Young People's Concerts
All concerts and events through January 5 are cancelled. Learn More about our response to Covid-19. Support the Philharmonic by donating your tickets.

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All concerts and events through January 5 are cancelled. Learn More about our response to Covid-19. Support the Philharmonic by donating your tickets.

Calendar

Young People's Concerts

CANCELLED: Music as a Change Agent

Location

David Geffen Hall

Directions
Price Range

$16-43

Duration

1 hour
no intermission

Date & Times

21

Mar, 2020

Saturday, 2:00 PM

Event Info

What are ways in which music can spark dialogue and enact change? Drawing on centuries of repertoire, this program will highlight composers whose works both reflect and contribute to larger social issues.

YPC Overtures | 12:45–1:45 PM
The hall comes alive! Come early to meet Philharmonic musicians, try out orchestral instruments, and enjoy a performance featuring some Very Young Composers.
FREE for Young People’s Concert ticketholders

Young People’s Concerts are intended for children ages 6–12 and their families. All are welcome, but each person requires a ticket.

Listen to the YPC Podcast: Music as a Change Agent

Learn more about the Young People's Concerts
    

Program

Beethoven

Egmont Overture

Listen
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Verdi

Va, pensiero, from Nabucco

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Shostakovich

Allegro, from Symphony No. 10

Listen
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Tippett

Steal Away, from A Child of Our Time

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New York Philharmonic Very Young Composer Alexander Rothschild-Douaihy

A Human Rhapsody (World Premiere)

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Henry Panion

Here We Are

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Traditional / Arr. Very Young Composer Jordan Millar

We Shall Overcome (World Premiere of arrangement)

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Valerie Coleman

Selection from Umoja: Anthem for Unity

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Artists

Roderick Cox

Conductor

Roderick Cox

Conductor

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Conductor

Winner of the 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award by the US Solti Foundation, German-based American conductor Roderick Cox has gained international recognition for recent appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. Highlights in the 2019–20 season include concerts with Orchestre de Paris, the Dresden Philharmonic, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, Mannheim Staatsorchester, and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. In the US, Mr. Cox makes his debut with the New York Philharmonic leading Young People’s Concerts, and with the Aspen Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, and San Antonio Symphony.

Recent guest conducting highlights include his Los Angeles Philharmonic subscription debut, his opera debut leading Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers at Houston Grand Opera, as well as debuts with the BBC Symphony, Sinfonia Varsovia (Warsaw), BBC Scottish Symphony, and Philharmonia Orchestra at the Brighton Festival. US summer performances include his debut with the Houston Symphony and returns to The Cleveland Orchestra (Blossom Music Festival) and Minnesota Orchestra.

His passion for education, diversity, and inclusion in the arts led in 2018 to founding of the Roderick Cox Music Initiative (RCMI), which provides scholarships to young musicians of color from unrepresented communities, allowing them to pay for instruments, music lessons, and summer camps. The initiative will be featured in the PBS / FilmNorth documentary Conducting Life, set to premiere in May 2020.

Born in Macon, Georgia, Roderick Cox attended the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University and Northwestern University, graduating with a master’s degree. He was awarded the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival in 2013 and has held fellowships with the Chicago Sinfonietta, as part of their Project Inclusion program, and at the Chautauqua Music Festival, where he was a David Effron Conducting Fellow. He was appointed as associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä in 2016 , after serving as assistant conductor for a year.

Learn more about Roderick Cox
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The Dessoff Choirs
Malcolm J. Merriweather, director

The Dessoff Choirs
Malcolm J. Merriweather, director

The Dessoff Choirs is one of New York City’s leading choruses. Founded in 1924 by Margarete Dessoff, the group has a reputation for pioneering performances of choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century. The plural “s” in Choirs connotes the group’s 50-voice core; the Symphonic Choir, assembled for larger collaborative engagements; and the smaller Chamber Choir, for more intimate works.

Dessoff produces a New York concert series each year. Over the course of 95 seasons, it has presented world premieres by Virgil Thomson, George Perle, Paul Moravec, Ricky Ian Gordon, Eve Beglarian, and Matthew Aucoin. Dessoff collaborates frequently with local and visiting ensembles, appearing in the US premieres of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 5 and John Tavener’s all-night vigil, The Veil of the Temple. The group’s most recent Lincoln Center appearance was in February, with Roomful of Teeth. Other recent engagements have ranged from Lorin Maazel’s final performances as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, to an East Coast tour with British rock star Ray Davies.

