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SF Symphony Youth Orchestra 2013-14 season opens November 17 at Davies Symphony Hall

October 18, 2013



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / October 18, 2013    

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA 2013-2014 SEASON OPENS NOVEMBER 17 AT DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL

Season highlights include:

Performances of works by Adams, Takemitsu, Debussy, and Wagner

Youth Orchestra hosts Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival at Davies Symphony Hall on January 19

Holiday concerts of Peter and the Wolf featuring guest narrator John Lithgow

SAN FRANCISCO, October 18, 2013 — The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) and Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera open their 2013-14 season on Sunday, November 17 at 2 pm at Davies Symphony Hall with a performance of Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo, Bloch’s Schelomo featuring Concerto Competition winner Oliver Herbert, and Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4. The season also includes holiday performances of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with guest narrator John Lithgow; an appearance at the annual Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival, held again this year at Davies Symphony Hall on January 19; and concerts on March 16 and May 18, 2014 at Davies Symphony Hall. The broad range of repertoire, mirroring its parent organization’s commitment to the American maverick and core classical composers, showcases the musical artistry of the young players and while nuturing the next generation of music makers and listeners.

The season-opening performance on Sunday, November 17 at 2 pm features Donato Cabrera leading the Youth Orchestra in a program of Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo, Bloch’s Schelomo for cello and orchestra, featuring 2013 Concerto Competition winner Oliver Herbert, and Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, The Inextinguishable.

This year, the annual holiday performances of Peter and the Wolf  feature special guest narrator John Lithgow and take place on Saturday, December 14 at 1pm and 4pm at Davies Symphony Hall. The program also includes The Bandshell Right Next to the Zoo, with lyrics by Lithgow, as well as an array of favorite holiday music for the entire family to enjoy.

On Sunday, January 19 at 3pm, the SFSYO takes part in the fifth Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival, which is hosted by the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall on a biannual basis and features performances from six of the Bay Area’s talented young orchestral ensembles.  Proceeds from the concert benefit six organizations, one within each orchestra’s local community, that provide resources to underserved and homeless youth.

On Sunday, March 16 at 2pm, Donato Cabrera and the SFSYO will perform their second concert, featuring Delibes’ Sylvia Suite, Takemitsu’s A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden, an SFS commission premiered by Edo de Waart and the SFS in 1977, John Adams’ Common Tones in Simple Time, and Debussy’s La Mer.

The SFSYO and Cabrera conclude the season on Sunday, May 18 at 2pm with a concert that includes Siegfried’s Rhine Journey, from Wagner’s opera Götterdämmerung, Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, London, and Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra.

About the SFSYO

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) is recognized internationally as one of the finest youth orchestras in the world. Founded by the San Francisco Symphony in 1981, the SFSYO’s musicians are chosen from more than 300 applicants in annual auditions.  The SFSYO’s purpose is to provide an orchestral experience of pre-professional caliber, tuition-free, to talented young musicians from the greater Bay Area.  The more than 100 diverse musicians, ranging in age from 12 to 21, represent communities from throughout the Bay Area.  The SFSYO rehearses and performs at Davies Symphony Hall under the direction of Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera.  Jahja Ling served as the SFSYO’s first Music Director, followed by David Milnes, Leif Bjaland, Alasdair Neale, Edwin Outwater (who returns to Davies on Oct 24-26 to conduct the SF Symphony), and Benjamin Shwartz.

As part of the SFSYO’s innovative training program, musicians from the San Francisco Symphony coach the young players each Saturday afternoon in sectional rehearsals, followed by full orchestra rehearsals with Cabrera. SFSYO members also have the opportunity to work with many of the world-renowned artists who perform with the SFS each week.  SFS Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, SFS Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Simon Rattle, Kurt Masur, Valery Gergiev, Leonard Slatkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Midori, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Sarah Chang, and many others have worked with the SFSYO.  Of equal importance, the students are able to talk with these prominent musicians, asking questions about their lives, their professional and personal experiences, and about music. 

In June 2012, Donato Cabrera led the SFSYO on its eighth European tour.  For its series of six performances—including appearances at the Berlin Philharmonie, Munich Philharmonie, the International Festival d’Echternach in Luxembourg, the Rheingau Festival Wiesbaden, Regensburg and Salzburg—the SFSYO won a 2011-12 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of American music on foreign tours. 

