Concert Information

March 12, 2023

Hertz Hall
UC Berkeley

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Concert Poster

Spring Concert

Our Spring Concert is one that you do not want to miss! Maestro Eylar has chosen a truly exciting program that is sure to electrify and mesmerize, beginning with the fabulous CYS brass section performing the March from Richard Wagner’s 1845 opera Tannhäuser.

Dance of Salome, Armand Point

We continue with music from one of the most important and controversial works of the early 20th century: Richard Strauss’s opera Salome. The opera shocked audiences from its first appearance in 1905, and took the world by storm, being performed in 50 opera houses within its first two years. Gustav Mahler considered Salome a significant and audacious piece--“one of the greatest masterworks of our time”. We will perform the famous Dance of the Seven Veils, a tour-de-force of orchestral writing rarely surpassed in the annals of music. We will also feature the engaging and jazzy “Juba Dance” from Florence Price’s Symphony no. 3.

Our guest soloist for this concert is pianist (and composer!) Jeston Lu, winner of our Young Artist Competition. Jeston will perform Beethoven’s final piano concerto (no. 5), the “Emperor” Concerto, dedicated to Beethoven’s patron, friend, and pupil Archduke Rudolf. Completed in 1809, the work is in Beethoven’s “heroic” style and contains some of the composer’s most memorable music, including a sublime second movement that takes the listener directly into the early Romantic Period.

Sergei Rachmaninov

For our Finale, we have chosen Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances. The work is the final orchestral composition by Rachmaninov, completed only three years before the composer’s death in 1943. This supremely beautiful composition consists of three movements that combine Rachmaninov’s signature shifting and lush harmonies with rhythmic vitality and vivacity. Of course, it would not be Rachmaninov without a musical reference to the liturgical Dies Irae theme, representing Death, which features prominently in the final movement. Rachmaninov includes several quotations from his earlier works and thus Symphonic Dances can be considered a summing-up of his entire composing career. Don’t miss this exceptionally diverse and exciting performance!

Leo Eylar, conductor
Jeston Lu, piano

Wagner: March from Tannhaüser
Strauss: "Dance of the Seven Veils" from Salome
Price: “Juba Dance” from Symphony No. 3
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor (Jeston Lu, soloist)
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances

Conductor's Corner

Prior to the performance, be sure to check out Maestro Eylar's interactive Sergei Rachmaninov webpage. Featuring program notes, commentary, photos, videos, questions and answers, and more clickable content, this is a perfect way to prepare you for the performance.

Young Artist Competition Winner

Jeston Lu, 16, is a junior at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, CA. He studies piano with Professor Hans Boepple. He is the California state winner and the Southwest Division alternate at the 2022 MTNA Senior Piano Competition...


CYS Young Artist Competition

Each spring the California Youth Symphony holds its Young Artist Competition to select soloists for the following season. The Competition is open to pianists and instrumental soloists under age 19. Two young artists will be chosen by a panel of three judges to perform with the CYS Orchestra during the November or March concert series of the following season.



Jeston Lu
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Leo Eylar
Music Director
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Sergei Rachmaninov
Symphonic Dances
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