Thursday, December 15, 2011

Young Musicians benefit concert to feature John Wiliams' pieces Jan. 15 in LA

Famed composer John Williams has selected the Young Musicians Foundation’s Annual Gala Concert for the orchestral premiere of pieces from his recent film scores for: The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, both directed by Steven Spielberg and opening in theaters this Christmas. This performance by YMF’s Debut Orchestra will be the first time these film score selections have been played outside of the recording studio!

It is all happening at the YMF’s 57th Annual Gala performance on Sun., Jan. 15, 2012, at 5:00 p.m., at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

“When I was asked (by oboist and YMF alumnus David Weiss) if we could play these selections at the Gala I thought - why not the YMF orchestra to debut these pieces!” said John Williams. “The Gala event is a wonderful way for the public to see what these young people can accomplish. Overall, it is a high level, technically demanding program. These young musicians are very capable and will perform it beautifully.”

When asked how he made the selections from the movie scores to be performed, Williams explained “from The Adventures of Tintin, we are performing music that is very swashbuckling, virtuosic and fun! From War Horse, we were interested in the music that opens the film. In both cases, David and I agreed that these two pieces might be good choices.”

“I am pleased to support the YMF, or any such group that helps motivated and accomplished young people advance in their chosen field. By associating with YMF, these young musicians are given an idea of the avenues to achievement and access to experiences in the career they aspire to enter: playing in an ensemble, working with great teachers, and working with other musicians who are inspiring and motivated,” he concluded.

Two honorees will receive awards at the Gala: YMF’s Humanitarian Award will be presented to Lawrence N. Field, founder and principal of NSB Associates and long-time YMF board member in recognition for his support of the Los Angeles community and in particular of a young person’s artistic training. David Weiss, a YMF alumnus celebrating 50 years of involvement with YMF will receive the inaugural Living the Legacy Award, presented to alumni who embody the spirit and vision of YMF.

Reflecting its “Celebrating the YMF Legacy” theme, the concert will additionally offer a varied and exciting repertoire featuring a total of five guest conductors leading the Debut Orchestra’s 70 talented musicians, ages 15-25, and 20-plus local alumni, through classical and contemporary compositions, including:

· Smetana: Dance of the Comedians from The Bartered Bride and Walton’s Galop/Finale from Music of the Children – conducted by Richard Kaufman;

· Beethoven’s Rondo from Piano Concerto #1 with 10-year-old piano soloist Ray Ushikubo and Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man – conducted by Teddy Abrams;

· Ravel’s La Valse – conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; and

· Randy Newman’s Suite from Toy Story – conducted by Joey Newman.

· In addition to the film score excerpts noted above, John Williams will close the Gala concert with a performance of E.T. The Extra-terrestrial.

Concert tickets are available for $75 and $20 and may be purchased online at All proceeds from the Gala will benefit children and youth ages 8-25 by providing music education, scholarships, pre-professional musical training and performance opportunities.

The Debut Orchestra is the flagship program of the Young Musicians Foundation and one of the oldest and most successful pre-professional training orchestras in the country. Debut Orchestra alumni are members of Los Angeles Philharmonic and many other orchestras in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Notable alumni include Glenn Dicterow, New York Philharmonic concertmaster, and Robert Chen, Chicago Symphony concertmaster.

Other YMF programs include the Music Director and Conductor-in-Residence post, one of the most prestigious training positions available to young conductors. Renowned conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, André Previn, Lawrence Foster and Daniel Hege have each held this position. YMF also provides music mentorship and harp instruction in the Lennox School District and classical music experiences to elementary and high school students in the greater Los Angeles area.

Julia Gaskill, YMF’s Executive Director promises a night to be remembered for all in attendance. “This will be a glorious evening in celebration of the tremendous talents of our current musicians, alumni, our guest conductors and honorees. The music will be exhilarating and the setting simply stunning. It is so important that the community supports our musicians to develop as professionals. By doing so we are influencing not just the lives of these worthy young musicians, but the long-term health of our cultural community and quality of life for us all,” she said.

About Young Musicians Foundation: Visit for more.

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