In the mid-20th century, Dessoff published 48 editions of the Dessoff Choir Series and released 13 LPs, introducing Renaissance music to a US audience. Dessoff’s most recent CD is Margaret Bonds: The Ballad of the Brown King & Selected Songs, the world premiere recording of Bonds’s magnum opus, released in November 2019 on Avie Records.

 

Conductor and baritone Malcolm J. Merriweather is the ninth music director of The Dessoff Choirs. He is an associate professor and director of choral studies at Brooklyn College, where he directs the Brooklyn College Symphonic Choir of the City University of New York. He is artistic director of Voices of Haiti, a children’s choir operated by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. He has conducted ensembles in venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, and Westminster Abbey, and at the Vatican before Pope Francis.

Mr. Merriweather’s 2019–20 season highlights include the release of two major recordings. With Dessoff, he conducts and performs on Margaret Bonds: The Ballad of the Brown King & Selected Songs (Avie Records); in this new arrangement, he scored Bonds’s 1954 work for orchestra for strings, harp, and organ. He is also the baritone soloist in the Oratorio Society of New York’s recording of Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s Sanctuary Road (Naxos). He has been featured as a soloist throughout the United States and premiered dozens of contemporary solo works.

A fellowship recipient at Tanglewood, Mr. Merriweather holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Syracuse University.

Learn more about The Dessoff Choirs
Malcolm J. Merriweather, director

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Kendra Vernon

Actor

Kendra Vernon

Actor

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Actor

Kendra Vernon is a New York City–based actor from the Heartland, representing Lincoln, Nebraska. She earned a bachelor’s degree in musical theater from the University of South Dakota and plans to continue her education with graduate work in theater education and applied theater this fall. Most recently, she finished her second national tour, her first national commercial, and a widely recognized national voiceover campaign. Her stage credits include That Bachelorette Show (Off-Broadway), Freedom Train, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! (national tours), All Shook Up (Yorktown Stage), Godspell, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Black Hills Playhouse). When she’s not on stage, screen, or behind the mic, Ms. Vernon works as a newborn care consultant.

Learn more about Kendra Vernon

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Kirya Traber

Host / Scriptwriter

Kirya Traber

Host / Scriptwriter

Kirya Traber

Host / Scriptwriter

Kirya Traber is the lead community artist-in-residence with Lincoln Center and co-host of PBS’s First Person. She has received multiple awards for writing and performance, including a New York Emmy Award nomination for First Person, Robert Redford’s Sundance Foundation award for activism in the arts, the California Governor’s Award for excellence in the arts, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Certificate of Recognition, and an Astrea Foundation award for poetry. She has been commissioned as a playwright or engaged as an actor and director by notable New York arts institutions, including The Morgan Library & Museum, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Ping Chong + Company, Lincoln Center Education, and the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Traber began her performing arts career as a poet, sharing stages with artist-change-agents such as Sonia Sanchez and Amiri Baraka. She is an alumnus of the VONA / Voices retreat for writers of color, the EmergeNYC intensive at the Hemispheric Institute, and Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, and she received her MFA in theater from the School of Drama at The New School. Throughout her performance and writing career, Kirya Traber has used her art for social change as a cultural organizer.

Learn more about Kirya Traber

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Habib Azar

Director

Habib Azar

Director

Habib Azar

Director

Seven-time Emmy Award winner Habib Azar’s directing work spans a wide range of mediums, from contemporary opera to film and television. His stage credits include the world premiere staging of Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music, with the International Contemporary Ensemble. He also directed the American stage premiere of Georg Fredrich Haas’s Atthis with Opera Cabal at The Kitchen. He has directed multiple New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts.

His first feature film, Armless — for which he both directed and wrote the score was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win awards at festivals around the world. For television, Mr. Azar has directed more than 500 hours of network broadcasts, ranging from As the World Turns to Live From Lincoln Center. Mr. Azar has directed for The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series, as well as all of the New York Philharmonic’s Facebook Live broadcasts and many of the Philharmonic’s Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts. Habib Azar has filmed musicians and ensembles around the world, including Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, Itzhak Perlman, Philip Glass, Wynton Marsalis, and Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Learn more about Habib Azar

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