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Very Young People's Concert®
Philharmonic Families: Strings

This concert is now past.
Very Young People's Concert
Location: Merkin Concert Hall (Directions)
Price Range: $21.00 - $26.00
Duration:

Concert Duration

23 minutes
Sun, Dec, 2, 2012
12:30 PM
Sun, Dec, 2, 2012
3:00 PM
Mon, Dec, 10, 2012
10:30 AM
The 2014-15 Season

Program (Click the red play button to listen)

Les Toréadors from Carmen Suite No. 1

“We Are the String Family” (“Pop Goes the Weasel”)

Simple Symphony for String Orchestra (complete)

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Host

Rebecca Young

Rebecca Young joined the New York Philharmonic in 1986 as its youngest member. In 1991 she won the position of Associate Principal Viola. Two months later she was named principal viola of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After spending the 1992–93 season in Boston and two summers at Tanglewood, she ultimately decided to return to her family in New York, resuming her Associate Principal position with the Philharmonic in September 1994. She can currently be seen leading the viola section of the All-Star Orchestra, a popular televised educational series about classical music.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Young has performed with many renowned groups, including the Boston Chamber Music Society, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She can be heard in a recording of Schubert’s Trout Quintet with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Pamela Frank, and bass player Edgar Meyer on the Sony Classical label.

In the spring of 1999 Ms. Young joined Philharmonic Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps in the World Premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Two Paths: Music for Two Solo Violas and Symphony Orchestra with the Philharmonic. The work was commissioned for them by Tomoko Masur, wife of Philharmonic Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur and herself a former violist. The two performed it at Avery Fisher Hall, in Washington, D.C., and again during the Orchestra’s subsequent tour of the Canary Islands, Spain, and Portugal, as well as the Europe 2000 Tour, and again in April 2011, at Avery Fisher Hall. Ms. Young is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Ms. Young was first introduced to music at the age of two when her parents took her to the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts led by Leonard Bernstein. Today, she is the host of the Philharmonic’s popular Very Young Peoples Concerts, intimate chamber music concerts where she has tap-danced, played drums, ridden a scooter around the stage, and even sung Gilbert & Sullivan. Her philosophy is less to educate than, as she puts it, “to make the audiences have so much fun they want to come back!”

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Writer and Narrator

Dorian Rence — violist and, for the Philharmonic's Very Young People's Concerts, narrator and author — is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Max Aronoff and Joseph De Pasquale. At the completion of her studies, in 1976, she joined the New York Philharmonic. She has been a participant at the Marlboro, Arcady, and Marland music festivals. Ms. Rence has performed extensively as a chamber musician, playing regularly with the Philharmonic Ensembles and the Hofstra Quartet. She has appeared as soloist with the Oklahoma City Symphony, Curtis Institute of Music Orchestra, Ridgefield Symphony, Endymion Ensemble, and North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. She has narrated and written for all of the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young People’s Concerts.

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Illustrator

Marion Schoevaert is a French theater director who has translated and directed many works by French contemporary writers for performance in New York City. She also designed illustrations for Androcles and the Lion, at Avery Fisher Hall for a New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concert, as well as Tortoise and the Hare, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Debussy’s String Quartet, Vivaldi’s The Seasons, Ravel String Quartet, and The Fox and the Sparrow, all for the Very Young People’s Concerts at Merkin Concert Hall. She is a founding member of In Parentheses Theater Company, based in New York, and a member of Nore Nori Kids Concert and Wuturi Company in Seoul, South Korea.

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Violin

Anna Rabinova

Violinist Anna Rabinova performs nationally and internationally as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and recording artist. She joined the New York Philharmonic in 1994, two years after arriving in the United States from her native Russia; in the 2008–09 season she was a soloist with the Orchestra in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, led by Lorin Maazel.

Ms. Rabinova has toured Germany, Italy, the former Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Bulgaria, performing concertos with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and numerous other European orchestras. They include the Halle Philharmonic, Schwerin Philharmonic, Moscow Radio Orchestra (Vladimir Fedoseev conducting), Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Eisenach Symphony, Russian State Symphony, and Berlin Symphony (Lior Shambadal conducting). In the United States, she has made solo appearances with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, American Symphony Orchestra (Leon Botstein conducting), and Memphis Symphony, among others, and has premiered works by John Corigliano and Alfred Schnittke.

As a recitalist, Ms. Rabinova has appeared in numerous halls, including the Shauspielhaus in Berlin, Tchaikovsky Philharmonie Hall in Moscow, and Moscow Conservatory Great Hall, as well as in venues in Rome, Leipzig, and Belgrade. In the U.S. she has performed at the Phillips Gallery (Washington, D.C.), Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Bargemusic, and on the Rockefeller University concert series. In April 2004 she served as concertmaster of the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Symphony Orchestra. Her festival performances have included appearances at the Schleswig Holstein, Berlin Chamber Music, and Long Island Mozart festivals, the Music Festival of the Hamptons, and at Tanglewood and Caramoor.

Ms. Rabinova’s recordings include works by Schuman (for Germany’s Auris-Subtilis) and David Winkler’s Violin Concerto (Naxos); in 1998 she recorded sonatas by Brahms and Schubert for an NHK-TV (Japan) chamber series, which was broadcast worldwide and produced by Paul Smaczny. She has been interviewed and has performed on WLIW-TV in New York, as well as on German and Russian radio.

