, and no detail is ever too little.

My apprenticeship with the NYO-USA to date has been nothing short of incredible. I’ve learned much more about music preparation, I’ve gotten to meet the finest of today’s music realm, and I’ve gotten to listen to the nation’s top 120 young musicians play together. The coast-to-coast tour starts in less than a week, and every day only increases in excitement and anticipation.


Learn more about the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

3 months ago | |
Tag
| Read Full Story
71 - 80  | prev 456789101112 next
InstantEncore