Maestro Eylar has chosen a highly eclectic and exciting program for our Spring Concert Series, with works by Gershwin, Glazunov, Schoenberg, and Bernstein. Composed in 1932 after a two-week vacation in Cuba, Gershwin’s Cuban Overture (originally titled Rhumba) makes prominent use of Caribbean rhythms and Cuban native percussion, with a wide spectrum of instrumental color. The Overture includes references to Cuban folk melodies and the well-known Spanish song La Paloma. The Overture was a smash success at its premiere in August 1932 and was very favorably reviewed by music critics. Our featured Young Artist Competition Winner Andromeda Kepecs will perform the ultra-romantic and hauntingly beautiful Violin Concerto by Alexander Glazunov, completed in 1904 and dedicated to the Russian violin virtuoso Leopold Auer. Cast in one continuous movement, the work is a tour-de-force of technical virtuosity and soaring melodic invention. We continue with the Finale of Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G Minor, orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg. This Rondo a la Zingarese is a whirling gypsy-inspired dance movement that illustrates both the melodic genius of Brahms and the deft orchestral technique of Arnold Schoenberg. Our closing work is the monumental Symphony no. 2, subtitled Age of Anxiety, by Leonard Bernstein. A highly unusual work, the Age of Anxiety calls for a piano soloist of the highest caliber, and we are delighted to have former YAC winner Parker Van Ostrand joining the orchestra for this performance. The Symphony is based on W.H. Auden’s poem of the same name and is a programmatic work that deals with the theme of isolation, loneliness, and disquietude, and the journey from that state of being toward faith and hope. This highly charged work, which has great relevance for our times, is sure to move and inspire listeners.
Leo Eylar, conductor
Andromeda Kepecs, violin
Parker Van Ostrand, piano
Gershwin: Cuban Overture
Glazunov: Violin Concerto (Andromeda Kepecs, violin)
Schoenberg-Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor,
Rondo alla Zingarese
Bernstein: Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety”
(Parker Van Ostrand, piano)
Young Artist Competition Winner
Violinist Andromeda Kepecs, age 17, is a senior at Menlo School. She began her violin studies at age four with Joel Pattinson and currently studies with David Chernyavsky. She played in the Golden State Youth Orchestra for nine years and is currently co-concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, which she joined in 2017.
Parker Van Ostrand began studying piano at the age of four. As a competition winner, he performed with the Merced Symphony, the Central Valley Youth Symphony, the California Youth Symphony, the Auburn Symphony, and the Frost Symphony Orchestra, and was invited to perform with the Symphony Parnassus in 2017 and the Camellia Symphony in 2019.
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.
Application form now available!