Anna Rabinova was born in Moscow and performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst’s Violin Concerto, and Paganini’s Violin Concerto with the Moscow State Symphony at the age of 13, later studying at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Leonid Kogan and Igor Bezrodnyi. She was a first-prize winner at the 16th International Violin Competition in Belgrade, in addition to winning the Bach International Competition in Leipzig, Germany, and the 1993 Concerto Competition at The Juilliard School. She has taught at the Gnessin Institute in Moscow, the Manhattan School of Music, and LaGuardia High School, in addition to giving master classes in the U.S. and abroad.

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Violin

Sharon Yamada

Sharon Yamada, a member of the New York Philharmonic since 1988, has performed extensively on both the East and West Coasts. She performs regularly with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles at Merkin Hall, and has appeared with the New Jersey Chamber Music Society. Ms. Yamada has performed frequently in the summer at the Grand Teton Music Festival. Other summer activities have included the Aspen, Norfolk, and Chigiana (Siena, Italy) music festivals. Formerly assistant concertmaster of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Yamada has also appeared in concert with Orchestra New England and the Wallingford Symphony. She is a former member of the Hofstra String Quartet, which was in residence at Hofstra University.

Ms. Yamada received her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music under the tutelage of Szymon Goldberg and Syoko Aki. While earning her undergraduate degree in architecture from Yale College, she appeared as soloist and concertmaster with the Yale Symphony. A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Yamada attended the Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences and was a student of Alice Schoenfeld.

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Viola

Judith Nelson

Violist Judith Nelson joined the Philharmonic in 1983. A native of Portland, Oregon, she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington (Seattle) and also holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School. As a student, she received the University of Washington’s highest music award, the Brechemin Scholarship, and performed concertos by Mozart, Hindemith, Walton, and Bartók with the University Symphony and the Seattle Symphony.

Time in the outdoors is important to Ms. Nelson. Vacations are spent hiking and cycling, often in her native West; at home in New York, she blades, runs, and practices yoga. Other interests include books, especially twentieth-century fiction and poetry, languages, and jazz. A favorite recreation is reading string quartets with friends. Ms. Nelson’s recording of David Kechley’s Sonata for Viola and Piano can be found on Liscio Recordings.

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Cello

Qiang Tu

Since arriving in the United States in 1987, Chinese-born Qiang Tu has established himself as a multifaceted artist much in demand. He won the San Angelo, Texas, Symphony Young Artist Competition in 1987, and the Grand Prize in the Downey Symphony Young Artist Competition of Los Angeles the following year. In 1994, he served as Principal Cellist of the Princeton Chamber Symphony. Mr. Tu joined the New York Philharmonic in November 1995.

After making his solo debut at age 13 in Beijing, Mr. Tu began a two-year engagement as soloist with one of China’s major symphony orchestras. At age 17, he was awarded England’s Menuhin Prize as a member of the China Youth String Quartet, and was later selected by the Chinese government to study in the Sydney Conservatory. In that capacity, he toured the country giving chamber-music and solo recitals, including a concert broadcast live from the Sydney Opera House. The culmination of his Australian tenure came when he won Sydney’s Parlings Award for Music. Returning to Beijing, he was appointed, at age 20, Associate Professor of Cello at the Central Conservatory. Concurrently, he became Principal Cellist of the China Youth Symphony and concertized with the orchestra in Switzerland, West Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, and Great Britain. His solo album, Meditation, was distributed by the China Record Company.

In the United States, Mr. Tu has appeared in Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and other major cities. Early on, he gave a solo recital to benefit the Princeton Chamber Symphony and also performed the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Greater Princeton Symphony. Additional performances included the Elgar and Walton cello concertos with the Princeton Chamber Symphony. He also performed in recital with pianist Helen Huang to benefit the New Jersey Chinese community.

Mr. Tu’s appearances also include six recitals in Taiwan, including one at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, in addition to recitals in Japan, Hawaii, and at Weill Recital Hall in New York.

His extensive chamber music appearances have included performances with the group, Elysium, at Weill Recital Hall; in Hawaii; and at the Hellenic-American Cultural Association of Colorado. He has performed at chamber music festivals in Maine, played cello works and chamber music in Korea, and has appeared with Lukas Foss in chamber works at Weill Recital Hall and at the Stephanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Wisconsin. Mr. Tu has performed on a live broadcast on WNYC, and appears frequently with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles chamber music series at Merkin Concert Hall.

Mr. Tu earned his Bachelor of Arts from China’s Central Conservatory. In 1990, he received his master’s degree from Rutgers University, where he studied with Bernard Greenhouse. Other past teachers include Zara Nelsova, Geoffrey Rutkowski, Lois Simpson, Paul Tortelier, and Zeguang Tu.

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Bass

Satoshi Okamoto

Acting Associate Principal Bass Satoshi Okamoto, The Herbert M. Citrin Chair, was an assistant principal double bassist in the San Antonio Symphony for eight years and a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra for a year before joining the New York Philharmonic in September 2003. He received his master’s degree from The Juilliard School, and a bachelor’s degree from Tokyo University of Fine Arts. An eight-time Aspen Music Festival participant, he won the festival’s bass competition twice, in 1993 and 1997. He also became a finalist of the International Society of Bassist Solo Competition in 1997, and the Izuminomori International Double Bass Competition in 2001. His teachers include former Philharmonic Principal Bass Eugene Levinson, Paul Ellison, Al Laszlo, Bruce Bransby, Yoshio Nagashima, and Osamu Yamamoto.

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