About Donato Cabrera

The 2013-14 season marks Donato Cabrera's fifth season as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO). He has been the Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and the Wattis Foundation Music Director of the SFSYO since 2009. In 2012, Cabrera led the SFSYO on their eighth European tour.  For this tour the Youth Orchestra won an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of American music on foreign tours. A live recording from the SFSYO’s critically acclaimed Berlin Philharmonie performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 is now available on SFS Media. In 2013 Cabrera was appointed Music Director of the California Symphony and of the New Hampshire Music Festival. He became Music Director of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra in 2011. Cabrera holds degrees from the University of Nevada and the University of Illinois and has also pursued graduate studies in conducting at Indiana University and the Manhattan School of Music.

About Oliver Herbert

Winner of the 2013 Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, fifteen-year-old cellist Oliver Herbert is Principal Cellist of the SFSYO and a student of Peter Wyrick, Associate Principal Cello of the SFS. After winning the 2012 Felix Khuner Concerto Competition, Herbert made his solo debut with the Prometheus Symphony Orchestra, and in summer 2013 he won of the Philadelphia International Music Festival Concerto Competition. In addition to his solo performance with the SFSYO and Donato Cabrera this season, he will perform concertos with Symphony Parnassus (under the direction of SFS Principal Bassoonist Stephen Paulson) and the Ocean City Orchestra in New Jersey. Oliver is a sophomore at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, and performs on a Paul Ernst Gläsel cello generously loaned to him by the Bernard Osher Foundation and the SFSYO.

About John Lithgow

On the December 14 performances of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, the SFSYO welcomes actor John Lithgow as narrator.  Well-known for his work as a Tony, Emmy, and Academy Award-nominated stage and film actor, in 2012 Lithgow traveled to Venezuela with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, narrating their televised performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra. He has also performed children’s concerts with the Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, San Diego and Pittsburgh Symphonies.  His acting credits include roles in the movies The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment, plus the role of the alien High Commander on TV’s 3rd Rock from the Sun.


CALENDAR EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA
DONATO CABRERA, WATTIS FOUNDATION MUSIC DIRECTOR
2013-2014 SEASON


SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA
Sunday, November 17, 2014 at 2pm
Davies Symphony Hall        

Donato Cabrera conductor
Oliver Herbert cello
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

Copland Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo
Bloch Schelomo
Nielsen Symphony No. 4, Opus 29 The Inextinguishable

Tickets: $50 reserved seating, $12 general admission. Available at sfsymphony.org, 415-864-6000, or the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.


PETER AND THE WOLF
Saturday, December 14, 2014 at 1pm and 4pm
Davies Symphony Hall                              

Donato Cabrera conductor
John Lithgow narrator
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra                     

Tchaikovsky Selections from The Nutcracker Suite, Opus 71a
Bill Elliott/John Lithgow The Bandshell Right Next to the Zoo
Strauss, Sr.  Radetzky March, Opus 228
Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf, Opus 67

Holiday Favorites with audience sing-a-long

Tickets: Davies Symphony Hall concerts $15-$68; half price for ages 17 and under. Available at sfsymphony.org, 415-864-6000, or the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.


BAY AREA YOUTH ORCHESTRA FESTIVAL
Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3pm
Davies Symphony Hall                                                                               

Youth Orchestras, program, and ticket information TBA


SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA
Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2pm
Davies Symphony Hall                                                                                            

Donato Cabrera conductor
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

Delibes Sylvia Suite
Takemitsu A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden
John Adams Common Tones in Simple Time
Debussy La Mer

Tickets: $50 reserved seating, $12 general admission. Available at sfsymphony.org, 415-864-6000, or the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.


SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA
Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 2pm
Davies Symphony Hall                                                                                                         

Donato Cabrera conductor
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra\

Wagner Siegfried’s Rhine Journey from Götterdämmerung
Haydn Symphony No. 104 in D major, London
Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra, Opus 30

Tickets: $50 reserved seating, $12 general admission. Available at sfsymphony.org, 415-864-6000, or the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.

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The San Francisco Symphony receives support from over 10,000 individual donors and 150 partner institutions.

The Youth Orchestra receives generous support from the Phyllis C. Wattis Youth Orchestra Fund, the Richard B. Gump Charitable Remainder Trust, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Surdna Foundation, the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, the Alexander M. and June L. Maisin Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, the Crescent Porter Hale Foundation, the Julia Klumpke Trust, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  We are also grateful to the many individual donors who help make this program possible.

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra concerts of November 17 and March 16, together with the Peter & the Wolf concerts of December 14, are sponsored by Bank of America.

The Youth Orchestra subscription series is presented in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission.

The Music Director’s chair of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra is generously supported by the Paul L. and Phyllis Wattis Endowment for the Youth Orchestra Conductor.

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