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Boston Philhamronic Youth Orchestra
Sibelus and Prokofiev

Symphony Hall

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The long, and sometimes uneasy connection between Finland and Russia is highlighted in the first concert of the BPYO, as is the profound difference between the two composers. On the one hand we have the inspiring and liberating nationalism of Sibelius's Finlandia, a piece that glories in the idea of Finnish liberation from Russian dominance and in the firm establishing of its own national identity. This is a true declaration of independence in all but name. On the other hand, we have the great Fifth Symphony of Prokofiev, a wily yet oddly profound work in which the composer fully embraces Soviet dictates about the nature and purpose of art while still, almost miraculously, maintaining the integrity of his own personal voice.

At the center of this powerful program is the breathtaking Violin Concerto of Sibelius. And to play it we have one of today's most breathtaking young stars. Korean violinist In Mo Yang recently won First Prize in the International Paganini Competition in Cremona, Italy, a competition so prestigious and so demanding that the First Prize hadn't been awarded to anybody since 2006! Since then he has given many concerts in Europe and in the United States (including his Carnegie Hall debut), and has garnered overwhelming acclaim everywhere. Critics are unanimous in praising his subtle artistry, perfect technique, and powerful communication with the audience. He plays on a Stradivarius that is on loan to him, and is currently a student at New England Conservatory.

 

Featured Performers

Benjamin Zander, Conductor
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Benjamin Zander started his early musical training in his native England, with cello and composition lessons under the guidance of his father. When he was nine, Benjamin Britten, England's leading composer, took an interest in his development and invited the family to spend three summers in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, where he lived. This led to a long association with Britten and lessons in theory and composition from Britten's close associate Imogen Holst, daughter of Gustav Holst.

Benjamin Zander left school when he was fifteen, moving to Florence at the invitation of the great Spanish cello virtuoso, Gaspar Cassadó, who became his teacher and mentor for the next five years. He completed his cello training at the State Academy in Cologne, traveling extensively with Cassado and performing recitals and chamber music. In 1964 Mr. Zander completed his studies at London University, winning the University College Essay Prize and a Harkness Commonwealth Fellowship for post-graduate work at Harvard University. Boston has been his home ever since.

Mr. Zander served on faculty of the New England Conservatory faculty from 1967-2012, where he taught an interpretation class, conducted the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, and regularly conducted the conservatory orchestras. In 1989 he also became the artistic director of the joint program between New England Conservatory's Preparatory School and The Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts in Natick, Massachusetts.

During his tenure as conductor of the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Zander led them on fifteen international tours and made five commercial recordings, in addition to several documentaries for Public Broadcasting Service. 

In 1979, Mr. Zander became the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. In their thirty-six seasons together they have performed an extensive repertoire, with an emphasis on late romantic and early twentieth-century composers, especially the symphonies of Gustav Mahler. In celebration of its 25th anniversary in 2003/2004, the Boston Philharmonic performed an all-Mahler season, including a concert in Symphony Hall.

Benjamin Zander has established an international reputation as a guest conductor. He has a unique relationship with the Philharmonia Orchestra (London), and is currently recording a series of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies for the Telarc and Linn Records. Beethoven's Fifth and Seventh Symphonies, and Mahler's First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Symphonies have been released thus far. Each of these recordings includes a full-length discussion disc with Benjamin Zander explaining the music.High Fidelitynamed the recording of Mahler's Sixth as "the best classical recording of 2002." The recording of Mahler's Third was awarded the "Critic's Choice" by the German Record Critics' Association in 2004, and the recordings of Mahler's Ninth and Second Symphonies, as well as Bruckner's Fifth Symphony, were each nominated for Grammy Awards. Many of these recordings are available in the lobby at this concert.

Benjamin Zander has traveled the world lecturing to organizations on leadership. He has appeared several times as a keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he was presented with the Crystal Award for "Outstanding Contributions in the Arts and International Relations." The best-selling book,The Art of Possibility, co-authored with leading psychotherapist Rosamund Zander, has been translated into sixteen languages.

