The New York Philharmonic

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Young People’s Concert: Celebration

May 04


Celebrate 100 years of Young People’s Concerts™ with madcap sounds, humor, and surprises — and discover how composers throughout the ages have used these tools to comment on important issues of their day. Featuring cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

Arrive early for YPC Overtures, on the Leon and Norma Hess Grand Promenade and Hearst Tier 1, where children can try out orchestral instruments and families can engage in crafting and interactive workshops. Activities begin at 1:00 PM.



2:00 PM




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Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall

Program To Include


Dance from The Golden Age Suite


Selection from Cello Concerto No. 1

Wang Jie

Symphonic Overture, America, the Beautiful

Very Young Composer George Socolow

Rush Hour (World Premiere)


Car Horn Prelude, from Le Grand Macabre


Selections from Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Eleanor Alberga

Celebration Dance from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves


  • Kwamé Ryan

    Conductor / Host

    Kwamé Ryan was born in Canada and grew up on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, where he received his early musical education. He completed his studies in the United Kingdom and Hungary, reading musicology at Cambridge University. He held the position of general music director of Freiburg Opera between 1999 and 2003, and served as musical and artistic director of the National Orchestra of Bordeaux Aquitaine between 2007 and 2013.

    As a guest conductor in Germany, he has conducted the Stuttgart and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestras, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Saarbrücken Staatsoper, and Stuttgart Staatsoper. In France he has worked at Opera Bastille, Opéra National de Lyon, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. His work in the United States and the UK has taken him to the Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Houston symphony orchestras, as well as Boston Lyric Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. He has been a regular guest of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and most recently returned to Brussels’s La Monnaie for the world premiere of Kris De Foort’s The Time of our Singing, which won the International Opera Award for world premiere of the year in 2021.

    A recipient of international awards for outstanding work in the field of music education, Ryan has served as musical director of the National Youth Orchestra of France and as director of the Academy for the Performing Arts at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Recent engagements have taken him to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Opera, Hamburg Symphony, and Charlotte Symphony Orchestra; upcoming debuts are scheduled with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic.

    Learn more about Kwamé Ryan
  • Doug Fitch

    Director / Designer

    Doug Fitch has directed and designed several staged projects for the New York Philharmonic, including Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, and A Dancer’s Dream (combining Stravinsky’s ballet scores for The Fairy’s Kiss and Petrushka), as well as HK Gruber’s Gloria — A Pig Tale, which the NY Phil co-presented with MetLiveArts and The Juilliard School. He has also directed several NY Phil Young People’s Concerts and Very Young People’s Concerts. Fitch’s career highlights include designing and directing Puccini’s Turandot at Santa Fe Opera; Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel at Los Angeles Opera; and Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which became an award-winning app narrated by Alice Cooper; and he designed sets and costumes for the PBS Great Performances broadcast of Black Lucy and the Bard for the Nashville Ballet with music by Rhiannon Giddens, and Suzanne Farrin’s Dolce la Morte for MetLiveArts. He created  Tanglewood’s production of Carter’s What Next?, which was filmed and screened at The Museum of Modern Art. Fitch’s production of Orphic Moments (comprising works by Matthew Aucoin and Gluck) was premiered at National Sawdust and reprised at Salzburg’s Landestheater and The Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Le Grand Macabre was remounted at Hamburg’s ElbPhilharmonie. Fitch devised a puppet production titled Punkitititi, featuring the Salzburg Marionette Theater and starring Geoff Sobelle, which was presented by Mozart Woche 2020. Currently, he is developing several new music / theater projects with composers Shih-hui Chen, Scott Wheeler, and Doug Cuomo, and will direct and design a production of Matthew Aucoin and Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice at Boston Lyric Opera.

    Learn more about Doug Fitch
  • Sheku Kanneh-Mason


    Sheku Kanneh-Mason became a household name in 2018 after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle, a performance watched by almost two billion people around the world. He initially garnered renown as the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, the first Black musician to take the title. He has released two chart-topping albums on the Decca Classics label, Inspiration in 2018 and Elgar in 2020.

    Learn more about Sheku Kanneh-Mason
  • Kevin Del Aguila

    Visual Screenplay, Director

    Kevin del Aguila is an award-winning actor, writer, and director in New York City. He has been the director of Lincoln Center Theater’s annual Celebration of Student Songs since 2008, and he helmed the world premiere productions of See Rock City and Other Destinations and Kirsten Childs’s Funked Up Fairy Tales for William Finn’s musical theater lab at Barrington Stage in Massachusetts. He has directed several productions of his own plays, including A Touch of Rigor Mortis, Number One: A Pollock Painting, his celebrated comedy 6 Story Building (which took top award at the New York Fringe Festival), and productions for TheaterWorks USA, including the Off-Broadway productions of Skippyjon Jones, Skippyjon Jones: Snow What, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Mr. del Aguila is the Emmy Award–winning writer of the PBS show Peg + Cat, recipient of the Heideman Award for his play The Greekest of Tragedies, and bookwriter of the hit comedy Altar Boyz (Outer Critics Circle Award), which made history as one of the longest-running Off-Broadway musicals of all time. His other work includes musical adaptations of the DreamWorks film Madagascar, the popular book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Dog Man: The Musical, which made its debut Off-Broadway this summer. Kevin del Aguila currently plays the role of Oaken in the Broadway production of Frozen.

    Learn more about Kevin Del Aguila

Special Thanks

Lead support for Young People’s Concerts is provided by Evalyn E. and Stephen E. Milman.

Major support for Young People’s Concerts is provided by the Tiger Baron Foundation.

Generous support for the May 4 concert is provided by the Eagan Family, in memory of John F. Eagan and his 100th birthday.

Support for Young People’s Concerts is provided by The Theodore H. Barth Foundation and The Brodsky Family Foundation.


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