Concert Information

San Mateo Performing Arts Center

San Mateo High School
May 19, 2019
Tickets are available through our website and can be purchased at the door.

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Season Finale Concerts

There are finales and then there are FINALES, and this season closer is a concert that is sure to exhilarate and thrill beyond measure: we offer Gustav Mahler’s epoch-making Symphony No.1, aptly subtitled “Titan”. Mahler composed his gargantuan first symphony in 1888, leaving audiences and critics perplexed and at a loss to understand this ‘new’ music. The famous music critic Eduard Hanslick wrote “I sadly confess that this new symphony belongs to a type of music that in my own view is not music at all.” In this deeply moving work Mahler vividly portrays a powerfully heroic individual, including his life and sufferings and his struggle in the face of a fate to which he eventually succumbs. One hundred and thirty years later, we view this first of ten completed symphonies by Mahler as a classic masterpiece of unsurpassed beauty and drama. Our concert will also feature our senior soloist competition winners playing works by Prokofiev, Nielsen, Ibert, and Saint-Saëns. Our extravaganza will open with Kabalevsky’s sparkling Overture to Colas Breugnon.

Leo Eylar, conductor
Melody Chen, violin
Emily Du, flute
Jennifer Haneul Park, violin
Katie Lang, flute

Kabalevsky: Overture to Colas Breugnon
Nielsen: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, 1st Mvt (Katie Lang, flute)
Saint-Saëns: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (Jennifer Haneul Park, violin)
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2, 1st Mvt (Melody Chen, violin)
Ibert: Flute Concerto, 3rd Mvt (Emily Du, flute)
Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Graduating Senior Concerto Competition Winners

Melody Chen, 17, began studying the violin at the age of 6. For the past 6 years, she has been performing with the California Youth Symphony and has been studying with Motoko Toba from Santa Clara University. She has won numerous awards, including Grand Place at the Silicon Valley Youth Music Competition, 1st Place at the DVC/HNU Young Artist String Competition, 1st Place at the KAMSA Competition, 1st Place at the Fremont Unified School District Talent Show, and more. She is thankful for her parents’ support of her musical endeavors.


Emily Du began her music studies at the age of five, learning piano and then starting flute at age eleven with Kassey Plaha, who she currently studies with. Since then, she has joined many ensembles, such as the Lynbrook High School Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra and CYS Senior Orchestra, and is currently principal flute of all three. She has also auditioned into many honor ensembles, including Santa Clara County Honor Band and Allstate Honor Ensembles. In addition, she has participated in chamber groups, winning awards at the local and state level.


Jennifer Park, 18, a winner of the annual CYS Senior Concerto Competition, is an Assistant Concertmaster of the California Youth Symphony Orchestra. She began her musical journey by learning the piano at age 4, and later, learning violin at age 8. She has studied with Tina Min, Li Lin, and Pat Burnham, and she is currently under the guidance of Elizabeth Park. 


Katie Lang, 17, is a senior at Branham High School. She has been playing the flute since 5th grade, and is currently co-principal flute of California Youth Symphony. This is Katie’s third year in cys, with one year in the Wind Symphony and one year in the Associate Orchestra. In her junior year, Katie played in the Santa Clara County Honor Band and the California All State Concert Band.


Graduating Senior Concerto Competition

Each year CYS holds a competition for its current members to select outstanding graduating seniors to be provided with an opportunity to perform with the orchestra on its season finale concerts. Winning the Concerto Competition is considered one of the highest honors at the California Youth Symphony.

While CYS is pleased to motivate and reward young musicians, the annual Concerto Competition is often more than a platform for students seeking a future in music.  While many past winners have gone on to pursue music professionally, a number of competition winners have pursued education and careers in fields as diverse as biology, physics, and engineering.  The California Youth Symphony considers it a pleasure to work with and inspire some of the leading minds of tomorrow and cultivate a lifelong appreciation of the arts as they become audience members of the future.


Melody Chen
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Emily Du
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Jennifer Haneul Park
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Katie Lang
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Leo Eylar
Music Director
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Recent Performance Photos