The Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra Announces Its 2015-2016 Season

Highlights include:
  • Inaugural installation of The Great Music Series, featuring music by Kanye West as conceived by newly appointed Music Director Yuga Cohler and composer Stephen Feigenbaum.
  • Collaboration with the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra in Walt Disney Hall, featuring a U.S. premiere by Mark-Anthony Turnage.
  • Memorial concert for YMF Founder Sylvia Kunin, featuring YMF alumniLawrence Foster, Glenn Dicterow, Nathaniel Rosen, and Gerald Robbins.
  • Performances at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Japanese-American Cultural and Community Center of works by Esa-Pekka Salonenand Andrew Norman.

Los Angeles, CA – Executive Director Julia Gaskill and newly appointed Music Director Yuga Cohler today announced the 2015/16 season of the Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) Debut Orchestra, one of the foremost pre-professional trainingorchestras in the United States.

The season features the inaugural installation of The Great Music Series, a concert series dedicated to the exploration of themes common to both classical masterpieces and the popular music of today. The season-ending concert Yeethoven will compare Kanye West’s critically acclaimed album Yeezus, arranged for orchestra by award-winning composer Stephen Feigenbaum, to works by Beethoven. “The Great Music Series is an important step for orchestras in the 21st century,” said Cohler. “It is intended to initiate a dialogue between classical music and popular culture, and allows the possibility for orchestras to engage with truly new audiences.” Cohler will co-curate the concert with Feigenbaum.

In January, the Debut Orchestra will present a joint performance with the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra (OCYSO) in Walt Disney Concert Hall, as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s Sounds About Town series. Conducted by Cohler and OCYSO music director Daniel Alfred Wachs, the concert commemorates the 100th anniversary of World War I and features the U.S. premiere of Passchendaele, a piece by Mark-Anthony Turnage co-commissioned by the OCYSO. The program also includes The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives and Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 (“The Inextinguishable”).

The season opens with a concert in the memory of YMF Founder Sylvia Kunin. “In 1955, Sylvia Kunin set out to create a premiere training ground for young musicians in Los Angeles. Her vision and steadfast dedication gave birth to the remarkable Young Musicians Foundation, which today serves more than 1200 youth ages 4-25 through our eight tuition-free programs,” shared Julia Gaskill. As a tribute to Kunin, the concert reunites some of the most distinguished YMF alumni for a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto: Lawrence Foster will conduct, and Glenn Dicterow, Nathaniel Rosen, and Gerald Robbins will be the featured soloists.

Exemplifying a commitment to the performance of new music, the Debut Orchestra’s 2015-2016 season includes performances of such modern works asForeign Bodies by former L.A. Phil music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, Try by L.A.-based composer Andrew Norman, and The Mysteries of the Macabre by György Ligeti, featuring YMF Debut Concerto Competition First Prize winner Kirsten Ashley Wiest.

Equally at home with traditional as with modern repertoire, Cohler will additionally lead performances of Schumann’sSymphony No. 2, Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto with YMF Debut Concerto Competition Second Prize winner Dongni Xie at venues across Los Angeles, including the Leo S. Bing Theatre at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Aratani Theatre at the Japanese-American Cultural and Community Center.

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