In 2002, Mr. Zander was awarded the Caring Citizen of the Humanities Award by the International Council for Caring Communities at the United Nations. In 2007 he was awarded the Golden Door award by the International Institute of Boston for his "outstanding contribution to American society as a United States citizen of foreign birth." In March of 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from New England Conservatory of Music, and in 2012 he was awarded Faculty Emeritus status there.

 

Benjamin Zander, Conductor In Mo Yang, violin
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Korean violinist In Mo Yang, First Prize Winner of the 2014 Concert Artists Guild Competition, has been hailed by the Boston Globefor his "…seamless technique and a tender warmth of tone," combined with "…an ability to project an engaging sense of inner sincerity through his playing."  In March 2015, he won the 54th International Violin Competition "Premio Paganini" in Genoa, Italy, marking the first time since 2006 that the Paganini Competition jury has awarded the First Prize. He also garnered the following special prizes: Youngest finalist; Best performance of the contemporary original piece; and Performance most appreciated by the audience, confirming The Violin Channel's praise of In Mo as "one of the new generation's most talented young string virtuosi."

These impressive First Prize honors have resulted in numerous performance prizes for In Mo with prestigious orchestras and at renowned recital venues worldwide, including his recent Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall, a concerto engagement with the Danish National Symphony conducted by Fabio Luisi, and a special recital in Genoa using Paganini's own Guarneri Del Gesu violin, among many others.

Concerto highlights of his 2016-17 concert season include European engagements with Philharmonia Zurich and the Baden Baden Philharmionic (Germany), and in the US with the Fairfax Symphony, Gulf Coast (MS) Symphony and the DuPage (IL) Symphony.  Back home in Boston, In Mo opens the season for The Bach, Beethoven & Brahms Society (formerly the Boston Classical Orchestra) and he also makes his Symphony Hall debut with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Benjamin Zander, featured North American recitals in 2016-17 include New York's Merkin Concert Hall, Ravinia's Gordon Hall series near Chicago, Toronto's Mooredale Concerts and Florida's Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.  In Europe, he performs at the Dresden Music Festival and the Yehudi Menuhin Gstaad Festival, following other recent international recitals throughout Italy, as well as in China and Korea.  As a chamber musician, In Mo will play at Caramoor in fall 2016 as part of their Rising Stars series, and he tours again in spring 2017 with 'Chamber Music from Ravinia' and Artistic Director Miriam Fried.

In Mo has performed as concerto soloist with the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Russian Symphony Orchestra, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Boston Classical Orchestra, Longwood Symphony Orchestra, Central Aichi Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra and the Korean Symphony Orchestra. Festival appearances include Ravinia, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, New Hampshire Music Festival, Ishikawa Music Academy, Great Mountains International Music Festival, Japan-Korea Concert for Young Musicians, and Public Concert Academie de Music in Sion. Among his many earlier competition awards are Second Prize in the 2014 Yehudi Menuhin International Competition, and top honors at the 2013 Munetsugu Angel Violin Competition and the 2012 Joachim International Violin Competition.

Born in Asia to a Korean family in 1995, In Mo Yang gave his debut recital at age 11 on the Ewon Prodigy Series in Seoul, followed by his concerto debut at age 15 with the KBS Symphony Orchestra. He graduated from the Korean National Institute for the Gifted in Arts in February 2011 and was then admitted into the Korean National University of Arts as a prodigy in music. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at New England Conservatory, where he studies with Miriam Fried as a recipient of the Laurence Lesser Presidential Scholarship.

In Mo plays on an Antonio Stradivari violin (composite c.1705/1718), courtesy of an anonymous donor, with a loan generously arranged by Reuning & Sons, Boston.

 

In Mo Yang, violin
Program Notes Audio
Sibelius - Finlandia
Sibelius - Violin Concerto
Prokofiev - Symphony No. 5